Lifestyle

Can stress cause hair loss?

By Alex

We all know that stress is bad for your body and for your state of mind, but it is also bad for your hair. Stress can cause different types of hair loss that can affect both men and women at any stage of life.

How does stress cause hair loss?

Stress comes with everyday life; however it comes in different levels. When we feel stressed our body takes a ‘fight or flight’ response which allows the body to feel ready and take action. This triggers the body to release hormones which send cortisol, noradrenalin and adrenalin into the blood stream to make the body more alert and take action.

In many stressful situations we cannot instantly solve the problem, so the chemicals build up in our body’s bloodstream, causing constant stress. The higher levels of the stress related chemicals can affect both the hair follicles and the scalp, leading to hair loss.

Types of hair loss

There are different types of stress related hair loss, with some conditions being more severe than others and possibly requiring medical attention.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen Effluvium is the most common form of stress related hair loss. This condition is not permanent and hair does not start to fall out straight away. Firstly stress pushes the hair follicles into a resting phase, and the hair stops growing. The hair can then lie dormant for around 3 months and then begin to fall out.

With telogen effluvium the hair will begin to grow back during the following 6 to 9 months.

Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is a condition linked with stress; however stress is not the primary course. Trichotillomania is a condition where a person feels compelled to pull their hair out; they can pull hair out from the head, eyebrows or eyelashes.

Trichotillomania is sometimes a way of relieving stress or anxiety.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata is another stress related condition that can cause hair loss. This occurs when white blood cells attack hair follicles, causing rapid hair loss. With Alopecia Areata the hair usually falls out in patches, however within a few weeks the whole head can be affected.

In some cases of Alopecia Areata body hair can begin to fall out. With this condition the hair usually grows back however this is not always the case and treatment may be required.

If you believe you are experiencing stress related hair loss we can offer you advice on hair loss, as well as different treatment options.

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