How To Treat Stress
Stress-induced hair loss is usually temporary. While hair loss medications minoxidil and finasteride can help you regrow the lost hair, an effective treatment is to change your lifestyle to reduce or eliminate the root causes of your stress.
Sometimes, stress-induced hair loss occurs as the result of a one-off stressful event, such as a death, breakup or traumatic experience. Surgical procedures can also cause you to shed some hair as part of the recovery process.
Its also possible to experience temporary hair loss after a severe illness, which can affect your hair growth cycle.
This type of one-off hair loss usually resolves by itself after three to six months, meaning you usually wont need to make any changes to your habits or lifestyle. Instead, its best to spend your time focusing on recovering from the traumatic or stressful event.
Whats Hair Loss In Women
Hair loss in women is just that when a woman experiences unexpected, heavy loss of hair. Generally, humans shed between 50 and 100 single hairs per day. Hair shedding is part of a natural balance some hairs fall out while others grow in. When the balance is interrupted when hair falls out and less hair grows in hair loss happens. Hair loss is different than hair shedding. The medical term for hair loss is alopecia.
Hair grows on almost all of your skin surfaces not the palms of your hands, soles of your feet, lips or eyelids. Light, fine, short hair is called vellus hair. Terminal/androgenic hair is thicker, darker and longer.
How To Control Hair Fall Due To Stress
There are several ways you can address hair fall caused due to stress.
Over-the-counter, FDA-approved topical solutions and drugs like Minoxidil and Finasteride can help in promoting hair growth and act as treatments for hair loss due to stress. Minoxidil or Rogaine enhances the blood flow and oxygen supply to the scalp, thereby nourishing the hair follicles. Finasteride, on the other hand, is a prescription medication that reduces the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone , the hormone that is primarily responsible for hair loss in men. Finasteride stimulates hair growth by bringing down the DHT levels.
Massaging the scalp with certain essential oils is also said to be an effective remedy for hair loss. Some examples include lavender oil, castor oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, tea tree oil, lemongrass oil, and thyme oil.
Besides addressing hair loss, your stress level needs to be managed too. Relaxation techniques like yoga, exercise, meditation, breathing exercises, and positive thinking can effectively deal with stress. While yoga and meditation calm the mind, exercise releases chemicals like endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which impact your mood and help you manage your stress.
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Why Can Stress Cause Hair Loss
One of the main reasons stress is linked to hair loss is that it can increase your bodys production of adrenaline. Heres the science bit, this adrenaline can then be converted in cholesterol, which is capable of raising your bodys level of testosterone. Testosterone is a male hormone that impacts hair growth. In women, a raised level of testosterone can affect the hair growth cycle, therefore causing thinning hair and hair loss.
Something else to consider is that when were stressed we tend not to look after ourselves properly. We may skip meals or snack on nutrition-lacking foods instead of finding the time to cook fresh, healthy meals. Your diet will have a massive impact on your hair health meaning that often with improper nutrition comes hair thinning or hair loss. Things like iron deficiency, a lack of protein, and meals with too few calories can cause this unwanted hair loss. For more tips on the essential foods to eat to boost your hair health and growth, click here.
Stress can also affect your immune system, making us susceptible to illness. Just like your diet affects your hair health, so does your physical and mental well-being. Its often thought that illnesses such as flu, high temperatures and systemic upsets can trigger hair loss up to 3 months later.
Stress And Female Hair Loss: What You Need To Know
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.
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How Do I Know If My Hair Is Falling Out Due To Stress
More than 100 strands of hair clogging your shower drain or on the hair brush is a sure shot sign of hair loss. In telogen effluvium, you will notice hair thinning on the scalp. With alopecia, you may notice bald patches of hair on the scalp. With Trichotillomania, which causes constant pulling of hair, you may notice that your hair volume has reduced over time.
How Extreme Stress Causes Hair Loss
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.
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My Hair Is Thinning What Can I Do
Noticing more hair in your comb or shower drain lately? Maybe your part seems a bit wider than it used to be. Thinning hair or hair loss, also called alopecia, can occur anywhere on your body, is common among men and women, and is estimated to affect as many as 95% of adult men and more than 50% of adult women each year.
Hair loss occurs for many reasons, in women and men of all ages, but is most common among middle aged and older people. You can lose the hair on your scalp or your entire body. Hair loss can be permanent or temporary. It can also be traumatic. Our hair is often a big part of our identity. Losing our hair is not physically harmful in most cases but the psychological damage can include anxiety, depression and social apprehension. People who have experienced hair loss have reported lower self-esteem, poorer quality of life and body image.
A certain amount of hair loss is normal. Most of us lose 50 to 100 hairs each day, with new hairs taking their place quickly enough that we overlook the ones we’ve shed. The problems start when new hair doesn’t replace the hair that has fallen out.
If your hair is visibly thinning, either in patches or all over, or if you notice unusual hair loss of any kind, it’s essential to see your primary care provider or a dermatologist, to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.
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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Learn More About Telogen Effluvium
From stress to surgery, nutritional deficiencies and more, a wide range of factors can contribute to telogen effluvium.
Our Female Hair Loss 101 guide goes into more detail on how temporary hair loss can occur, as well as what you can do to treat it.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
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Nutrafol Core For Women
After six months of noticeably thinner and thinner strands, I am finally starting to see some good hair days on the horizon. I can blow dry and style my hair without leaving the sink covered in shed strands, and some days I actually like my hair. Engelman reminds me that patience is important: it can be anywhere from three to six months before you start to notice a difference in shedding and growing. But the journey can only start once you speak up and seek helpyoure not alone in this.
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So Does Stress Cause My Hair To Fall Out
You may have gathered that mental tension can lead to hair loss, and its real.
While the first two hair loss conditions are genetically processed, hair loss due to mental tension is organically produced and maybe more efficiently managed if the stress can be handled.
Undue physical or emotional pressurelike that correlated with trauma, ailment, or operationcan cause one of two varieties of hair loss:
- Alopecia areata: This stress-induced strand loss includes a white blood cell invasion on the strand follicles. With this variety of hair loss, the locks also fall out within weeks but can affect the whole scalp and even lower extremity hair. Locks may develop back on their own, but therapy may also be ordered.
- Telogen effluvium: With this more prevalent and less grave sort of hair loss, the strand stops developing and rests inactive, only to fall out 2 or 3 months afterward. Then it develops back within 6 to 9 months.
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Temporary Hair Loss Is Normal After A Fever Or Illness
Fever is a common symptom of COVID-19. A few months after having a high fever or recovering from an illness, many people see noticeable hair loss.
While many people think of this as hair loss, its actually hair shedding. The medical name for this type of hair shedding is telogen effluvium. It happens when more hairs than normal enter the shedding phase of the hair growth lifecycle at the same time. A fever or illness can force more hairs into the shedding phase.
Most people see noticeable hair shedding two to three months after having a fever or illness. Handfuls of hair can come out when you shower or brush your hair. This hair shedding can last for six to nine months before it stops. Most people then see their hair start to look normal again and stop shedding.
Telogen effluvium causes noticeable hair shedding
Telogen effluvium causes noticeable hair shedding, but thats all you should experience. If you have a rash, itchy scalp, or burning, something other than telogen effluvium is likely causing your hair loss, and its time to see a dermatologist.
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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What Are The Causes Of Fine Thin Hair
Whether you’re male or female, fine, thinning hair can be a source of embarrassment. When your scalp beings to peek through the strands of your hair, you may need to investigate the source of your thinning hair, especially if it’s a sudden occurrence. Together with your doctor you can find the source of your thinning hair and explore options to remedy the situation.
What Are The Common Causes Of Hair Loss In Women
What causes hair loss?
- Hair style: Your style of hair can cause hair loss when your hair is arranged in ways that pull on your roots, like tight ponytails, braids, or corn rows. This type of hair loss is called traction alopecia. If hair follicles are damaged, the loss can be permanent.
- Vitamin deficiency.
- Over processed scalp hair .
What causes anagen effluvium hair loss?
- Toxic substances, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and some medications. These cause sudden hair loss that can occur anywhere on your body. It happens to hair in the growth stage. Sometimes, this type of hair loss can be permanent if your hair follicles are damaged.
What causes telogen effluvium hair loss?
- Extreme physical stress or shock to your body: This causes temporary hair loss. This category includes events like losing a lot of weight, surgery, anemia, illness and having a baby.
- Extreme emotional stress: mental illness, the death of a loved one, etc.
- An abnormal thyroid.
- Medications and supplements: blood pressure medicines, gout medicines and high doses of Vitamin A.
- Hormone changes caused by pregnancy, menopause or birth control pills.
What causes FPHL ?
- Genes: Your familys genes can cause thinning of hair along the top of your head.
- Aging: Hormone changes as you age can cause balding.
- Menopause: This type of hair loss often gets worse when estrogen is lost during menopause.
There are also some conditions that affect hair loss:
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Thinning Hair Following Pregnancy
Other hormonal imbalances can also lead to hair loss, especially the wildly fluctuating hormones that occur following pregnancy and childbirth. It takes time after pregnancy for hormone levels to return to normal, so it’s not at all uncommon for post-partum moms to notice thinning hair or even patches of baldness. This often occurs about three months after babys arrival. Don’t worry as the rest of your body recovers, so will your hair follicles. The hair loss is only temporary your hair will grow back.
What Are The Warning Signs Of Hair Loss
It can be hard to tell if youre losing hair especially if your hair loss happens gradually.
Instead, you may notice that your ponytails dont feel as thick, or that your scalp is more visible.
If youre unsure, ask your stylist if they have noticed any differences. This is especially important for women who are experiencing hair loss in areas that are difficult to see without someone elses help, such as the top of the scalp.
If you or your stylist suspect hair loss, make an appointment with a dermatologist. Generally, the sooner you act, the more hair you can save.
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Emotional Stress And Your Hair
When you’re dealing with a life-altering event, like a divorce or break-up, bankruptcy or other financial problems, the loss of a home, or the death of a loved one, significant emotional stress can also disrupt the normal cycle of hair growth. Significant emotional stressors can cause temporary hair loss, but once stress is brought under control, normal hair growth is usually restored.
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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How To Prevent Hair Loss Due To Stress
This article was medically reviewed by Sarah Gehrke, RN, MS. Sarah Gehrke is a Registered Nurse and Licensed Massage Therapist in Texas. Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching and practicing phlebotomy and intravenous therapy using physical, psychological, and emotional support. She received her Massage Therapist License from the Amarillo Massage Therapy Institute in 2008 and a M.S. in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2013.There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 13 testimonials and 86% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 858,704 times.
Sometimes emotional or physical stress can lead to hair loss, which is a serious concern for most people and something they wish to reverse. However, due to the length of the hair growth cycle, people often only begin losing their hair weeks or months after the stressful event has occurred, and the hair loss can continue for several months afterwards. Luckily, hair will usually grow back on its own once the source of stress has been removed, but there are several things you can do to help the process along. By easing your stress and taking good care of your hair, you can reduce the effects of hair loss.