Sleep is one of the first things people are willing to give up when pressed for time. From hobbies and socialization to work it always seems as though losing a couple hours of sleep isn’t that important, or “you can always catch up.” The fact is that research shows that catching up on sleep is a lot more difficult than you think and missing even two hours a night can come with some serious consequences.
Sleep is the time that your body repairs damage and staves off infection. It is also the time that your body regulates hormones and chemicals to improve memory, regulate body function, and help you feel your best. Without sleep you will lack motivation, have slower reaction time, experience memory loss, feel stressed and it can affect the quality of your hair.
Here are a few ways that sleep deprivation affects your hair.
Increases oily hair
Oily hair is flat and less bouncy, and people will spend hundreds of dollars a year just to get rid of it. However, without a full night’s sleep it is likely that oily hair will continue.
The increased stress levels that either cause sleep deprivation or are caused by sleep deprivation can lead to greasy or oily roots. Your body is equipped to handle stressful situation by releasing a fight or flight stress hormone called cortisol. Increased cortisol levels are also linked to a higher production of sebaceous oil. Each hair on your head has a small sebaceous gland and so when you are stressed from a lack of sleep each of those glands releases a little oil. While there are hair products to address oily hair, they are temporary. Though, better sleep can help to improve and often eliminate excessive oil.
Your hair can fall out
Hair loss is one of the first symptoms that a person can experience when stressed. HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is a hormone that is produced during nightly sleep cycles. HGH is produced by the pituitary gland and helps to regulate several body functions including hair growth. People who suffer from insomnia or sleep disruptions who have difficulty with quality sleep produce less HGH. This lowered level of production can result in several health consequences including thinning hair and hair loss.
Can cause telogen effluvium
Sleep disorders can cause physical and emotional stress which can result in telogen effluvium that often comes about when your system is shocked. Telogen effluvium causes your hair’s roots to prematurely go into a dormant or resting state. While telogen effluvium can result in hair loss, it can also stunt hair growth resulting in either an acute or chronic response. People naturally lose hundreds of hairs every day while they brush, shower and go about their day. Because telogen effluvium puts your roots into a dormant state, when you lose hairs, the new hair that replaces them simply doesn’t grow.
While your body’s response to stress from sleep deprivation can be dramatic when it comes to your hair, the good news is that addressing the problem and improving your sleep habits can reverse the negative consequences.