Sunday, December 4, 2022

Can Stress Cause You To Lose Your Hair

Hair Loss From Stress Vs Male Pattern Baldness

Hair Loss – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

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.

Types Of Hair Loss Due To Anxiety

Two types of hair loss are commonly present when clumps of hair can either be brushed or pulled out quickly and are linked to stress and anxiety.

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, increasing dormant hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. TE can appear as thinning hair with the hair on the top of the scalp more than the sides or back of the scalp.

Another reason anxiety and stress may cause hair loss is due to the reduction of critical nutrients required for hair growth. Stress and anxiety can increase muscle tension, skin sebum production, and an increase in hormones processed in the body. As the body works to combat these issues, the supplies needed for hair growth can be diminished. Sebum can also clog the pores in the scalp, thus hindering hair growth.

So now we understand what this hair loss is, but how do stress and anxiety contribute?

While this seems jarring and quite scary for many, the good news is that most of these cases are reversible.

What About Birth Control Pills

Some people using hormonal birth control report symptoms of depression.

If you begin feeling depressed while taking birth control pills, you can talk with your prescribing physician about stopping the pills to help improve your mood. As your body adjusts to the change in hormones, you might start noticing some extra shedding or thinning of your hair.

While its not always easy to identify the specific cause of hair loss, its most likely the hormone imbalance thats responsible here. Usually, this type of hair loss is temporary.

Some recent research also suggests certain antidepressants could raise your chance of hair loss.

A large 2018 study considered 8 years of data from a total of 1,025,140 new users of several antidepressants. Medications included selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors , and bupropion, a newer type of antidepressant known as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor .

Bupropion was associated with the highest risk of hair loss, while paroxetine seemed to have the lowest risk.

This study also mentioned that sertraline was prescribed more often than other antidepressants. This finding is worth noting because a handful of case studies, including research from 2016,

Thyroid conditions, like hypothyroidism, can also cause hair loss. With hypothyroidism, your thyroid produces less hormones than it should.

  • energy loss
  • fatigue
  • trouble processing or remembering information

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Different Types Of Stress

  • telogen effluvium when your body tells more hair than usual to stop growing across your scalp
  • alopecia areata when you lose large amounts of hair in patches on your scalp
  • trichotillomania when you pick and pull out hairs on your head or around your body without realising youre doing it

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Not All Hair Loss Is Anxiety Related

Stress Causing You to Lose Your Hair? Here

It’s also important to note that not all hair loss is anxiety related, but the two may occur at a similar period of time. Some people that start to suffer from hair loss are at an age with many other stresses, like kids, work, and finances. Because they happen at the same age they may seem related, but are technically different conditions.

Furthermore, some people start to feel anxiety**_ because_** they’re experiencing hair loss. In a way, hair loss is their anxiety trigger, and they experience greater levels of anxiety because they are so worried about losing their hair.

Finally, sometimes those with anxiety simply see more hair loss where it doesn’t exist, because of their fears. It’s not uncommon for hair to look exactly the same but anxiety plays tricks with the mind to make it seem or feel like more fell out than usual.

While anxiety can absolutely cause hair to fall out – in some cases in very large clumps – anxiety is not always the problem. Sometimes the problem is simply that your anxiety causes you to think more and care more about your hair than necessary, giving the impression that the two are related.

Read Also: What Vitamins Can I Take For Stress And Anxiety

What Is The Relationship Between Hair Loss In Women And Menopause

During menopause, you might see one of two things happen with your hair. You might start growing hair where you didnt before. Or, you might see the hair you have start to thin. One cause may be changing levels of hormones during menopause. Estrogen and progesterone levels fall, meaning that the effects of the androgens, male hormones, are increased.

During and after menopause, hair might become finer because hair follicles shrink. Hair grows more slowly and falls out more easily in these cases.

Your healthcare provider will do a thorough examination and take a detailed history to help you deal with changes in hair growth. You may be directed to have your iron levels or thyroid hormone levels tested. Your medications might be changed if what you take is found to affect hair loss or growth.

Stress And Hair Loss Causes

Stress induced hair loss can either be acute or chronic.Acute Hair all from stress occurs as a response to a high-stress incident. In this case, hair loss occurs 2-3 months after the catalyzing event. Examples include major surgery, car accident, high fever, emotional trauma, and even crash dieting. This type of stress induced alopecia will begin to regrow within 3-6 months after identifying the stress trigger.Chronic stress is an ongoing and will result in continuous excessive hair shedding. Hair fall from chronic stress may indicate an underlying medical condition such as a thyroid issue, medical illness, or poor nutrition. Chronic stress-related hair loss will cause general hair thinning all over the scalp. Once the stress triggers or condition is under control, hair should start to grow back. Anxiety hair loss occurs from ongoing chronic stress that takes an extreme toll on a persons mental, emotional, and psychological wellbeing.

Also Check: How To Deal With Extreme Stress And Anxiety

You’ve Been Super Stressed Or Ill

Stress or illness can cause hair lossit’s a process known as telogen effluvium, or the excessive shedding of hair induced by stress, Michelle Henry, MD, a dermatologist based in New York, previously told Health.

“Our bodies perceive mental stress the same way it perceives physical stress, and any dramatic stressor on the body can cause hair growth to become arrested,” Dr. Henry said. “And when hair growth is arrested, it sheds.” Specifically, when the body is stressed it released the hormone cortisol, which can then affect the hair follicle and result in shedding or hair loss. That shedding typically occurs at least three months following a stressful event, Angelo Landriscina, MD, a Washington, DC-based dermatologist, previously told Health.

Of course, preventing stress is the easiest way to help prevent stress-induced hair lossbut that’s not always an easy thing to do. If you experience hair loss of any kind, it’s wise to check in with your dermatologist. Should they determine that your hair loss is stress-related, your derm may recommend a treatment called minoxidil, a vasodilator that improves circulation around the hair bulb at the base of the hair follicle, to help grow hair back that you’ve lost. Also important: having patience and allowing time for hair growth.

Hair Problems With Anxiety

Why Stress Makes Your Hair Gray

It should be noted that hair loss isn’t a “common” anxiety problem. It tends to affect only certain people, and it’s not clear who is affected and why. It’s also never the only symptom.

But hair loss is a very real problem, and the source of that hair loss is stress. Anxiety and stress are very similar conditions, and anxiety itself is essentially long term stress. Studies have shown that stress can cause and contribute to several hair loss conditions, including:

  • Alopecia Areata – This is the most distressing type of hair loss. It occurs when large clumps of hair fall out for no apparent reason, generally very suddenly. These large clumps of hair almost always come back, but if you continue to suffer from anxiety they may continue to fall out in clumps and in some cases it may be permanent .
  • Telogen Effluvium This is a similar condition that may cause hair to fall out. The difference between the two is that one expels the hair, while the other puts hair in a resting phase that causes more to fall out. Hair may fall out in clumps, or more hair than normal falls out naturally, or hair may weaken. All of these could be due to stress/anxiety.

Also Check: Can Stress Cause Floaters And Flashes

What Are Some Tips For Dealing With Hair Loss In Women

There are some things you can do on your own. You might check with your stylist or try some of these:

  • Coloring your hair adds volume to the strands, making your hair seem fuller.
  • Massaging your head, like when you are washing your hair, can stimulate blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles.
  • Getting your hair cut shorter, and having layers added, can make your hair seem fuller.
  • Using the right kind of shampoo can also help. Look for a shampoo that adds volume without using sulfate detergents.
  • Using the right kind of product at the right time can also help. There are products that add volume that you add while your hair is still wet. However, using too much product can add weight.

Can Stress Cause Hair Loss Whats The Connection

Can stress lead to hair loss? Yes, studies suggest that stress does impact hair follicles, causing hair to fall out. Factors like physical and emotional stress, injury, and anxiety can trigger hair loss. Incidents like accidents, hospitalization, infection, financial burdens, debt, death of a loved one, work-related issues, etc., are significant contributors to stress.

Fortunately, stress-related hair loss is usually temporary, lasting only for three to six months before your normal hair cycle resumes.

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Ways To Regain Hair Loss From Stress

Vitamins & supplements

The condition of your hair and the rate of regrowth is greatly influenced by your overall health, so improving your general nutrition will positively affect your hair. There are also certain vitamins and supplements that are renowned for supporting healthy hair growth, for example, vitamins D and B5, omega-3 oils, iron, zinc, and folic acid. Read our complete guide to hair supplements to learn more about the impact of vitamins for hair growth.

General exercise

Keeping physically fit and well is beneficial for the overall health that supports healthy hair. So finding a form of exercise you enjoy and do regularly will help your hair regrowth as well as boosting the strength and condition of your hair in the future.

Specific exercises

Certain exercises are particularly helpful in encouraging hair growth. For example, some yoga poses are known to be beneficial for stimulating blood circulation in the scalp which will aid healthy hair. Most types of inversion exercise can improve hair health.

Shampoo & haircare products

There are specialist shampoos, conditioners, treatments and products that are designed to thicken hair or encourage faster, stronger regrowth. These often have active ingredients ranging from natural additions such as caffeine or wheat to chemically-produced ingredients such as Minoxidil.


When To See A Doctor

Can stress really make your hair fall out?

Its always best to talk with a dermatologist or other healthcare professional about any hair loss that concerns you.

Even if you have symptoms of depression, hair loss often happens for other reasons. Without the right treatment, you could keep losing hair.

Since significant hair loss can cause stress and contribute to a low mood, it could even be the case that consistent hair loss is fueling feelings of depression, rather than the reverse.

Its best to connect with a professional if you notice:

  • bloating or changes in weight
  • trouble with memory and thinking

Read Also: What Can You Do For Stress

Anxiety And Hair Loss Thinning Balding Bald Spots:

Common anxiety related hair loss descriptions:

  • You notice your hair is thinning
  • You notice your hair is falling out in clumps
  • You notice you are getting some bald spots
  • It seems your hair is falling out and/or thinning more than normal
  • It seems you are going bald
  • It looks like you are losing hair on your head and/or other spots on the body
  • You notice there is more hair in your comb, brush, or in the tub or shower
  • You fear you are going bald because of your anxiety
  • You also notice an increase in the amount of hair coming out when you comb or brush your hair, when washing or rubbing your skin, or that you are pulling out clumps of hair at a time

You can experience hair loss on one area of the head only, many areas of the head, and the entire head. You can experience hair loss on any other part of the body, as well.

Hair loss can come and go rarely, occur frequently, or persist indefinitely. For example, you may experience hair loss, thinning, and balding once in a while and not that often, experience it off and on, or experience hair loss all the time.

Hair loss may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by itself.

Hair loss can precede, accompany, or follow an episode of nervousness, anxiety, fear, and elevated stress, or occur “out of the blue” and for no apparent reason.

Hair loss can range in intensity from slight, to moderate, to severe. For example, hair loss can be mildly, moderately, or greatly noticeable.

Hair Loss And Anxiety

Furthermore, it’s important to note that not all hair loss is caused by anxiety, but when you have anxiety it’s easy to worry more about your hair. Many people with anxiety pay too much attention to things that occur naturally, believing that they must all be caused by anxiety. It’s even possible to convince yourself you’re suffering from hair loss when in fact there is no hair loss at all.

So keep that in mind as well. Even though anxiety affects hair, many people that worry about their hair may misinterpret issues that happen naturally.

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You Lost A Lot Of Weight Very Quickly

How to Reverse Hair Loss (4 Steps to STOP BALDING)

Sudden weight loss is a form of physical trauma that can result in thinning hair. This could happen even if the weight loss is ultimately good for you. It’s possible that the weight loss itself put unnecessary stress your body, or that not eating right can resulted in vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Loss of hair along with noticeable weight loss may also be a sign of an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia.

This type of hair loss, too, will correct itself once after a while. “Sudden weight loss seems to shock the system and you’ll have a six-month period of hair loss and then it corrects itself,” says Dr. Hammonds.

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Stress And Hair Loss Will The Hair Grow Back

Yes, once your body comes back to normal the hair loss and hair thinning condition will improve. Especially when the episode of trauma, injury, emotional upheaval, distress, etc. is over, mostly after 3-6 months the hair would begin to show signs of normalcy, but there may be subjective aspects to it.

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