Recently there has been a serious emphasis on organic or alternative solutions because of the not so pleasant side effects of pharmaceutical prescription drugs. It’s well known that meditation can have positive effects on our overall well-being, however can this type of therapy assist in the treatment hair loss?
Some state it definitely can, but how?
Meditation has been around for hundreds of years and has evolved into a structured practice that men and women use every day. It is well documented that meditation is effective in reducing high blood pressure and strengthens the heart as well as reducing stress and quite possibly cholesterol levels. But how can this at the same time aid in hair growth?
Though there have not been any direct scientific studies to date on the effect of meditation and hair growth we can still take a look at various scientific studies and see just how it might possibly be a benefit to one’s locks.
In research conducted by R. Jevning, AF, Wilson and JM Davidson in 1978 it was demonstrated that Plasma cortisol decreased substantially for long term practitioners of meditation and it even showed a slight decline of plasma cortisol in beginning practitioners.
Cortisol is a hormone created by the adrenal gland. Cortisol aids in a range of metabolic functions. Levels of cortisol are able to fluctuate over the course of the day, with afternoon quantities typically being about half those in found in the morning. High levels of cortisol can be triggered by an ailment such as Cushing’s disease, or Addison’s disease. Increased levels may also be a barometer of stress. Stress filled incidents can elevate cortisol levels in the blood for extended periods.
Stress has long been considered to be a factor in hair loss. One telling report that can be found is in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2004) tiled Burden of Hair Loss: Stress and the Underestimated Psychosocial Impact of Telogen Effluvium and Androgenetic Alopecia. This article shows many studies that reveal that stress does in fact possess a negative impact on hair growth.
Furthermore, stress can also cause insomnia, poor eating habits, and disorders as well as contributing to a tendency to partake in not so healthy habits such as cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption, all of which tend to be not only harmful to your general well being but, also can affect the health of your hair, skin and nails.
The impact of meditation on hair health doesn’t stop at stress.
In a study published in the Journal of the Israeli Medical Association, researchers documented a sizable drop in total cholesterol in individuals who practice Meditation.
The research workers selected 23 patients, all with elevated cholesterol; all participants were of comparable age, body weight, diet choices, and physical exercise routines. Twelve of the patients were trained in Meditation, and performed it for 11 months; the other eleven were control subjects that did not meditate. The meditating group exhibited a marked decrease in cholesterol levels, from an average of 255 to 225; there was no significant decrease observed in the control group.
An independent analysis done by the same research workers showed comparable reductions, and in addition revealed that a boosted cholesterol reading inside of the average range can be reduced
But exactly how does this help in hair loss?
Recent research discovered that excessive cholesterol and androgenetic hair loss could be correlated, although the exact causes remains unclear.
Clinical conclusions implied that the majority of males who are affected with high cholesterol also suffer from androgenetic alopecia. Studies conducted on nearly twenty-two thousand volunteers spanning over 11 years starting from 1982 noticeably illustrated that men with hair loss also have a higher threat of experiencing heart attacks. Further research only made this finding more powerful in both men and women but additional research is still in progress to authenticate this particular hypothesis.
Another way to comprehend this finding is that people who currently possess a genetic predisposition to hair loss can find that a rise in cholesterol will result in producing an increase in production of ‘androgen’ which is a hormone. This in turn will increase the production of a hormone called DHT which causes loss of hair.
Another school of thought is that DHT causes an increase in cholesterol. This also may be the reason for why women are less afflicted with hair loss or heart conditions in spite of producing androgen hormone almost 20 times lesser than men.
Cholesterol is also believed to mix with sebum and causes its solidification thus obstructing the hair follicles and impacting hair growth by causing the shaft of hair to reduce in dimension in every successive growth phase.
Even though much more research is needed, meditation may help in hair loss. So, why not take some time out of your busy, stressful day to maybe lower your cholesterol and your stress.
This will not only enhance your overall health, but your hair as well.