Botanicals for hair growth
There are many herbs that are known to support healthy hair, nails and skin. Many are nutritional, such as horsetail, oat straw and stinging nettle. Some herbs approach hair growth by increasing circulation, such as rosemary and ginkgo biloba thereby increasing nutrients reaching your hair follicles and thereby increasing growth. Lavender can increase hair growth by reducing inflammation and calming the follicles to promote the healthy development of hair follicles.
Ashwagandha is starting to gain some foothold as a hair growth supporting herb as well. Although the root itself doesn’t directly promote hair growth, it works by supporting systems in your body that may lead to hair loss; stress and hormonal health. You’ve heard people talk about their hair growing gray, or their hair falling out when their stressed and that might be truer than expected.
Stress and hair loss
Stress is a major underestimated cause of hair loss. Since hair is considered a non-essential tissue it is one of the first things to go when we are stressed. One specific form of stress-related hair loss is called Telogen effluvium. It triggers hairs that are in the growth phase of their hair growth cycle to suddenly enter into their telogen phase (shedding phase). The result can be large amounts of daily hair fall out.
Ashwagandha and stress hormones
When we are stressed our adrenal glands produce the hormone cortisol. Cortisol puts you into flight or fight mode, which is great when you’re actually in danger, but very taking if you’re experiencing chronic daily stress. By taking Ashwagandha the impacts of stress can be reduced. Ashwagandha can lower cortisol levels when they are too high, which can then improve stress-related hair loss.
Hair loss is a warning sign
Ashwagandha can only do so much, however. If you’re in a chronic high state of stress you’ll need to evaluate what is causing so much stress and what you can do to improve it. Even if you don’t feel worried or concerned, keep in mind that putting your body through stressful scenarios like heavy workouts, lack of proper resting, lack of sleep, fasting, chronic stimuli like loud noises and bright lights can cause biological stress on the body that you may not register as stress initially. Hair loss is a sign something is not right and continuing without change could result in more severe consequences to your health. If you’ve recently undergone a period of severe stress or prolonged low-level stress and seen increased hair fall out, don’t worry, taking ashwagandha accompanied with adjustments in lifestyle can help your hair to bounce back to its previous, perhaps even improved lustre.