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How To Stop Stressing About Hair Loss

Follow The Mediterranean Diet

Stress can cause hair loss: Here’s what you can do to stop it

Eating fruits, vegetables and protein the main ingredients in the Mediterranean diet can be helpful, especially compared to other trendy diets.

When you go on these restrictive diets, you may lose weight but its probably something you cant maintain, says Dr. Bergfeld. And theyre usually lacking in something that your hair follicles need.

Different Types Of Stress And Anxiety

  • Telogen Effluvium This is a condition which cuts the growth phase of hair follicles and forces the hair into resting state or shedding state, due to hormonal changes or an imbalance. Over the following months, these hair shafts shed from daily wear and tear . It is a reaction to various stressors like I Endocrine Childbirth, miscarriage, abortion, thyroid problem, estrogen containing drugsII Stressful events Illness, surgery, trauma, acute psychological stressIII Nutritional causes Rapid weight loss, iron deficiency, protein deprivation, or excess consumption of vitamin AIV Medications retinoids, cholesterol lowering drugs, anticoagulants, etc.V Inflammatory Scalp Disease Seborrheic dermatitis, erythroderma
  • Trichotillomania It is a kind of pressure alopecia. A compulsive reaction to stress, people affected by trichotillomania tend to cope with stress by pulling hair from the scalp or other parts of the body. The individual uses pain substitution from hair pulling, to deal with a stressful event or lifestyle. Typically, other mental health issues can also be diagnosed in conjunction with this condition.
  • Alopecia Areata This condition arises when the immune system of an individual is compromised. It targets hair follicles and attacks them due to chemical imbalances brought by stressful encounters. This is classified as an autoimmune hair disorder.
  • Must Read: What Are The Causes Of Hair Loss In Teenagers?

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    See A Therapist And Treat Depression

    Because hair loss may trigger sadness, anger and depression, your dermatologist may refer you to another expert. Well often recommend that a patient see a counselor or mental health professional if theyre suffering from extreme stress, says Rajani Katta, MD.

    Shes a dermatologist who works as part of the voluntary clinical faculty for Baylor College of Medicine and the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas at Houston. Talking to a mental health expert can also help you cope with the instinct to isolate, which can worsen stress.

    Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can also be an option for treating depression or anxiety associated with hair loss. But be aware that some antidepressants also come with a slight risk of hair loss as well. Be sure to provide a full medical history to the prescribing doctor before starting any medication.

    Ready to connect with a virtual therapist? Optums network of licensed mental health professionals is ready to help. Start your free assessment.

    Preventing Hair Loss After Pregnancy

    Hair Loss and Stress And How To Deal With It

    Women undergo massive hormonal changes during pregnancy and immediately after delivery. In addition, women also experience dehydration, stress, and plummeting estrogen levels while their body adjusts to post-delivery life. Among these, hair loss is one of the most commonly experienced issues. However, as the body recovers, the condition resolves within a year post-pregnancy.

    Women must continue their prenatal vitamins to prevent hair loss and increase hair thickness. These vitamins make up for the lost nutrients and treat hair loss. Furthermore, try being more gentle with your hair. Avoid tying it up tightly and using hair sprays or chemical treatments that may damage hair and cause excessive hair loss. Instead, eat a diet rich in nutritive value that helps slow hair loss. Moreover, avoid using hair appliances such as curlers, blow-dryers, and straighteners without using a protective serum. Additionally, use mild shampoos and hair oil to increase hair thickness.

    Recommended Reading: What Do I Do If My Hair Is Thinning

    What About Haircare And Styling Products

    Because of the fleeting nature of the conditions described above, both Rieder and Wechsler insist there arent necessarily any products that you cant use if youre experiencing stress-induced thinning. Theres no reason you shouldnt be able to style and color as you normally would, says Wechsler. The only thing Id try to steer clear of are hairstyles that may pull at the hair and damage the follicles, like tight ponytails or braids.

    Of course, creating the right scalp environment for hair health can help, too. That could mean using a calming shampoo or a CBD hair oil that can nourish and pamper follicles. And it should be an essential part of your routine. A lot of my patients with hair loss get so worried that they dont wash their hair as often, Wechsler adds. And thats definitely not the best thing to do.

    What Are The Natural Methods Of Preventing Hair Loss

    Natural remedies often suffice for treating stress-related or nutrient-deficient hair loss. This is because these conditions are temporary. Some natural methods to stop hair fall include regular hair masks, following a Mediterranean diet, and eating fresh vegetables to decrease hair loss. In addition, the application of coconut oil, pumpkin seed oil, essential oil, or rosemary oil helps regrow hair. Some hair masks include onion juice, a mixture of curd, lemon, banana, and coconut oil.

    Also Check: What Chemical In Shampoo Causes Hair Loss

    How Stress Disrupts Hair Growth

    Hair normally grows in a healthy cyclical pattern with hair follicles cycling through four distinct phases:

    1. Active growth or anagen2. Transition or catagen3. Resting or telogen4. Returning growth or mesanagen

    When youre under a great deal of stress, this normal pattern of hair growth may become disrupted. Stress can block active growth and force more follicles to remain in the resting phase. When growth is stalled, hair becomes weak and thin, eventually breaking off. An imbalance in the hair growth cycle isnt hard to miss: you see much more hair on your hairbrush and thinning hair on the scalp. When a large group of follicles all turn off in one place, bald spots may appear. Most of the time this occurs slowly, but in some cases it can happen all at once, causing a clump of hair to fall out.

    The negative effects of stress on hair growth has long been known. The process by which stress influences hair loss, however, has remained a mystery until now.

    Switch Up Your Hairstyle

    Can Stress Cause Hair Loss? | Hair Loss Expert Dr. Phipps

    Certain hairstyles can help camouflage hair loss and make you feel more confident with the hair you have. A short cut can be a good option, since hair can look fuller when its shorter. If your hair loss is caused by traction continually pulling on the hair at the roots changing your hairstyle can give the area time to recover.

    A stylist can help recommend volumizers that make hair appear thicker, give you hairstyle options and help with extensions, says Dr. Cotell.

    Whatever the cause of your hair loss, acting early and finding the right support will help not only whats growing on your head but also whats going on inside it.

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    Clinical Types Of Stress Hair Loss For Women

    Hair thinning from stress happens to many people. You may just feel like your hair isnt as thick as it used to be, especially since youve been crumbling under the pressures of everyday stress. But there are some actual conditions that affect the hair follicles, causing hair to fall out much more than normal. Knowing the difference between the various medical conditions is crucial, so here is some background.

    • Telogen effluvium is a condition that makes hair rush through its natural growth cycle, according to American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Stress causes hair to be pushed into the resting cycle, meaning less growth. When things go back to normal, the hairs get pushed out. It looks like handfuls of hair, but this is actually a sign of regrowth. It typically affects women 30 to 60 years of age and starts suddenly. It has a tendency to fluctuate for a period of years. This condition does not cause baldness.
    • Alopecia actually means hair loss. This form of female pattern baldness can happen due to severe stress. However, there is little evidence that alopecia is stress-related. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes hair to fall out in round patches, according to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.

    Photo Credit: Unsplash

    Common Symptoms Of Stress

    If youre experiencing hair loss due to stress, youll usually notice the classic symptoms of hair loss:

    • Extra hairs on your pillowcase and bedding

    • More stray hairs on your shower or bathroom floor

    • Lots of stray hairs in your shower drain catch

    • Less density and a thin look to your hair, especially under bright light

    Hair loss is often subtle, meaning you might not notice it day to day until you look at yourself in a mirror or see your hair in a photograph.

    If youre worried that you might have hair loss due to stress, it may help to take regular photos of your hair to track any changes in thickness over time.

    You can also try counting the hairs that you lose. Its normal to lose about 100 hairs per day. If you have telogen effluvium, you may lose an average of about 300, making it easy to detect a change in your hair shedding.

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    Whats At The Root Of Stress

    The culprit is cortisol, the bodys main stress hormone. When too much cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands, as it can be when the body is in state of chronic stress, the dysregulated hormone is powerful enough to disrupt cell signaling in hair follicles.

    This happens, some researchers say, because high cortisol levels trigger an excess of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and its these cytokine molecules that prevent the hair growth cycle from moving from the telogen/resting phase to the anagen/growth phase. Cytokines may also disrupt follicular melanocytes, the part of the follicle that produces hair pigment, helping to explain why stress seems to hasten the appearance of gray hair.

    In one recent study on mice, researchers pinpointed signaling receptors on hair-follicle stem cells that are influenced by cortisol. Researchers observed that when mice had low levels of corticosterone, the animal version of the stress hormone cortisol, hair/coat growth was abundant. In mice with high levels of corticosterone, hair growth stopped and shedding increased.

    How To Identify Stress

    If you have stress related hair loss. you definitely want to know how ...

    Telogen effluvium usually causes diffuse thinning, a type of hair loss that affects your entire scalp. If you have telogen effluvium, your hair will normally look thinner and less dense than normal, especially under bright light.

    Normally, telogen effluvium doesnt cause a receding hairline, crown hair loss or other common symptoms of androgenetic alopecia . It also usually doesnt cause patches of hair loss, which are a common symptom of alopecia areata .

    How much hair loss is normal in the shower? Its normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs every day. Diagnosis of telogen effluvium is usually made if you shed more than 100 hairs daily, or if you dont quickly regrow the hairs you lose as a result of stress-induced hair loss.

    Stress-induced hair loss can usually be identified by looking at the hairs you lose. Since the hair loss from telogen effluvium occurs during the telogen phase, many of the hairs you lose should have a small, white bulb at the root.

    If youre worried that you might have telogen effluvium, the best option is to schedule a meeting with your healthcare provider. Theyll be able to identify and diagnose the type of hair loss youre experiencing, making it easier to choose an effective treatment.

    Recommended Reading: Can Dry Shampoo Cause Hair Loss

    Final Words: When To See A Doctor

    So does hair grow back after stress? As long as stress was the only cause of your hair loss, theres a good chance that your hair will start filling in again after the stressor is gone.

    Losing your hair is stressful in and of itself, so your top priority should be to stay calm.

    There are treatments for hair loss from stress, but keep the other solutions in mind. You can have a full head of healthy hair again. See a doctor if the more natural treatments arent effective for you.

    At UPGUYS, we have solutions for hair loss and more. Get a quick consult today to get started.

    Disclaimer

    Can Hair Loss Be Reversed

    Yes and no. It depends on what type of hair loss youre experiencing.

    Some types, like cicatricial alopecia, are permanent, while others that may be caused by stress or a medical condition are temporary. Once the cause has been identified and eliminated, your hair should start growing back.

    Generally speaking, if the trigger goes away or whatever caused the injury to the hair follicle, then the hair will recover over a period of four to six months to a year, says Dr. Bergfeld.

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    Ways To Treat Hair Loss

    Whether its mindfully focusing on your breath or meditating for 10 minutes, do what you can to take the edge off any stress you might be feeling. I advise doing some breathing exercises in bed before you go to sleep and when you wake up. Inhale for a couple of seconds, then out for a couple of seconds to try and relax your mind, says Dr Ahmed. Apps like Headspace and Calm can help guide you through effective breath techniques and meditation sessions, too.

    Environment is a really big thing, explains Dr Ahmed. We know that noisy, dirty, polluted environments dont help your mental health, and since many of us are now working from home, its important to create a positive environment to exist in. Turn an area into your own personal working-from-home space, and include the things you like. Make it smell nice, use different textures theres a lot of research into how different textures can impact our mood. For example, sit on a soft cushion, or have something close by to touch.

    Scalp massage help boosts blood flow to the area and can stimulate hair follicles, and therefore hair growth. Use a hair oil, or Redkens Cerafill Retaliate Stemoxydine Hair Thickening Treatment it helps cleanse the scalp while stimulating blood flow.

    Also Check: What To Do When You Feel Stressed

    Learn About Your Treatment Options

    Tips for EXTREME HAIR LOSS from STRESS Dr Dray

    Your doctor will be able to outline appropriate treatment options based on the diagnosis. Ive seen that getting a diagnosis helps patients to feel more in control and empowered to take action with treatment options, says Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD. She is an assistant clinical professor ofdermatology at Yale New Haven Hospital.

    Even before getting a diagnosis, it can help to read up on the many ways that hair loss can be treated or resolved. For example, some hair loss can be caused by a stressful event such as the death of a loved one or even pregnancy and will resolve on its own.

    Many cases of hair loss are genetic and respond well to topical medications. If your hair loss is being caused by inflammation or an infection, addressing those issues can slow or stop the loss.

    Also Check: Why Is My Hair So Thin Male

    How Can I Stop My Hair From Falling Out Due To Stress

    Sometimes stress can overwhelm you without realizing it. Losing more hair than usual can be a sign that you are stressed, even if you are not aware of it at the time. Ask yourself:

    Are you much busier than usual?

    Is there a lot you have to do?

    Do you have problems in your personal life?

    If you say yes, stress can be one of the causes of your hair loss. Pressure can be a significant factor in hair loss, especially if your anxiety is very strong or durable.Try to deal with anything that puts you under pressure first. Within a few months, your hair will return to normal and break.

    Sometimes emotional or physical stress can cause hair loss, which is a severe problem for most people, and they want to reverse it over. However, because of the long hair growth cycle, people often lose their hair weeks or months after a stressful event, and hair loss can then last for several months. Fortunately, hair usually grows on its own after the stress is relieved. However, you can take several steps to support this process. By reducing stress and treating your hair correctly, you can reduce the effects of hair loss.

    There are many things you can do to slow down or stop hair loss. But what you do depends on the stress. Some situations, such as hair loss after pregnancy , can be overcome by yourself. And remember, all sheds hair every day, which is entirely reasonable.

    Why Can stress Cause Hair Fall?

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    Hair Loss From Stress Vs Male Pattern Baldness

    There are several major differences between telogen effluvium and hair loss from male pattern baldness:

    • First, hair loss from male pattern baldness is typically permanent. In contrast, almost all of the hair you lose from telogen effluvium will grow back, provided the primary cause of the telogen effluvium is treated.

    • Second, hair loss from male pattern baldness looks different from hair loss thats triggered by stress. Male pattern baldness typically causes a receding hairline, balding on the crown or other baldness patterns. Telogen effluvium causes diffuse thinning on the entire scalp.

    • Third, telogen effluvium is not related to androgen hormones such as DHT. This means that some treatments for male pattern baldness, such as finasteride, arent effective as treatments for stress-related hair loss.

    • Fifth, If your hair loss is caused by stress, you may also lose body hair. Telogen effluvium hair loss the type of hair loss linked to stress typically affects your scalp and may appear as patchy hair loss. However, it can also cause you to shed more body hairor notice less hair on your body than you normally would.

    If youre starting to lose your hair and arent sure whether its caused by stress or male pattern baldness, its best to talk to a healthcare professional.

    Most dermatologists can diagnose telogen effluvium using one or several tests, including a hair pull test.

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