Surprising ways Stress affects your Beard

Stress affects all. Known in the medical community as the “Silent Killer”, stress can wreak havoc on multiple levels including your beard. 


Stress is your body's defense against annoying, challenging or dangerous tasks - an exam, a public speech, issues at work or home. Positive tasks can also create stress - an upcoming birth, a wedding or a trip. Stress is characterized by a short term spike in adrenaline to cope. However, when stress isn't properly dealt with, issues can arise such as:

  • Physical effects 
  • Psychological effects 
  • Social effects 

Some physical effects of stress relate to facial hair and skin. Various studies suggest that stress causes the production of cortisol in the body. When high levels of cortisol are present, the adrenal glands produce fewer hormones that promote hair growth. This affects levels of the testosterone/ DHT hormone which also directly affect beard growth. There is some evidence that how fast your beard grows is determined by the amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) you produce, a byproduct of testosterone. Thus, too much stress can actually slow the growth of your beard.

 

In more severe cases, stress can trigger alopecia areata, which causes patches of baldness anywhere on the body, including facial hair. Stress can also trigger trichotillomania - a tick where you incessantly pick at your beard or head hairs. 


Skin can also be affected by stress. You may find your hair graying faster, pimples, dry skin, aging and bloated eyes. Diet may also be affected as when you are stressed, you tend to lose appetite which can limit your facial hair growth potential.


Thankfully the stigma behind stress is waning and seeking help is encouraged. There are several ways to deal with stress and these include:

  • Find a community
  • Get regular massages
  • Unplug and reconnect
  • Get good sleep
  • Keep hydrated
  • Regular exercise and meditation
  • Avoid brain fog 
  • Yoga helps reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and lower your heart rate.
  • Effective time-management skills
  • R-E-L-A-X!

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