How the Sympathetic Nervous System Affects Your Hair

Stress – it prepares you for survival situations, but it burns your body out in the process like a wick of a candle.

In the previous issue [of OYESPARK], we discussed about the Autonomic Nervous System, which is the part of the nervous system that unconsciously regulates processes in the body—such as heart rate, digestion, and respiratory rate, and is the primary mechanism in control of your body’s flight or flight response.

On the other hand, the sympathetic nervous system stimulates this flight or flight response by getting the body “ready for action.” This generally results in changes such as blood flow getting concentrated away from internal organs and more towards the extremities in anticipation of fleeing a threatening situation. If your body is in this phase frequently, this takes away blood and therefore nourishment away from your body’s internal organs and functioning, which can result in a host of problems. Whether or not the stressful situation is a life-threatening danger or not, your body tends to gear-up the same way.

So, what does this have to do with hair? How does hair get affected by this? Your scalp is the center of hair growth where there are many follicles. These follicles receive nourishment from the inside of your body out. The healthy hair on your head started internally, and the result of your head of hair reflects the conditions and nurturing it had to build inside first.

Some factors of the health of hair can include things like hydration, vitamins, and minerals. Some effects include elasticity, texture, hydration, color, grayness.
I’m sure you’ve heard of a connection between stress and gray hair before. But have you ever wondered why this is exactly?

It turns out there are sympathetic nerves found in each hair follicle. The stem cells that produce melanin decreases, which is responsible for producing color in hair, due to the fight or flight stress hormones that pass through. Apparently, the damage is permanent. Once these melanin-producing reserves are gone in the follicle, they’re gone permanently as far as it’s known, hence leaving gray and white hair. It is interesting to note that sometimes we gray more or earlier in certain parts of the head, such as the front and temples, and the reason for this pattern is not exactly known.

Activities to help relax throughout the day: 

Anything that involves repetition, such as walking, dancing, listening to music, meditating to sounds, cleaning, waking up slowly in the morning, easing down at bedtime. 

The repetition works by slowing down your brainwaves into a more relaxed alpha and theta state, down from the hyper active beta alert state. This helps calm your sympathetic nervous system, thus slowing down aging and preserving stem cells that help keep your hair beautiful.

Book a relaxing service at OYESPA by calling (651)371-9100 or book online using the button below!

This article is from OYESPARK, an exclusive magazine from OYESPA.

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