Is Stress Causing Your Hair Loss
Too much stress on the body can result in hair loss, a condition known as telogen effluvium. Find out how to reduce stress to regain your healthier, fuller head of hair.
When you’re under stress, you may notice a lot of physical symptoms feeling anxious or exhausted, having trouble concentrating, and even getting sick with a headache or upset stomach. Stress can also be a cause of hair loss. When stress has you pulling out your hair, as the expression goes, you could be literally doing just that.
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Telogen Effluvium: Understanding This Cause of Hair Loss
Telogen effluvium is the term for hair loss that occurs temporarily as a result of some trauma, stress, or shock to your body. Telogen hairs are one type of hair, characterized by the end of the hair being shaped like a bulb, and effluvium means to flow out.
Some hair loss is normal, but telogen effluvium results in excessive hair loss due to a disruption in the natural growth and rest cycle of hair. Generally, between 80 and 90 percent of hair follicles on the scalp are actively growing, with the other 10 to 20 percent in the resting phase. Many events can disrupt this balance and result in temporary hair loss, typically seen as hair that falls out in clumps when you brush, wash, or style your locks.
Stress is known to be a trigger for telogen effluvium and risk factors that can cause this type of stress include:
Stopping Telogen Effluvium
Reduce Stress to Reduce Hair Loss
Signs Of Hair Loss From Stress
If youre worried that youre losing hair because of stress, pay attention to these signals to see if thats the cause or if its just natural hair loss. It may take you a few months to notice the hair loss, so youll need to think about the last three months or so.
1. Amount of hair. Start keeping track of the hair youre seeing, it could be natural hair loss.
2. Additional work or school responsibilities. This can be a big stressor that could potentially cause hair loss.
3. Sudden diet changes. If youve started, stopped, or changed your eating habits drastically, this can place added stress on your body that may cause hair loss, especially if youre not getting the right nutrition.
4. Emotional stress. An extended period of emotional turmoil or grief can be stressful enough to cause hair loss.
5. Physical stress. Physical stress, like an injury or surgery, especially major surgery, puts your body through a lot of stress. Theres usually a lot of emotional stress involved as well, which can cause hair loss.
When Should I See A Dermatologist About Stress
As Dr. Landriscina says, time is hair. As soon as you notice that you’re losing hair, he suggests seeing a dermatologist to find a course of professional treatment, and to make sure your hair loss isn’t due to something more serious. It’s difficult for the average person to know the difference between excessive shedding and scarring hair loss that’s permanent, says Dr. Landriscina. An in-person examination of the scalp is ideal, he says, but you can still have a successful telehealth visit.
Whether youre treating your hair loss with the help of a dermatologist or at home, Dr. Henry encourages you to be kind and patient with yourself during your hair journey. Patience is critical, Dr. Henry tells Health. Treatment works, but it takes time.
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How Can I Treat Stress
Roughly 10% to 15% of your hair strands are in the telogen phase at any given time, where theyre preparing to fall out, says Dr. Landriscina. Unfortunately, once those hairs are lost, theyre gone. But that doesnt mean new strands won’t grow back in. Both dermatologists recommend minoxidil, a vasodilator that improves circulation around the hair bulb at the base of the hair follicle, and one of the few FDA-approved remedies for hair growth.
Most people are cleansing, conditioning, and using an after treatment on their hair, so it’s easy to swap out what you’re using, says Dr. Henry. Unlike other minoxidil products, Nioxin looks at hair as a whole, she says, keeping strands healthy, moisturized, and strong while addressing the scalp and getting rid of dirt and debris that could make hair loss worse.
I actually used Nioxin products at my local salon after my hairstylist also recommended the brand she noticed about four years ago that I had mild hair thinning around my temples . I’ve used it at the salon several more times since then, and my hair has grown back noticeablythough I don’t know if it was because of the Nioxin products or my own better hair care habits.
Ways To Reverse Hair Loss From Stress
Can hair loss be related to stress? The bad news is yes, but the good news is that stress-induced hair loss is usually temporary.
âTelogen effluvium is the scientific name for stress-induced hair loss,â Robert Haber, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and hair transplant surgeon, tells WebMD Connect to Care. Haber says the sources of stress that can lead to this condition include:
- Emotional stress
- Significant weight loss
âFortunately, if the hair loss is strictly due to the stress, complete recovery often occurs after several months to a year,â Haber says.
If youâve been affected by hair loss from stress, there are some important steps you can take.
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How To Prevent Hair Loss Due To Stress
Medication will take you only so far. Treatments will only help recover from the visible signs of hair loss. But lifestyle changes are required to reduce stress and in turn, solve your problems of hair loss further
Stress can be a very silent yet integrated problem in your daily life. Keep stress and anxiety at bay and also allow the early signs to be taken up to an expert for timely resolution. Do not get carried away by home based solutions as they may cause further damage to your hair. All you need is a holistic treatment plan that suits your condition. For more information, visit your Oliva Clinic today!
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What Causes Hair Loss Following Covid
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not list hair loss among the symptoms or signs of COVID-19 infection. Thats because the hair loss doesnt start at the time of the infection, said Dr. Tosti, who is a Fredric Brandt Endowed Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Patients start to notice it two to three months later.
This kind of hair loss, called telogen effluvium, is part of the bodys response to a traumatic event, such as a period of intense psychological stress, sleeplessness, change of diet, high fever, a car accident, surgery, or other stressors to the body and mind.
Telogen effluvium isnt typically a sign of premature baldness. Its a temporary shedding of hair follicles. Some have reported hair loss even without COVID-19 infection, which may be triggered by the immense social, professional, and financial pressures caused by the pandemic.
While physical and psychological stress are known causes of hair shedding and loss, Dr. Tosti believes stress is not the only factor.
Many patients experiencing telogen effluvium with visible alopecia had the drug Heparin as part of their COVID-19 treatment. This drug can cause telogen effluvium. Following COVID-19 infection, this hair loss tends to last four to six months. I saw several patients who developed either female pattern baldness or male pattern baldness as a consequence of it, Dr. Tosti reported.
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Stress And Telogen Effluvium
Telogen Effluvium is a form of diffuse hair loss on your scalp. It occurs when the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle is cut short by an internal disturbance in your body. This causes many more hairs than usual to move from their anagen phase into their telogen phase, resulting in excessive daily hair fall around three months later. On average, it is normal to lose up to 100 hairs a day, but postpartum shedding can result in as many as 400 hairs being shed in a 24-hour period.
When Should I See A Doctor About My Hair Loss
Its a good idea to see a healthcare provider if your hair loss lasts more than 6 months or if you have any other symptoms like patches of hair loss, itching, or other irritation. You may need an additional workup for other causes of hair loss such as hormonal causes, nutritional deficiencies, or autoimmune hair loss. There may also be some treatments available while you wait for the hair to regrow.
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Temporary Hair Loss Or Thinning Hair
Another way stress can affect your hair is through hair loss or thinning hair. When a stressful event happens or youre just experiencing high stress levels day after day the health of your hair can take a major hit. One of the most common ways this shows up is through hair loss or thinning hair. Stress can cause medical issues like alopecia areata and telogen effluvium to occur. The first can cause hair to fall out in clumps, while the latter causes hair to weaken or thin slowly over time.
How can you combat these problems? To start with, make sure youre getting enough vitamins. A healthy diet and lifestyle can positively impact the strength and overall health of your hair. Then, add in the right products. Hair care products like the Nioxin Scalp and Hair Care System 4 Kit For Noticeably Thinning, Fine, Chemically Treated Hair can add fullness to your hair. Perfect for stressful times!
Can Ptsd Make Your Hair Fall Out
Those with PTSD will find that their stress hormones never return to normal levels and that their bodies choose to conserve energy and nutrients for essential functions of the body, preventing hair from regrowing once it is shed.
Those with PTSD suffer from being stuck in a fight-or-flight mode permanently, where loud noises or sudden changes in lighting can cause them to panic or become extremely distressed.
The effects of existing in fight-or-flight mode do not just affect their behaviour, but also the internal hormonal levels in the body. If the body is stuck in fight-or-flight, it will choose to preserve any nutrients for essential core functions of the body. As the hair is deemed non-essential, hair follicles do not get the nutrients they need to produce hair follicles. This means the hair will shed without being replaced, ultimately causing hair loss.
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Stress And Hair Loss: Potential Ways To Cope
Any number of stressful situations can trigger hair loss, including pregnancy, chronic illness, injury, relationship issues, financial concerns, poor nutrition, surgery, medications such as antidepressants, and even jet lag. To counteract stress and protect your hair, try these tips:
- Learn and practice relaxation techniques regularly
- Get regular exercise, which helps manage stress and its effects
- Spend time with positive people isolating yourself can make stress worse
- Seek professional help from a therapist
- Eat a healthy diet and take a multivitamin if your doctor recommends it
- Treat your hair with care when washing, drying, and styling it
Hair loss from stress doesnt have to be permanent. If it continues, talk to a doctor about a prescription or over-the-counter remedy to spark hair regrowth.
Is There A Way To Prevent Telogen Effluvium
Unfortunately, there is no proven way to prevent or stop an episode of telogen effluvium, and it should resolve on its own with time.
However, there are a few things that may help to support overall hair health. Eat a balanced diet, and in particular, consume an adequate amount of protein . Hair is made up of primarily protein , so its no surprise that sufficient protein is vital to maintain and grow hair. Also, be sure to avoid very tight hairstyles, excessive heat styling, or chemical-based treatments, as these can contribute to hair loss or cause hair breakage.
If you hair loss is chronic, patchy, or associated with redness, itching or pain, seek medical care from a dermatologist.
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Other Hair Loss Factors
There are other factors that can also cause hair loss, including but not limited to:
- Nervous habits
- Pregnancy, childbirth, and birth control pill usage
If your hair is thinning, or youre experiencing baldness and it seems abnormal its a good idea to see your doctor in order to determine the cause.
Also, if youre concerned that stress is the culprit, its always a good idea to cut down on lifestyle stress and find some effective coping techniques for the stress that remains. Specifically, the following resources can help.
What Are The Stages Of Hair Growth
There are three main stages of hair growth:
Anagen: This is the growth phase in which the hair follicle grows.
Catagen: This is the transition phase where the hair follicle stops growing.
Telogen: This is the resting phase where the hair stays for 2 to 3 months until it falls out. About 10% to 15% of your hair is in the telogen phase at any given time.
Telogen effluvium occurs when hair follicles are pushed into the telogen phase earlier than normal. In 2 to 3 months after the stressful event, these hairs will start falling out.
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Hair Loss Prevention: How To Stop It Falling Out And Thinning With Stress
Causes, prevention and treatment… we speak to an award-winning hair doctor to get some advice on preserving your precious locks
e are living in stressful times.
For some the mask wearing, hand washing, food hoarding and job uncertainty will cause sleepless nights, for others it might trigger, or exacerbate existing, hair loss.
Its well established that hair loss can be related to emotional stress or anxiety, award-winning dermatologist Dr. Serkan Aygin tells the Standard. When youre stressed or anxious, your body produces whats known as the fight or flight response. This is when your body is making extra hormones to prepare it to deal with whatever it thinks of as being a potential threat. This change in your hormone levels can have effects all around your body. When these extra hormones are made, they can affect the growth patterns of the hair follicles on your scalp.
Theres usually about a three-month delay between the stressful event or time period and the moment your hair starts falling out. So anyone feeling the Covid-19 anxiety, might not actually notice any hair loss until the end of summer.
The good news though, is that hair loss due to stress tends to be temporary. Unless theres another underlying medical reason for your hair loss, it should only last for as long as youre going through that particular period of stress or anxiety, says Dr. Aygin, who has treated over 10,000 patients for hair loss at his eponymous specialist hair clinic.
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.
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Choose Healthy Foods And Supplements
Healthy eating is something that many folks struggle with in the face of stress, but adding healthy food choices to the mix is a great way to support your body while grieving. Not only that, but neglecting your diet could lead to nutritional deficiencies that cause hair loss.
After my mother’s death in 2013, I experienced consistent hair loss that only reversed when I worked with a nutritionist to change my diet and supplement my stressed and grieving body with nutrients that would help me recover, shared Shelby Forsythia, author of Permission to Grieve and host of the Coming Back: Conversations on Life After Loss podcast.
To multitask on the nutrition front, consider healthy foods high in magnesium and zinc that are known to lower cortisol levels, like pumpkin seeds, spinach and legumes. And for times when you cant be as on top of your nutrition game as youd like, give your body a boost of hair-friendly vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients with our GRO WELL Hair Boost Supplement Powder + Probiotic. This easy-to-use powder brings together vital vegan nutrients clinically proven to help promote visibly thicker, fuller, longer-looking hair while supporting a healthy gut microbiome.
Normal Hair Shedding Vs Serious Hair Loss
Hair loss can be panic-inducing, but its different from hair shedding.
Hair loss is generally characterized by a significant change, disruption or dysfunction in the hair growth cycle, explained Burg, whose company sells hair-care products. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including genetics, age, diet, hormonal changes, lifestyle and life events, as well as inflammatory pathologies.
Hair shedding, on the other hand, is based on the fact that each hair follicle follows its own hair cycle. Because they arent synchronized with each other, you wont shed them all at once, but rather, at a rate of about 80 hairs to 120 hairs a day, Burg explained.
If you tend to wait a few days between hair washes, you may notice what may appear to be excess hair shedding, but thats actually not a sign youre losing hair.
If you havent washed your hair for a few days youll have some hairs that have been released from the follicle pore or shed from the scalp, but are still present on the head either tangled up with other hairs or just very loosely connected to the scalp, Burg said. The longer you wait between washes, the more hair will build up like this, so that when you do finally wash, it may look like youre shedding a lot at once. But youre actually just releasing a proportion of a few days worth of shedding.
This can be stress-induced, isnt usually associated with itching or burning, and the shed is usually self-limiting , Burg explained.
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