The Oprah Magazine
Is Your Life Messing With Your Hair Image Credit: The Oprah Magazine
Is Your Life Messing With Your Hair Image Credit: The Oprah Magazine

Is Your Life Messing With Your Hair?

Blow-drying, flatironing, highlighting—you probably already know the damage they can do. But your diet, a stressful 9-to-5, and even the air around you can also have an impact. Uncover the sneaky culprits that could be at the root of your hair issues, and learn what you can do to get thicker, shinier, and healthier on top.

Krista Bennett Demaio

THE CULPRIT

YOUR CRAZED DAYS

Work. Deadlines. Kids. Skimping on sleep. “Everyday tension can cause levels of the stress hormone cortisol to increase, leading to an inflammatory response throughout your body,” says Melissa Piliang, MD, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic who specializes in hair issues. With too much inflammation, your body doesn’t function properly. For hair, this can mean a shorter growth cycle, Piliang says.

Healthy hair fix: Learn to manage your stress. Getting enough sleep and exercising regularly are good ways to start. “Do something every day that calms your mind,” says Piliang. “Yoga, meditation, prayer.”

THE CULPRIT

YOUR DIET

If you’re seriously cutting carbs and calories in favor of more protein and fat, your waistline may not be the only thing that gets thinner. When you don’t consume the right mix of nutrients, your hair is one of the first things to suffer, says Anabel Kingsley, a trichologist and brand president at Philip Kingsley Clinics in London and New York. Slashing calories and nutrients and losing weight too quickly could cause your body to go into survival mode and shift energy away from growing hair to focus on more important stuff, like staying alive. As a result, your scalp may feel drier, and your hair might shed more than usual. Super-low-carb diets in pa


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