Stress at work can make you want to pull your own hair out, which is a bit ironic considering your hair is falling out on its own. Stress is a significant contributing factor in hair loss, forcing hair follicles into their resting phase and disrupting the growth process. If you’re one of the millions dealing with a stressful workplace, here are a few signs that it might be wrecking your hair.
1. You have little control over your workload
If your work is piling up faster than you can complete it, you probably have little control over your workload. Many jobs can include a seemingly endless stream of work, leaving us feeling helpless, overwhelmed, and stressed. If your boss doesn’t consider your existing workload before heaping new projects on you, it’s a problem. If your boss never provides an opportunity to discuss your capacity, there’s probably very little consideration being made about your workload.
Work-related stress can eventually lead to burnout, a state where excessive and prolonged stress leads to emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. In terms of workplace morale, feeling burnt out can dramatically reduce your productivity and energy levels. It can also affect areas of your life outside of work, negatively impacting your social life, and making you vulnerable to illness and health conditions, including more hair loss. In these types of situations, try to communicate with your boss or manager to inform them of how you have too much on your plate. Ask them how they expect you to prioritize the many projects they’ve simultaneously given you. This can be done in a friendly, proactive manner without them feeling offended. Get them to agree on specific, achievable due dates for every projects. Being proactive with these types of bosses can help eat away at the sensation that doom is always looming.
2. You’re addicted to working long hours
The desire to get ahead in life is rational—we all want to reach our highest potential at some point. But, as with many things in life, total commitment to this goal can become an addiction. At times you might want to work long hours to chip away at a mountain of work that’s stressing you out. Effectively, the result is that you’re prioritizing work above other aspects of life. Maybe you end up neglecting loved ones and healthy habits that might actually release pent-up stress. If you’ve got a mountain of work, your company is probably set up that way. Which means there will always be a mountain of work, and chipping away at it is only an illusion.
If you find yourself unable to control your desire to work long hours, regardless of what else may be a priority, you may have an addiction to your job. Though this condition may stem from an ambitious mindset, it causes problems. It may even be caused by the desire to avoid other negative issues in life, whether emotional or mental. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, working excessive hours can lead to chronic stress, impacting your physical health.
3. You’re earning over 100,000 a year
For some reason, earning above this number is correlated to work-related hair loss. According to research by Percy & Reed, a UK hair care and salon brand, one in five people who regarded work stress as causing hair loss earned more than £75,000 per year, or about $100,000. Interestingly, this figure dropped to one in ten for individuals earning less than £15,000 per year (about $20,000). This indicates that more money does not necessarily lead to a happier existence, (if having hair makes you happy).
Earning a higher salary often includes an increase in workload and job responsibilities, which can contribute to a higher stress level. An increase in stress can also lead to other serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and premature death. Effective stress management is critical for overall health, not just in the hair growth department.
4. You hate your boss
The tale of the nightmare boss is as old as the idea of work itself. Getting stuck with an awful manager making life miserable is one of the worst situations an employee can deal with. Having a boss you hate can turn the work environment into a toxic, progressively deteriorating situation. Like the saying goes, ‘employees leave bosses, not jobs.’
If your stressful work environment is the result of a poor relationship with your immediate manager, this can contribute to depression, poor work productivity, low, motivation, increased tension. and a reduction in work morale. It can also lead to Telogen Effluvium, a condition where hair follicles enter a resting phase.
5. Work prevents you from dealing with problems at home
For most of us, work is a critical component of our lives. It is often a manifestation of years of hard work, schooling, and progression of our passion. Having a job that excites and stimulates us is seen as a blessing. However, when our work begins to overtake every other aspect of our lives and prevents us from dealing with problems at home, it is a sign our work-life balance is not where it needs to be.
Becoming overly absorbed in work due to a stressful environment can make us neglect life’s essentials, such as our family and friends. Having a proper balance between job and home life is critical. It helps us to maintain our mental health and prevent burnout and chronic stress. Using work as a reason not to face the difficult emotions that may arise in your real life is typical. But that underlying stress can grow if not addressed, in severe cases this can lead to stress-related hair loss.
6. You think people at work don’t respect you
A lack of respect in the workplace can manifest itself in a variety of ways. You may be the constant subject of gossip. Your co-workers may not acknowledge your worth and generally ignore your ideas. Or perhaps you feel generally talked down to by your peers. Whatever is making you feel disrespected, this unfortunate scenario can lead to feeling like an outcast in the office and bring on feelings of isolation and self-doubt. It will undoubtedly produce feelings of stress, compounding an already undesirable situation with an unwanted health condition, and as with other stressors in the work place, it might even get around to messing with your hair. If you’re struggling with confidence, read How Hair Loss Can Affect Confidence in Men.
Stress is just one of the things affecting your hair loss
If you’re struggling with stress in the workplace and are worried about hair loss, it’s important to find a solution which addresses the issue holistically. It’s the stress that needs to go as the first step. No need to jump into prescription hair growth pills as the first attack. After all, losing that stress is going to make you healthier and happier. And maybe it’s not just stress. Hair loss can be affected by diet, lack of exercise, and more. We should also think about how hair loss is affecting us. You can learn about how hair loss can make us depressed by reading: 6 Signs Hair Loss Is Making You Depressed.