Breakups are tough, even on your strands. Have you ever wondered what going through a breakup does to your hair? Whether you have or have not, we can tell you.
We reached out to psychologist and author Dr. Patricia Farrell to discover all the ways a breakup impacts your tresses. As we all know, breakups are stressful AF, so it makes sense that it could have a negative impact on your strands. Keep scrolling to read what she had to share!
Why is your hair impacted when dealing with a breakup?
Going through a breakup isn’t necessarily the most enjoyable experience. It tends to be a bit taxing emotionally, which often causes more stress than is needed.
“Any emotional stress, such as a romantic breakup, can cause changes in behavior,” Dr. Farrell notes. “This can include skipping meals or eating foods that are less-than nutritious for your hair. In fact, a poor diet may even cause hair loss.”
What are some of the more common effects a breakup has on the hair?
Again, breakups are stressful. And all that stress does a lot more than many of us are aware of—especially when it comes to our hair.
“During periods of stress, such as an emotional event of a breakup, the body begins to pour out more of the stress hormone, cortisol,” Dr. Farrell shares. “This also affects your estrogen level. High cortisol levels also depress your immune system. Ever wonder why you may develop a cold after a particularly stressful period in your life? Blame it on cortisol.”
Though we may not be aware of our estrogen levels, they are important. Why? Well, because they promote hair growth. Dr. Farrell says that “estrogen is important for keeping hair growth in place and nourishing hair follicles.”
When we aren’t eating the right foods or regularly exercising, this can impact our estrogen levels and have a negative impact on our strands.
Another common impact? The breakup haircut. We all do it and Dr. Farrell knows why.
“Primarily, a haircut can be an important change in how you see yourself and how you want the world to see you,” she says. “Hair is one of the ways we express our personality, as psychologists know very well.”
Can hair ever be positively impacted by a breakup?
It turns out, getting a haircut after a breakup can offer a new perspective. And that can be more impactful than you may know.
“If the breakup has caused you to reexamine how you have been dealing with people in your life, perhaps a new style is in order and may give you a feeling of freshness and a new outlook on life,” Dr. Farrell shares.
That’s not the only positive benefit of a breakup. We mentioned that stress is common, though sometimes you learn how to better manage your stress. Doing so will only reward your tresses in the long run.
“Some people realize that they need to be able to control stress better,” Dr. Farrell mentions. “In order to do that, they either begin a regimen of watching their diet, practicing or joining a yoga group, and using something as simple as relaxation breathing. All of this can help to reduce stress levels, help your hair maintain its healthy look and growth, as well as aid your mental health.”
How can you be sure to care for your hair while dealing with a breakup?
Paying attention to your exercise regimen and daily diet can really help you care for your hair after a breakup. Dr. Farrell is fond of a few practices herself.
“Two other things that are helpful are to begin an exercise program or go jogging and use meditation,” she shares. “The options are there, but you need to be able to see them. There’s an ancient East Indian saying: ‘What the mind does not know the eye does not see.’ Begin looking and you will begin seeing what your mind needs to know.”
If that doesn’t seem like your cup of tea, Dr. Farrell offers a tried and true method for taking care of your hair.
“Of course, a bit of advice from your favorite hairstylist regarding how to keep your hair healthy would be a good idea,” she states.