The Relationship Between Stress and Hair Loss

Stress and Hair Loss

You likely already know that the main cause of hair loss is baldness, but did you know that stress alone can also cause hair loss? You might not see how stress and hair loss can connect, but they are more connected than you might expect. 

Hair loss can be a frustrating problem to deal with for both men and women. Luckily, however, there are a few things you can do to handle and treat your hair loss. In this article, we will explore hair loss causes, how stress and anxiety can worsen hair loss, and hair loss treatments. 

By the end of this article, you should be on your way to solving your hair loss problems. First, let’s take a closer look at how stress can cause hair loss in the first place. 

The Connection between Stress and Hair Loss

There are actually three different types of hair loss that are associated with stress: telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, and trichotillomania. While each of these types can all cause hair loss, they are each unique in their own ways. Telogen effluvium is more common than you might expect, but what is good about it is that it is only a temporary rather than a permanent form of hair loss.

More often than not, telogen effluvium can occur in those, often women, who have recently experienced some kind of traumatic or very stressful event. Telogen effluvium can be quite shocking to those who have never had it before. This is because this condition can cause large chunks of hair to fall out without warning. 

Most of the hair that you lose when you have telogen effluvium is from the top of the scalp, rather than from other parts of the head or body. Most people who have telogen effluvium do not lose all of their hair. However, they may lose large amounts of hair that renders their hair very thin overall.

This kind of hair loss happens because there is some kind of disruption in the life cycle of your hair. The life cycle of a strand of hair consists of three phases: the anagen, catagen, and telogen phases. The anagen phase is also known as the growing phase. 

With telogen effluvium, the anagen phase slows down. Because of this, you have very few new hairs growing in and the hairs you have already will grow old and start to fall out. Because there are no more hairs to replace the lost hairs, your amount of hair will start to decrease.

Alopecia Areata and Trichotillomania

Alopecia areata and trichotillomania are the other two types of hair loss associated with stress. Alopecia areata is an unusual condition in which your body’s immune system would start to attack its own hair follicles. This leads to large bald patches. 

Trichotillomania, on the other hand, is the urge to pull out your own hair. This is considered a nervous disorder and people feel calmer once they pull out their own hair. Besides the hair on the head, people with trichotillomania may also try to pull out their eyebrows and eyelashes. 

What Kind of Stress Can Trigger Hair Loss?

The term “stress” can be very vague. What kind of stress might be severe enough to trigger hair loss? The answer is that almost any kind of stress, especially prolonged stress, can cause hair loss. 

The stress doesn’t always have to be mental. Physical stress may also cause hair loss, especially telogen effluvium. In particular, you may have heard of post-partum telogen effluvium. 

This condition can occur after a woman gives birth. While pregnant, a woman’s body goes through various and often drastic fluctuations in different hormones. What many women don’t know is that even after birth, these hormonal changes continue for around 3 to 6 months. 

Because of this, many women find that their hair will thin out after giving birth. This is because giving birth can be considered a traumatic event to the body. In the same vein, menopause can also be very traumatic to the body due to the drop in various female hormones. 

Many women who go through menopause experience telogen effluvium. Hair loss can also occur even if there are no hormonal fluctuations involved. For example, your body may be shocked when you suddenly gain or lose a lot of weight. 

Poor diet and certain medications may have something to do with certain forms of hair loss as well. And, of course, certain medical conditions may predispose you to hair loss. But what can you do about hair loss associated with stress?

Hair Loss Treatments

Luckily, there are many treatment options for hair loss associated with stress. The main thing you should do is start handling stress in a healthy way. By managing stress, you won’t worsen your hair loss, and you can fix the problem more quickly. 

By learning how to control your stress and by keeping yourself calm, your hair loss problem should slowly start to diminish. Over time, your hair should grow back. But what should you do if your hair isn’t growing back as you expected?

There are other treatment options, including medications, that you can try. Some people may try hormone replacement therapies, while others prefer to try medications such as Tricovel. Whatever the case, hair loss associated with stress is usually temporary and can eventually be fixed.

What You Need to Know About Hair Loss and Stress

By the end of this article, you should know all about the connection between stress and hair loss. There are various types of hair loss associated with stress, but you can usually treat them in various ways without much of a problem. 

To learn more about hair loss treatments, don’t hesitate to contact us here.