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by: Better Not Younger
October 22, 2021
So many aspects of your life can affect your hair, and some of them are so indirect that you might never even consider it. Believe it or not, spending time on your phone, tablet or computer can contribute to the health of your hair. And did you know that excessive screen time can even lead to hair damage and hair loss? Yes, playing all those video games with your kids and grandkids can actually have a negative effect here! There’s much to consider, though, when it comes to how screen time can affect your hair, so let’s take a look at how prioritizing screen time over face to face interactions can play a role in hair loss.
There has been little research done on cell phone use affecting hair loss, but that research has shown some correlation. A study revealed some hair loss after prolonged mobile phone usage, directly over where the phone was held against the ear.
The study concluded, “Exposure to cell phone radiation can lead to hair loss by single strand DNA breakage, genotoxic effect generation of ROS [reactive oxygen species] and altered hormonal regulation.” What this basically boils down to is that the radiation emitted from a cell phone can cause hair to fall out over time, however, it would take a significant amount of time and no intervention.
So what are your options here? The best course of action would be not to hold a mobile phone against your head. Use speakerphone or headphones so that the phone is not against your skin—simple enough.
You could also help your scalp bounce back from any hair loss with the right products. Consider a supplement to promote hair health and strength and Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum to nourish the scalp and energize hair follicles. Supplements and proper products can help bring your hair and scalp back to life and keep your hair strong and vibrant.
Technically speaking, your WiFi isn’t going to cause hair loss directly. There’s no real concern for the way WiFi transmits the internet that will affect your hair. Where you run into trouble with the internet and hair issues is how you use it and what your lifestyle is like because of it.
Excessive screen time can lead to poor sleep, depression and bouts of stress, all of which can affect your hair. It’s a correlation you may never have considered, because it’s not direct.
Using screens, like an iPad, phone or TV before bed, especially, can be problematic. The blue light from the screens makes it harder to sleep. And not getting enough sleep at night opens the door to a host of health problems, like weight gain and stress, among other things.Integrative psychiatrist Victoria Dunckley, MD, has examined how poor sleep can affect people, noting that too much screen time can lead to depression, for one. While depression can manifest in a variety of ways and is different for everyone, it’s possible that if you’re in a depressive state, you’ll experience hair loss or, more commonly, you may not be willing to spend as much time taking care of your hair, leading to hair damage.
Your body also needs sleep to recharge for the next day and stay on track health-wise. When you can’t fall asleep, you have a reduced melatonin production, which sets off a chain reaction of not being able to fall asleep the next night because your body doesn’t have enough natural melatonin to put itself to sleep. While melatonin supplements can be helpful, your body’s natural melatonin production is the best source of the sleep hormone. Plus, this entire chain of events contribute to poor sleep and larger concerns—like hair loss.
What is perhaps the largest contributor of hair loss in relation to screen time is the stress factor. Stress can come from numerous points in your screen time. Whether it’s due to the work on the other side of the screen, doomscrolling current events, or even a tense conversation with someone through text, any of these can trigger a stress reaction in a person.
A stressed body produces higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and studies have linked higher cortisol levels with hair loss. One study from 2016 notes, “When cortisol is present at high levels it has been demonstrated to reduce the synthesis and accelerate the degradation of important skin elements, namely hyaluronan and proteoglycans by approximately 40%.”
When you’re stressed and experiencing higher cortisol levels, your hair follicles can also literally stop producing new hair, according to the Mayo Clinic. This is called telogen effluvium, and it’s when stress causes the follicles to go into a resting phase instead of actively growing hair. Over a period of time, the hair could even start falling out if the stress isn’t managed and the hair isn’t properly cared for.
The blue light from the screen is never going to be your friend, and it especially won’t be your hair’s friend. The best way to keep your hair in tip-top shape without letting hours of screen time wreak havoc on your locks is to quite literally cut back on how much time you’re staring at your phone, computer or TV. Surfing social media and watching TV may feel enjoyable at times, but too much of it can have a number of bad outcomes for your health and wellbeing.
If impulse control is an issue for you and you have a hard time putting the phone down, consider giving yourself a time limit on your screens each day. If you have to sit in front of a computer for hours of screen time each day for work, try breaking it up with walks or face to face interaction. This will give your eyeballs a rest from the blue light and help your brain recover from staring at the screen for so long.
Outside of working, again, limit your use of social media, video games, watching TV, etc. and especially cut back on staring at a screen at night. Cutting back on everything will hopefully cut back on any resulting stress—and those stress hormones—and allow you to enjoy spending time doing things like hanging out with friends and family and slathering one of Better Not Younger’s rejuvenating masks on your hair to show it some love. We know you can get that impulse control in check and beat that Candy Crush game addiction! (Plus, your hair will thank you.)
Hair loss as a result of your video game addiction is not permanent—don’t worry! Just like any other hair concern, you can treat it with the right products and extra love. Some research has shown that scalp massages can stimulate hair growth if done properly, so this is a feel-good way to help bring your hair back to life. We’ve also seen some traction with using a plant-based diet to recover from hair loss. Plus, this type of diet can boost your health overall, which is never a bad idea!
Tell Us: What are your tips for reducing your screen time? Share in the comments below!