Anyone with more than a centimeter of fuzz on their head has woken to find their hair disheveled and sticking out in every direction. And, you can’t use that as a sign that you’ve slept well or not. Sometimes you toss and turn in a state of almost sleeplessness – and sometimes you move around a lot because you’re having brilliant dreams about flying. Whatever the cause? Could this contribute to your hair loss? Is it possible that the way you sleep is the reason you’re losing your hair?
What Is Traction Alopecia?
There are many types of hair loss – each caused by a different reason. One reason that a lot of women notice thinning hair around their temples is traction alopecia. This type of hair loss results from pulling on your hair unintentionally with enough pressure that it breaks. When it happens repeatedly, the hair follicle becomes too weak to grow. Why do ladies experience this more than men? They’re more likely to sweep their hair back into ponytails, braiding, weaving and similar styles.
So, pressure on the hair can cause hair loss. But, unless you’re banging your head into your pillow, it’s not likely that the way you sleep causes the traction alopecia variety of hair loss. There is one caveat though… if you have braids or leave your hair in a ponytail to sleep, you’re not helping your healthy hair campaign at all.
But, Sleep Affects Healthy Hair Growth
There’s a sincere link between stress and hair loss. Extreme or continued stress is a major contributor to finding too many hairs on your brush. And lack of sleep can not only cause emotional stress; it’s a huge physical stressor on your body.
You need to rest for your body to operate properly – and focus on all those little important tasks… like growing a healthy head of hair. The odd sleepless night, especially if it is linked to staying out late and having a good time, isn’t going to do permanent damage to your hair. (We can’t comment on the way it looks or the colour of your skin in the morning. We’re only talking about permanent hair loss here.) Weeks and months without sleep, on the other hand, can do some serious damage.
We understand that new parents aren’t likely to be getting as much sleep as they need – and that’s just part of the sacrifice you make. But, there are a few things you can do to counteract this moment in your life.
- Reduce hair washing to keep your natural oils and lessen the pressure on your scalp.
- Eat all the foods that create a healthy environment for hair growth.
- When you can’t sleep enough, at least try to relax. It’s not as good as sleep, but it does a lot less damage than overworking yourself.
- And ladies, leave your hair down as much as possible. Stress combined with pulling is a sure way to experience thinning in the next couple of months.
Fortunately, the way you sleep doesn’t really lead to traction alopecia. But a lack of sleep can cause hair loss (and a handful of other issues) and all that tossing and turning will only cause the hair you do have to knot into a morning mess.