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Can Stress Lead To Hair Loss

Stress And Female Hair Loss: What You Need To Know

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Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Feeling stressed? According to data from the American Psychological Association, Americans are feeling more stressed than ever.

Stress can originate from a variety of sources. A difficult personal life, challenging job or tough financial situation can all cause and worsen stress, lead to symptoms ranging from insomnia and fatigue to headaches, aches, pains and a weakened immune system. Hopefully, you are doing all you can to overcome stress by engaging with essential wellness resources. Managing stress is different for everyone so be patient with yourself as you find what works for you.

Physical stress is one of several factors that can contribute to hair certain types of hair loss. If youre feeling overly stressed, its possible that you might notice your hair starting to fall out and thin, even if youre not genetically prone to female hair loss.

Below, weve explained how stress can affect your hair health, as well as what you can do to treat hair loss from stress. Weve also listed other potential causes of hair loss in women that are easy to mistake for stress-induced hair loss.

Can Stress Make Your Hair Fall Out

Stress is part of our everyday lives. Traffic jams, bills, chauffeuring the kids, impressing a client, the list goes on and on. Day-to-day stress may make you feel like youre losing your mind, but can it cause you to lose your hair?

The answer is that certain types of stress can cause hair loss. While being late for work or getting a speeding ticket will not result in your hair falling out the next day, hair loss is related to prolonged stress that results in physiological changes. Here are some facts you should know.

There are three types of hair loss experts say may be associated with high stress levels:

Telogen effluvium

Telogen effluvium is a common reason for hair loss. This condition occurs when significant stress or a shock to the body pushes large numbers of hair follicles into the a resting phase of growth. Within a few months of the stressful or shocking event, the impacted hairs may fall out suddenly when simply combing or washing your hair. The main reasons for telogen effluvium include:

Childbirth

Women may experience TE due to the sudden changes in hormones after giving birth. There may be some shedding, but hair loss is typically short lived and most women will see their hair grow back to its normal fullness in a few months. This is also commonly referred to as postpartum alopecia.

Restrictive Diets

Chronic Stress or Illness

Sudden Shock or Trauma

Trichotillomania

Alopecia Areata

How Anxiety Can Cause Hair Loss

Anxiety is the bodys reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar situations. Though everyone feels anxious occasionally, those who suffer from anxiety disorders suffer such distress that it interferes with their ability to lead a normal life.

The effects of anxiety are both mental and physical. Some of the physical symptoms can include sweating, headaches, nausea, trembling, and rashes. Anxiety and hair loss is one physical side effect that is not so commonly mentioned. Most people dont think anxiety affects the hair because it doesnt affect everyone. However, anxiety can have an effect on your hair and when it does, it can be very distressing for those dealing with sudden hair loss.

Also Check: Why Is My Hair Thinning At The Crown Female

How Stress And Anxiety Are Linked To Hair Loss

Hair loss itself is not directly caused by anxiety, but rather the stress brought on by everyday difficulties for those suffering from anxiety. Anxiety and stress are similar conditions, but anxiety itself can be a lifelong struggle. Studies have shown that stress and anxiety-induced stress can contribute to specific hair loss conditions.

Alopecia Areata. Large clumps of hair may suddenly fall out for no apparent reason, causing patches of hair loss. Some people may experience hair loss in other parts of the body. Although the hair will grow back, continued anxiety and stress can cause the hair loss to continue leading to different patches of hair and baldness.

Telogen Effluvium . This is the second most common form of hair loss. In essence, it occurs when there is a change in the number of hair follicles growing hair. The number of hair follicles producing hair will drop, which means an increase in dormant hair follicles, with the end result being hair loss. TE can appear as thinning hair with the hair on the top of the scalp thinning more than the sides or back of the scalp.

Check The Health Of Your Scalp

Can Stress Lead To Hair Loss

A healthy scalp can solve a lot of your stress-related hair concerns. When you are concerned about hair loss due to stress, do not try harsh products with sulphates. Opt for hair products that will prevent stress-related hair loss.

Try the Keracare Repair Combo consisting of the Keracare Repair Shampoo and Mask to gently cleanse and restore the strength of your stressed hair.

Usage Recommendation:

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Losing Hair From Stress What You Should Know About Hair Loss And Chronic Stress

If youre finding more strands of hair than usual on your pillowcase and in the shower drain, you may be wondering if anxiety is to blame.

Youve probably heard about a possible link between stress and hair loss, but is there any truth to that claim? Whether youre feeling frazzled by work or are overwhelmed by emotional events such as divorce or a death in the family, its natural to feel concerned about how stress can affect your body. Heres what you should know about stress and hair loss.

Will It Grow Back

In most cases, thankfully, yes. Telogen effluvium is often a temporary thing, Rieder says. The vast majority of cases will resolve within a few months purely on their own. In the case of alopecia areata, says Wechsler, steroid injections are often prescribed. The effects of the injection typically last a month, and then Ill bring a patient back in for another roundit usually takes several, she explains. In both conditions, topical minoxidil, a commonly used hair loss medication, probably wont do a thing. So pass on the Rogaine.

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How Extreme Stress Causes Hair Loss

Stress levels are high, and for some, that could mean less hair on your head.

Indeed, science supports the notion that significant emotional stress may be linked to at least one type of hair loss: telogen effluvium. Here is what you need to know about this common type of stress-induced hair loss.

Excess hair shedding may be a sign of telogen effluvium.

Getty

The Relationship Between Stress And The Hair Cycle

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There are about 100,000 Hair follicle on the adult scalp . Each hair follicle constantly alternates between growth and rest. Most of these hair follicles are in the growth phase at some point. When the hair follicle enters telogen or the resting phase, the hair is shed. During an episode of telogen effluvium, a trigger causes a sudden, abnormal shift of hair into the telogen phase all at once. One possible trigger for this sudden shift? Significant emotional stress.

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How Hormone Imbalance Leads To Thinning Hair

Women have 40% fewer androgen receptors than men do. So, while female hair thinning patterns tend to be different from menâs, DHT can still cause hair to grow thinner and less densely.

Women have 40% fewer androgen receptors than men do. So, while female hair thinning patterns tend to be different from menâs, DHT can still cause hair to grow thinner and less densely.

Women often see changes in their hairline or a widening part. You may also experience acne, unwanted facial hair growth, or irregular periods.

DHT is an androgen hormone thatâs responsible for the development of male traits. Women have a much lower level of it than men, but DHT can become elevated in women due to triggers like stress, glucose metabolism, and hormonal changes in motherhood. Itâs also produced in the scalp and causes the hair follicle to slowly shrink and eventually close entirely so that hair can no longer grow back. DHT sensitivity can also be caused by aging, smoking, medications, poor diet, and environmental toxins.

Saw Palmetto, Pumpkin Seed, Stinging Nettle, and African Cherry help to support healthy hormones and prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT, which are critical for hair growth.

Initial Signs Hair Loss

The early signs of male pattern baldness are as follows:

Noticeable change in your hairline

Male pattern baldness generally begins in the hairline, when you notice that your mildly receded hairline has turned into a more obvious M-shaped hairline. For most men this begins around the temples and the crown and often starts with thinning rather than total hair loss.

Noticeable thinning of your hair

Not all men experience baldness in their hairline. Some men experience what is defined as diffuse thinning a type of hair loss that either affects the entire scalp or specific areas like the crown that results in hair loss that starts from the back or top, rather than from the hairline.

Excessive hair loss after showering or brushing

On average, people lose round 50-100 hairs a day, meaning that the five to 10 hairs you notice between your hands after shampooing aren’t anything to be concerned about. However, if you start noticing an excessive amount of hair falling out throughout the day, then there is a risk that it could be the result of male pattern baldness.

In general the early signs of hair loss show up in the following ways

Gradual thinning of the hair on the head

Receding hairline that becomes more visible with each passing year

For women, the first noticeable sign of hair loss is often a widening part or less fullness to their ponytail.

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Drug Therapy For Stress

Where stress and anxiety is the cause of hair loss it is appropriate to consider anxiety and stress-related drugs.

There are many types of drug therapy that may be considered when treating stress or anxiety, they are chosen by the doctor according to how the sufferer is experiencing symptoms.

For instance, if you are having difficulties sleeping, the doctor may prescribe sleeping pills and if you are feeling depressed, they may prescribe antidepressants.

This is an area of psychological medicine that requires expert advice and so sufferers must consult a doctor in the first instant.

Treatment For Hair Loss

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In instances where there is no regrowth, or hair doesnt grow back fully, a few different treatments are available.

Thinning caused by telogen effluvium may be treated with a medication called minoxidil this is a topical treatment applied directly to the scalp.

For alopecia areata, there are a range of treatments available. Some of these treatments might be prescibed by your GP but most are only prescribed by dermatologists including:

  • Steroid creams, lotions, tablets or injections
  • Dithranol
  • Immunotherapy

For a detailed guide to treatments for alopecia areata, consult this page on the Alopecia UK website.

Because trichotillomania is often related to anxiety or OCD , the most effective treatment is thought to be psychological therapy, for example CBT . If you think you might have trichotillomania, please discuss this with your GP.

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How Stress Can Lead To Hair Loss

You may have heard that stress can cause hair loss, and its true. While the first two causes of hair loss are genetically programmed, hair loss due to stress is environmentally caused and may be more easily controlled if the stress can be managed.

Excessive physical or emotional stresslike that associated with injury, illness, or surgerycan cause one of two types of hair loss:

  • Alopecia areata: This stress-induced hair loss involves a white blood cell attack on the hair follicles. With this type of hair loss, the hair also falls out within weeks , but can involve the entire scalp and even body hair. Hair may grow back on its own, but treatment may also be required.
  • Telogen effluvium: With this more common and less severe type of hair loss, the hair stops growing and lies dormant, only to fall out 2 or 3 months later. Then it grows back within 6 to 9 months.

Best Ways To Prevent Hair Problems From Stress

If you try some of these tips youll see improvements in the health and fullness of your hair. Remember that hair growth takes time and that there are many causes that are more likely than stress for hair problems.

The best way to prevent hair loss due to stress is to try to reduce stress is by being healthy, eating a good diet, exercising regularly, and making sure you take time to relax and distress.

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Hair Loss Due To Stress Will It Grow Back

The good news is that hair loss induced by stress is mostly temporary, and the hair tends to grow back once the stress levels are under control. The correct treatment options, combined with relaxation techniques and a healthy, balanced diet, are the best way to address stress and get it under control. This will not only impact your overall well-being but will also help grow your hair back!

So What Can I Do About Stress

Stress cause hair loss: Is stress can cause hair loss?

Of course, one of the best ways to address stress-induced hair loss is to deal with your stress. That means finding the stress management techniques that work for youand making them part of your regular self-care routine. I typically recommend deep abdominal breathing, yoga, Pilates, meditation and even ASMR, says Rieder. All can be very helpful.

So take a deep breath, relax, and chill outyour hair will thank you.

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Is Hair Loss Normal

We all lose hair. Some hair loss is perfectly normal, as hair falls out after it completes the 2 to 6 year growth phase. You may notice loose hairs that have fallen out on your clothes or in your comb or hairbrush. The average person loses about 50 to 100 hairs per day. This is normal. What is not normal? Excessive hair loss in women may be apparent by the following: If your hair starts to fall out in clumps, especially when you brush or comb it or are in the shower, you should see your doctor. If you notice that you can see larger areas of your scalp or that your hair is thinning, see your dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment of your hair loss condition.

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