Can Stress Cause Hair Loss and Will it Grow Back?

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.

How Extreme Stress Causes Hair Loss

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.

Stress is a joy killer. It leads to a lot of health problems, including hair loss. Unfortunately, the appearance of hair loss further worsens the stress level as one begins to feel threatened by this monster. However, the good news is that hair loss due to stress can be cured.

If you have been overly worried regarding your hair loss caused by stress, be rest assured that your problem can be easily handled to restore the sheen, thickness, and fullness your luxurious hair once enjoyed.

A lot of sufferers have been helped in the past to stop their hair loss, and we have come up with the right information you need to put a smile back on your face. By the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll learn how to regain hair loss from stress.

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Hair Loss Due to Stress | Types Of Hair Loss

Hair Loss Due to Stress

Before we talk about the causes of hair loss due to stress, let us first find out the types of hair loss problems. There are basically three types of hair loss due to stress, and they include:

1. Telogen Effluvium

Under a stressful situation, a lot of hair follicles are sent into the resting phase, making them stop growing.

After some months, there may be a falling off of a high volume of the hairs attached to the affected follicles. Telogen effluvium is the leading type of hair loss due to stress.

2. Alopecia Areata

The immune system attacks the hair and makes them fall off. This even happens in large chunks occasionally. Stress is suspected to be a major cause of this problem, though other factors are equally involved.

3. Trichotillomania

Stress, depression, boredom, anxiety or loneliness can sometimes cause people to begin to pluck out their own hairs as a way of coping with the stress.

Hairs are usually plucked from the head, eyebrows, eyelashes, and other parts of the body.

Read Also: Relationship Between Depression and Hair Loss

Causes of Hair Loss Due to Stress

Stress Induced Hair Loss
How To Regain Hair Loss From Stress

A lot of causes have been implicated as far as this challenge is concerned. Anything that produces stress capable of weighing the body down can bring about hair loss as well. Some of the causes, therefore, include the following:

1. Loss of a dear one: The loss of a dear one is a particularly stressful situation capable of releasing stressors that affect your body physiologically. According to McMichael, only these factors that cause your body some physiological stress are capable of leading to hair loss.

2. Abrupt weight loss: It has been noted that an abrupt weight loss of up to 15 pounds can trigger a physiological change in the body which eventually results in stress-related hair loss.

3. Nutritional deficiencies: This can either come from a failure to eat a well-balanced diet or by going on a strict low-calorie diet. Depriving the body of its essential nutrients leads to physiological stress that eventually results in stress-related hair loss.

4. Illnesses: Protracted illnesses, for example, can lead to physiological stress on the body. High fever also produces a similar effect on the system. When the system is overwhelmed by the fever, the body can react to the stress by losing some hairs.

5. Anemia: This is the reduction in blood volume or deficiency of hemoglobin and its oxygen-carrying capacity. When there is a shortage of oxygen supply, the cells are starved and they go through some distress. This eventually manifests in hair loss.

6. Thyroid disease: prolonged cases of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism also lead to hair loss. In these cases, the hair loss is diffuse throughout the scalp instead of affecting a selected portion.

Proper management of the thyroid disease brings about regrowth, though it takes some months for full recovery. Unfortunately, some drugs used in the management of thyroid problems are in themselves capable of causing hair loss.

7. Surgery: Some forms of surgery like the vertical gastroplasties give rise to the stomach’s inability to absorb certain nutrients. This gives rise to mineral and vitamin deficiencies which eventually lead to hair loss.

Read Also: Best Shampoo For Oily Hair And Dry Scalp

Apart from the surgery itself, it is believed that some of the anesthesia used for the surgery can also contribute to hair loss.

8. Hormonal imbalance due to pregnancy: The hormone estrogen is secreted in high quantity and causes the hair to remain in a growing phase during pregnancy.  But after pregnancy, its level drops to normal thereby allowing the hair to fall off and then return to the normal cycle.

This happens around the third month after pregnancy/delivery. But the situation is not serious enough as to cause a permanent balding.

How To Regain Hair Loss From Stress

reverse hair loss from stress

Hair loss due to stress can be salvaged by removing the stressor. Once this is effectively handled, things get back to normal within a short period of time.

So, below is how to regain hair loss from stress:

1. See Your Doctor

It is possible your hair loss might be something beyond stress. It is always better to see the doctor before commencing any treatment.

The doctor will prescribe some medications for you after running some tests and making the right diagnosis. If the hair loss is caused by something else, the causative factor would be rightly handled.

2. Get Adequate Rest/Sleep

Stress can be fought with adequate rest and sleep. Stop working round the clock.

Getting enough rest will help to reduce the amount of stress hormone discharged into your bloodstream. So, having 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night should help to take care of your stress.

3. Improve Physical Exercise

Exercise helps in improving blood circulation to the various parts of the body. Physical exercise leads to the release of endorphins (happiness hormone) which helps to create a feeling of calmness and relaxation.

This will assist in fighting off the stress and make your hair grow back to normal.

4. Change Your Medication

If your hair loss is traceable to the medications you are taking for other health conditions, it is time to change them and go for something with lesser side effects.

Some beta-blockers (anti-hypertensive), Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), Lithium (for the treatment of bipolar disorders), and Methotrexate (for rheumatic conditions) are known to cause baldness as a side effect. So, if they are responsible, they should be changed.

5. Improve Your Diet

Malnutrition and strict low-calorie diet are known to lead to hair loss. Therefore, to reverse the loss, you need to improve the quality of your diet. Add more protein to your diet to help to increase growth.

You can easily get protein from fish (like salmon, halibut and tuna), chicken, turkey, eggs, cheese, yogurt, milk, beef, pork, veal, tofu, and beans.

6. Increase Vitamins Intake

Increasing your vitamins is one of the ways to fight hair loss. The B vitamins are naturally helpful, and you can get them from meat, fish, non-citrus fruits, and starchy vegetables. Add vitamin A to your diet also.

But it shouldn’t exceed a daily intake of 5000 IU (for people above age four), as excessive vitamin A leads to hair loss.

Take Care of Your Hair To Reverse Hair Loss From Stress

Below are also the things you should always do in order to reverse hair loss from stress.

  • Use shampoos and conditioners that are suited to your hair. Oily hair needs light products and dry hair requires super-moisturizing products. Be sure, therefore, that you are applying the right shampoos to help preserve the quality of your hair
  • Don’t use hair products that contain too many chemicals. It is usually not the best thing to use shampoos that have parabens and sulfates. Instead, make use of shampoos that contain natural, organic constituents.
  • Use blow dryers with care. If you must use blow dryers and other heated instruments, make sure you set it to cool. This will minimize further damage to your hair and reduce more hair loss.
  • Avoid playing with your hair excessively. Do not twist, pull or break off split ends. Try also to avoid tying your hair too tightly (ponytails) as this can lead to traction alopecia. Keep the hair loose most of the time. Minimize brushing the hair too often.
  • You should not use color treatment on your hair too often as they are capable of causing dryness, damage and excessive processing of the hair.

What are the symptoms of hair loss due to stress? If you’re among the people that care to know about this, then we’ve got you covered right here and now.

Stress could go beyond what you see with the naked eyes and cause more harms than you bargained for. Why the symptoms of stress may be obvious in some cases, a lot is actually not; they can kill you slowly.

We have different ways of paying for stress, and they could come in the form of physical, mental, psychological or social illnesses.

Some of the ways stress manifests include hair loss, change in menstrual flow, physical weakness, poor appetite, loss of sleep, physical aggression, loss of weight, loss of concentration, poor academic performance, and lots more

But what exactly are the symptoms of hair loss due to stress? When hair loss is caused by stress, it manifests in different ways. Some of them could be gradual or rapid depending on the level of stress and the individuals stress tolerance level.

Symptoms of Hair Loss Due to Stress

What Are The Symptoms Of Hair Loss Due To Stress?

Some of the common symptoms of hair loss due to stress or anxiety include the following:

  • You observe a thinning of your hair
  • You observe the appearance of some bald spots
  • You observe that your hairs are falling out in clumps
  • You have the fear that your anxiety is making you go bald
  • It appears that you are losing hair on your head as well as other spots on your body
  • It seems that you are going bald
  • You observe more hair appearing in your brush, comb or even your shower or bathtub
  • It seems your hair is falling out or thinning excessively

Apart from those above, there could also be other things you notice that could almost immediately convince you that your stress is contributing to the hair loss being experienced.

You could notice an increase in the amount of hair that comes out while brushing or combing your hair. It could also be that when you rub or wash your skin, clumps of hair come out at a time.

Besides, you may sometimes notice hair loss on several areas of the head, in one area of the head, or on the entire head. Hair loss may also occur on any part of the body.

Loss of hair may change from moment to moment and/or from day to day

Loss of hair may precede, follow or accompany an incident of elevated stress, anxiety, nervousness, and fear. It could also come suddenly and for no apparent reason.

Hair loss can come and then go slowly, come recurrently, or remain forever. For instance, you could have a loss of hair, thinning, and balding periodically, or have it off and on, or have a loss of hair all the time.

The amount of hair loss could vary from slight to moderate, to severe. It can be mild, moderate or great.

It is widespread to have all of the above combinations and variations.

Telogen Effluvium

Hair follicles naturally pass through a regular hair growth cycle. Usually, about 90% of the human hair keeps growing while the rest 10% goes through the telogen or resting phase.

During this resting phase, the hair shafts are shed to create a space for the next cycle of hair growth. During this period, one can shed from 50 to 100 hairs daily.

Unfortunately, some people feel they are losing hair due to stress when in actual sense they are passing through the telogen or resting phase.

However, when the body passes through acute stress or is severely damaged, the natural cycle could be interrupted, thereby forcing plenty of follicles to instantaneously go into the telogen effluvium phase, leading to the falling off of a large number of hairs.

Factors that can set off the telogen effluvium include physical trauma such as burn injury, surgery or car accident. During periods of emotional stress, like following the loss of a dear one, divorce, loss of a job, or loss of valuable property, some persons may suffer from highly elevated blood pressure or may even starve for days.

This could cause the body a whole lot of stress. This is why, just like physical stress, severe mental stress can cause telogen effluvium.

During periods of emotional stress, like following the loss of a dear one, divorce, loss of a job, or loss of valuable property, some persons may suffer from highly elevated blood pressure or may even starve for days.

This could cause the body a whole lot of stress. This is why, just like physical stress, severe mental stress can cause telogen effluvium.

Going through telogen effluvium related to stress can, therefore, result in the symptoms above. But the good news about telogen effluvium is that the condition takes care of itself, and the hair growth comes back to normal once the stress has been removed.

In that case, the symptoms of hair loss due to stress may not last for a long time – a sign to note.

However, more severe mental health conditions can produce a longer effect on hair loss. One of such mental health conditions is known as Trichotillomania. It involves the recurrent, alluring strong desire to pull out hair from the eyebrows, scalp, or any other body part, even though the patient tries to stop.

Some of the symptoms of Trichotillomania include:

  • Patchy bald spots
  • Permanent impairment in the scalp’s ability to produce new hairs
  • Variable symptoms
  • Symptoms may come and go for weeks, months or years at a time

Conclusion

Stress is a killer, and it has the power to disrupt the normal functioning of any part or organ of the body if not properly checked on time. Just as it is able to cause any part of the body to function abnormally, so also it is able to produce some noticeable symptoms of hair loss.

It is good to look out for these signs and do all you can to take away the stress as soon as you can. Do not wait until your hair is destroyed before acting. Take action now and stop that hair loss.

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