I pulled my hair back to go for a run, and noticed it.
My hairline on the left side of my head went way too far back. My hair was gone in that spot. Completely bald. It looked sick. I was already avoiding mirrors because every time I made eye contact with myself, I would see the dark circles under my eyes from months of inconsistent sleep, stress and nights of tears.
My heart started racing: "how did I let this happen to me?" "What if it stays like that?"....insecurity racing through my veins, I started crying on that run. A long therapeutic cry.
Seeing a bald spot was the ultimate confirmation that I needed to heal myself, take a step way, way back, and most importantly, find a way to manage my stress and anxiety.
Girls don't talk about getting bald spots. At least none of my close friends have ever mentioned they got one from being extremely stressed out at age 24. Scary. I want to talk openly about it today because it did (and still does) make me insecure about my head/hair, and was really freaking scary. I knew it was my body telling me literally: "We can't deal with your stress anymore, we can't grow your hair here." I felt embarrassed. People come to me for health/nutrition advice, and yet my habits and stress was becoming so unhealthy.
They say time heals all wounds. Well, I'm still dealing with some, but that's the beauty of it, I now feel like I can. Since moving back home, I've been doing a few different things to heal my hair, and regrow the spot. I see little baby hairs now! I know it will still be awhile before it's back to normal, but now I wear my hair up without fear.
When I see it everyday it's a constant reminder of how I got through that time, how I realized there was a serious problem, and how much stronger I am today because of it. One important thing that I would encourage anyone going through high stress to do is to have a blood test. Mine revealed vitamin/mineral imbalances, which explained my mood swings, anxiety, and other symptoms. In addition to adding supplements and the vitamins that I needed to my diet. I've been doing a couple other things too. I would love to know if you have any tips when it comes to hair loss. What you've tried, what's worked and what hasn't. It happens, and if it has happened to you, it will be ok.
Pumpkin Seeds Are Calming Me
Yeah, they're my thing, but it goes so far beyond that now! As an RD I always take a diet approach to the ailment, so naturally, I started with what I eat. Pumpkin seeds are a powerhouse of magnesium, the calm mineral, if you will. Magnesium is crucial for so many things in the body, including muscle relaxation, regulating heartbeat, and hormone production to name a few. It's such an underrated mineral, and that's why far after pumpkin season is over you can find me putting pumpkin seeds on my salads, pastas, quinoas, soups, and just munching on them! The fiber content doesn't hurt either! I especially make sure they are on my dinner food. The MAG helps me calm down at night, especially after a night time workout. I know my hair is benefiting from me relaxing and combating stress before it begins.
Products I'm Using
Additional hair-specific things I'm using are:
1) Vital proteins collagen --I'll put a spoonful into my coffee in the morning, or a smoothie later on. Collagen is all the rage right now for strengthening hair, and nails, and increasing elasticity in the skin. I wanted to see if it would help me in this capacity with my hair, so I've been taking it since January. The verdict? My baby hairs are there!
2) Biotique-- Bio Shringraj Therapeutic Oil --An Ayurvedic recipe, I've been applying this hair oil twice a week for 30 minutes. I just started last week, so it's too soon to tell one way or the other, but I will keep you posted. It was recommended for hair loss in a mindbodygreen article, which is how I heard of it---It smells great!
What I'm doing may not be right for everyone. I would definitely do your research, and do what feels right for your body. By no means is this my full anti-stress routine! There can be so many factors at play contributing to the way you are feeling, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for feeling that way. I'm in this with ya, and if you've experienced something like this before, I'd love to chat with you.