Does Stress Cause Hair Loss?

Does Stress Cause Hair Loss?

When you’re stressed and feel like the pressure of the world is on your shoulders, it can impact your body in various ways. From losing sleep to acne breakouts, high blood pressure to hair loss; stress can cause them all. While each body will react differently to stressors, having hair loss is common.

Why Hair Loss?

When you’re going through a substantial amount of physical or emotional stress, the hair loss that results is called telogen effluvium. This is where the large amounts of stress push your hair follicles into the resting period. The result is your hair begins to shed, giving the appearance of thinning.

Your hair follicle goes through a life cycle of growth – growth, transition, resting, and falling out. When your body reacts to stress, it alters the hair’s growth stage and changes into the resting stage. The good news is that even though you might have an overwhelming amount of hair fall and thinning, it won’t necessarily lead to lasting damage.

When You’ll Notice Stress Related Hair Loss

Hair loss from stress is not something that you’ll notice immediately. In most instances, people experience hair loss within the first three months after a stressful event. In most cases, this hair loss is a sign that new hair will be growing again at the base, so you should focus on minimizing the stress; you’ll see new hair growth in three to six months after this initial hair fall.

The reason that you are likely losing hair is because the stress you are facing essentially puts your body into a “survival mode” of sorts. This diverts resources away from nonessential functions for life (like hair growth) and instead where it is needed most.

When You Should Worry

Losing up to 100 hairs a day is normal for every person. Because you have over 150,000 strands on your head, you won’t even notice those missing 100 each day. However, if you begin to notice more than your typical hair loss, you should start making notes that you can discuss with your doctor. Start by finding when you’re most substantial loss is taking place, during washing, combing, running your fingers through your hair, etc. Then speak to your doctor about the problems you’re experiencing with your hair loss.

How to Stop Hair Loss from Stress

The first thing to do is to find out what is triggering your stress and make lifestyle changes if you can. Once you begin to minimize the stress, add plenty of sleep and a proper diet, then you will begin to see changes in the right direction.

It is important to remember that hair loss tips and tricks will not work for stress-related hair loss. It’s crucial to treat the stress and the causes of it. By alleviating the anxiety and stressors, your hair loss will naturally correct itself.

If you’re experiencing this type of hair loss, consult a doctor or a therapist to discuss what treatments are available to help you through this stressful period of your life. It is also important to speak with a doctor to make sure that stress truly is the cause of your hair loss. In most cases, telogen effluvium will resolve itself, however, if your hair loss is from inflammation or scarring, it will not. It is best to work with a doctor to properly diagnose the reason for your hair loss, then collaborate on ways to help you resolve it.

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