Effect of Stress on Hair Loss

Stress is a situation that is essential for one’s own survival. It triggers certain chemicals to prepare the body for the dangers and difficulties ahead. But sometimes stress lasts longer. If the stress levels are unstable then you might face some health issues.

There might be a number of reasons why you are losing your hair and stress can be one of them. If you are experiencing emotional stress or anxiety you may temporarily lose your hair. It takes about 3 months for hair loss to begin once you enter such a stressful period. Once this period is over your hair starts to grow back a few months after, provided that there isn’t any other underlying cause for your hair loss.

The reason why stress causes hair loss is that stress initially causes your body to produce certain hormones in order to adapt to your condition. If the stress is long-termed, these excessive, and in most times unneeded, hormones cause your hair follicles to go into a “resting stage”, which will last as long as your stress levels continue to be high.

Types of Hair Loss That Are Related to Excessive Stress

Stress-related hair loss can be seen in three different types. These types are as follows:

  • Telogen effluvium: In telogen effluvium, excessive stress levels cause hair follicles to go into the “resting stage”. Hair will fall out in large numbers for about three or four months. Once the stress levels go back to normal, the hair will start growing back in the following 6-9 months.
  • Alopecia areata: There might be a number of different reasons to cause this condition, however excessive stress is one of them. In alopecia areata, the body’s immune system doesn’t recognize the hair follicles and it attacks them. This results in gaps to occur in the scalp. The reason why its area of effect is only partial is unknown.
  • Trichotillomania: Trichotillomania is a psychological illness that causes people to unknowingly pull out the hair from their scalp, eyebrows, beard or other areas. It generally occurs before puberty. Pulling out the hair is considered as a way to deal with the excessive stress levels.

How to Treat Stress Related Hair Loss

Keeping your stress levels under control ceases the excessive stress-related hair loss. Getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, eating healthily, exercising regularly, practising meditation all help you keep your stress levels low. Try not to panic. This period you are experiencing is only temporary and your hair loss can be completely reversed.

In some cases, the cause of hair loss can be mistakenly thought as excessive stress. But other factors such as seasonal changes can also cause hair loss. Always consult with your doctor in order to properly understand the cause of your hair loss and follow your doctor’s advice.