Award-nominated Brum-based style blogger. Keen on sustainability + minimalism. Big fan of chocolate-coated pretzels.

Stress: What People Don’t Talk About

Stress: What People Don’t Talk About

 

One of the many reasons I started my blog was in the hope that, from time to time, I could bring to light topics that I haven’t seen discussed in the online world recently. Today I’m writing about when stress results in hair thinning (or loss) – something that has affected me over the past few years.

I’ve chosen not to share photos of my hair then/now as it’s still something that upsets me. I know my readers are extremely lovely though, so please know that I really appreciate your being understanding about it.

I really hope my writing manages to make my point.

 

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I’m twenty now, but from the age of seventeen, following years of undiagnosed severe anxiety disorder and post traumatic stress disorder, my mental health took its toll on my appearance. With thick, curly and often hard-to-tame hair almost down to my waist, I noticed that it was becoming increasingly easier to tie it up into a pony tail without the struggle of losing my hair brush in my hair along the way (I’m talking Princess Diaries style here). My bed head hairstyles were getting smaller every morning, and the shower drain was regularly clogged after a hair wash.

 

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I went to my hairdresser and he commented on my hair saying how much it had thinned. My friend turned to me at lunch the following week, saying ‘your pony tails have gotten way thinner recently’, and even my grandma greeted me with a ‘what have you done to your hair? It’s lost its curl and volume – it doesn’t look healthy’ soon after. As the comments rose, my self esteem did the reverse.

The great thing about thinning hair as a result of anxiety is you get more anxious about your hair thinning which, consequently, causes it to thin more. What fun!

 

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I started taking vitamin capsules as expensive as a haircut to increase hair growth; I used £25 bottles of shampoo for months in the hope it would get my hair back to the way it was before, but nothing worked.

I started on antidepressants when it became evident that I have OCD, and since then my mental health has improved dramatically and, as a result, my hair has stopped thinning. Whilst it might not be growing back to the way it was before (I’m still getting used to not feeling 100% like myself, even years later), I’m so happy that I realised tackling the root (pardon the pun) of the problem – my mental health – was the way to fix its effects.

 

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I hope that in reading this post you can take away the following:

– if you notice a change in someone’s appearance – whether it’s drastic weight loss/gain, hair thinning or otherwise, please don’t bring it up unless they want to discuss it. Remind yourself that they have likely looked at a mirror recently and are aware of the changes. If they don’t mention it, they probably don’t want to talk about it.

– stress, anxiety and other mental health disorders can have lasting consequences – if you know someone in a similar state, please do make sure they seek help. I’d recommend www.mind.org.uk

– if you’re still stuck in the old days and complain that you can’t see mental health disorders so they don’t exist, this post is literally physical evidence that mental health disorders are real. So please, sit back down.

 

photos: unsplash

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12 Comments

  1. October 30, 2018 / 12:58 PM

    Hello there,
    Such a great topic you discussed here! It is in fact so true that stress can harm us in so many ways and we sometimes just seem to ignore.
    🙂

    • Nati
      Author
      November 2, 2018 / 9:45 AM

      Thank you! x

  2. eviebraithwaite
    October 28, 2018 / 4:41 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this, it’s something which isn’t spoken about enough. Stress can affect us in so many ways, ways in which we wouldn’t believe. For me it’s been a huge cause of insomnia and other issues I won’t go into, but it just shows how serious it truly can be. Thanks for sharing Mind as well! It’s such an incredible charity which deserves so much more recognition. Thanks again for this post ✨ x

    • Nati
      Author
      November 2, 2018 / 9:49 AM

      Hey Evie! I’m so glad you like the post – it’s really lovely to hear from someone who has experienced difficulties with it like I have. Have a wonderful weekend x

  3. October 27, 2018 / 2:58 PM

    I never realised the effects that stress could have on a person such as hair loss, but now I am aware. I’m sorry you had to go through that but I’m glad that the situation is getting better for you and you’re raising awareness. Great post lovely
    Alex x
    http://allthingsalexx.wordpress.com

    • Nati
      Author
      November 2, 2018 / 9:48 AM

      Thank you for such a kind comment, Alex – it means so much! x

  4. October 27, 2018 / 10:21 AM

    You have no idea how much I love this post, especially:
    ‘The great thing about thinning hair as a result of anxiety is you get more anxious about your hair thinning which, consequently, causes it to thin more. What fun!’
    I had been experiencing a lot of stress in my life, being diagnosed with body dysmorphia and anxiety in the recent months and my hairline is where the stress took its toll the most, which has been a source of another stress for me. I am trying everything to reduce stress and get my hair back and it is nice to see that I am not the only one, going through the same issue at early age.

    Thank you and I hope they keep on growing!

    xx A.

    • Nati
      Author
      November 2, 2018 / 9:50 AM

      Hey A! Thank you so much for your lovely words about the post – I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had a difficult time dealing with stress too. I’m doing the exact same thing and I think it’s really great we’ve found each other because we can go on this journey together. Same to you! x

  5. Sapphire Snowfall
    October 26, 2018 / 9:45 PM

    It’s very hard (for me) to see anyone you care for or even just associate with suffer. I’m always that guy though who awkwardly asks if they’re okay or if they’d like to talk about whatever is going on too, but I always had to worry about saying too much. It’s nice to see the perspective from your end though as it helps anyone who wants to ask have a bit more information to go on.

    Thank you for sharing all of this and giving us the unique look at your side of things. The mind can really affect the body in ways that none of us predict, but I’m glad you’ve managed to solve a bit of the puzzle there.

    Mental Health never was nor ever will be a joke.

    • Nati
      Author
      November 2, 2018 / 9:52 AM

      Thank you so much for such a lovely comment! I’m so glad you found the post informative – it’s so important to me to communicate about things that make so many people feel awkward and, as a result, avoid discussing, when it could be the conversation that helps things hugely! Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. October 26, 2018 / 9:42 PM

    I’m proud of you for talking about this; it’s such an important topic that needs to be brought to light. (And your hair is gorgeous by the way!!) xx

    • Nati
      Author
      November 2, 2018 / 9:52 AM

      Aww thank you Chloe! x

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