Does a lack of sleep cause hair loss?

Any night owls out there? This one’s for you! If you’re guilty of staying up to all hours of the early morning, binge-watching Netflix or impulsively deciding to clean out your entire wardrobe, you need to keep reading.

Not only are you sacrificing precious hours of sleep, necessary for healthy human functioning #sleepislife, but you could be contributing to hair loss. It’s a far stretch, we know, but hear us out, there’s a method to our madness. Keep reading as we debunk the common question “does a lack of sleep cause hair loss?”  

What are the physical symptoms of lack of sleep? 
Lack of sleep, also referred to as Sleep Deprivation, can be demonstrated in several ways. Apart from fatigue, symptoms of sleep deprivation can include; 

  • Weakened immune system
  • Thinking issues (cognitive function)
  • Weight gain
  • Lack of sex drive 
  • Forgetfulness
  • Skin appearing aged
  • Hair loss 
What happens psychologically when you are sleep deprived? 
The main internal effect of sleep deprivation on the body is a spike in the stress hormone, known as Cortisol. Cortisol can help control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, help reduce inflammation, and assist with memory formulation. Basically, in simple terms, it’s crucial to stay as sane as possible and more like a human as opposed to a raging monster. 

How does a rise in Cortisol relate to hair loss? 
Heightened cortisol levels affect the function and regulation of the hair follicle. When Cortisol is high, your body automatically goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode. When in this state, the brain's key objective is to ‘survive’ and only concentrates on crucial bodily functions; breathing, heart and mind function primarily. 

Contrary to many female-skewed, hair growth isn’t one of your bodies most essential functions. As a result, when sleep-deprived, the body stops putting effort into hair growth. With blood also now being concentrated around the central nervous system, hair follicles lose blood flow needed for survival and subsequently fall out. 

Is this hair loss permanent? 
Luckily for many late-nighters or ‘workaholics’, hair loss caused by sleep deprivation isn’t permanent and can be reversed. Once cortisol levels are restored to ‘normal’ levels, the body comes out of ‘survival mode’ and normal bodily functions resume. 

How can you help hair grow back after sleep-deprived induced loss?
The primary and most obvious way to stop sleep-deprived prompted hair loss is to establish healthy sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene relates to everything from the amount of sleep being received each night to the conditions of your bed and sleeping arrangements. Once a robust sleep schedule is put together, and in motion, cortisol levels will lower, and hair loss will slow. 

Eat right:
A healthy body starts in the kitchen, and the same can be said about a healthy head of hair. Hair thrives off receiving critical nutrients from the food you consume, with a deficiency in some vitamins, minerals and macros being linked to hair loss.

Pssst! If you’re a bit stuck on what to eat for healthy hair, you can read our new blog post “Chew Your Way To Healthy Hair”, and follow our new series “The Healthy-haired Chef”. 

Switch up your hair care products: 
If you feel like your growth efforts have hit a bit of a brick wall, you could consider shaking up your hair care routine and test out some new products. In particular, specially formulated hair-growth products are a fantastic alternative to the usual conventional products found in most supermarkets. 

These ‘specialised’ products are formulated with key active ingredients proven to aid in hair follicle stimulation, collagen production and blood circulation, all warranting hair growth. These types of products are, generally speaking, “higher quality” than regular haircare articles and are created with natural ingredients that are better for overall hair and scalp health.  

Pssst! BOOST your roots and reach your #hairgoals with our best selling Hair Growth Bundle Pack. It's entirely cruelty-free and made with no silicones, parabens or sulphates. Basically, we’ve only include ingredients in our products that will do your hair wonders! 
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