Treatment For Hair Loss
In instances where there is no regrowth, or hair doesnt grow back fully, a few different treatments are available.
For alopecia areata, there are a range of treatments available. Some of these treatments might be prescibed by your GP but most are only prescribed by dermatologists including:
- Steroid creams, lotions, tablets or injections
For a detailed guide to treatments for alopecia areata, consult this page on the Alopecia UK website.
Because trichotillomania is often related to anxiety or OCD , the most effective treatment is thought to be psychological therapy, for example CBT . If you think you might have trichotillomania, please discuss this with your GP.
What Exactly Is Stress
Stress is a normal psychological human reaction that occurs when you experience emotional or physicial changes during the challenges of everyday. These external stress-causing factors are so-called stressors. Your body reacts to these stressors by releasing hormones that make your brain more alert, tense your muscles and increase your pulse. These physiological stress responses are not negative by themselves.
It turns out acute stress is your bodys way of protecting itself and can be very positive in certain situations. For example, if you have an important test coming up, stress can actually help your body work harder by entering its fight-or-flight response.
Long-term stress that lasts for weeks or even months has an impact on the physical, emotional, and behavioral well-being of human beings. Stress becomes problematic when there is no relief from the stress. Long-term stress also negatively impacts the immune system and the neurotransmitters, i.e., dopamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid , norepinephrine, and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are linked to mood and anxiety. Neurotransmitters work with receptors in the brain to influence and regulate a wide range of processes such as mental performance, emotions, pain response, and energy levels. Numerous clinical studies have shown that inadequate neurotransmitter function has a profound influence on overall health and well-being.
Reduce Anxiety And The Hair May Come Back
The good news for anxiety sufferers is that not all anxiety related hair loss is permanent. If stress and anxiety are what caused your hair loss, then reducing that anxiety can help your hair come back when combined with vitamin and mineral supplements to aid in the process.
For more information about anxiety treatment strategies, .
Remember – not all hair comes back after it’s lost regardless of the cause, and your hair loss may be natural and not caused by anxiety at all. No matter what, you need to make sure that you are addressing your anxiety directly in order to both reduce the likelihood of anxiety related hair loss and reduce the anxiety you experience because of your lost hair.
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How Long Does It Take To Regrow Hair
Most of the time, any hair you lose from stress-induced hair loss will come back. After youve treated the root cause of your hair loss, its normal for your hair to grow back over three to six months.
However, because it can take several years for hair to grow to its full length, it can take quite a lot of time for your hair to completely restore itself after stress-induced hair loss.
How Stress Causes Hair Loss
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Noticed more hairs on your brush, pillow or around the shower drain than normal? Dealing with hair loss is never fun, especially when youre not sure whats causing it.
However, its also possible for a range of other factors to cause and contribute to hair loss.
One of these factors is emotional stress. If youre feeling overly stressed due to work, your personal life or anything else, its possible that this stress could contribute either tomild hair thinning, or significant hair loss.
Below, weve explained how and why stress can cause you to lose hair. Weve also looked at a range of treatment options that can help you regrow any hair you lose due to stress.
Also Check: What Effects Does Stress Have On The Body
Diet Deficiencies: Your Hair Is What You Eat
The essential vitamins and nutrients, like protein, that you get from a healthy, varied, and well-balanced diet ensure good health all throughout your body, making sure all your organs and internal systems are working just as they should. Poor nutrition or following a severely restrictive crash or fad diet can lead to all kinds of nutrient deficiencies, which in turn can result in hair loss, from thinning hair to patches of baldness.
Cortisol Directly Causes More Shedding & Decreased Growth
Your hair follicles are very sensitive to your stress hormones. When your stress is high, cortisol disrupts the finely tuned processes in the hair follicle by damaging key components of the skin and extracellular matrix creating changes to the normal hair growth, rest and shed cycle.
Cortisol impacts those growing hairs in the anagen phase causing them to prematurely enter the resting phase.What this will look like for you is a sudden, but relatively short bout of hair shedding with decreased hair growth.
This is known as Telogen Effluvium and perhaps the worst news here is that the resting phase your hair just entered too soon lasts 2-3 months. This means it can take up to three months for you to recover the hair lost in a bad bout of stress.
Please dont stress reading that! There are a lot of things you can do to stop stress related hair loss from getting worse and they are all laid out for you at the end of this post. Hang in there.
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Signs That Stress Is Causing Your Hair Loss And 5 Ways To Fight It
Youve been stressed out, and now it seems like there are more hairs on your pillow in the morning, and your shower is getting clogged. Are you shedding hair because of the stress youve been under?
It is possible. Losing hair can be a side effect of stress and is called telogen effluvium. When this happens, your hair cannot go through its regular cycles and jumps right into telogen, the resting phase, which happens right before a new hair begins to grow. This means your hairs are more susceptible to falling or being pulled out, and theres no hair to immediately replace it.
That said, normal shedding happens all the time and is part of the regular hair cycle. If youre stressed out, you might think the problem is worse than it actually is. Losing up to a hundred or more strands a day is normal, but hair coming out in clumps could signal stress-related loss.
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
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What Are The Cycles Of Hair Growth
Hair goes through three cycles:
- The anagen phase can last from two years to eight years. This phase generally refers to about 85% to 90% of the hair on your head.
- The catagen phase is the time that hair follicles shrink and takes about two to three weeks.
- The telogen phase takes about two to four months. At the end of this phase, the hair falls out.
Your shorter hairs like eyelashes, arm and leg hair and eyebrows have a short anagen phase about one month. Your scalp hair can last up to six years or even longer.
Consider A Hair Transplant For Stress
So if youâve ever asked yourself, âcan stress cause hair loss?,â now you know that the answer is yes. We know that stress can take a toll on your life, but it shouldnât take a toll on your hair. So if youâve experienced severe stress-related hair loss or youâre wondering what the cause of your hair loss might be, request a consultation with Dr. Feinberg and his team at The Hair Restoration Center of NY & NJ.
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Types Of Hair Loss Linked To Stress
Other than stress, physiological, genetic, environmental, and other factors can affect hair growth. The question is will the hair grow back in the bald patches? Is stress-induced hair loss permanent? Keep reading to find out.
How To Identify Stress
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 .
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.
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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.
Tress Stress Sign : Youre Having Increased Hair Shedding
The average person sheds approximately 50-100 hairs a day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. In fact, shedding, which actually differs from hair loss, is part of the natural cycle of hair growth. However, if youre noticing more than that amount and/or clumps of hair coming out in the shower, its time to consult with your medical professional. In some cases, a dermatologist may perform a hair pull test to determine what exactly is the cause of the hair shedding.
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How Anxiety Can Cause Hair Loss
Anxiety is the bodys reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar situations. Though everyone feels anxious occasionally, those who suffer from anxiety disorders suffer such distress that it interferes with their ability to lead a normal life.
The effects of anxiety are both mental and physical. Some of the physical symptoms can include sweating, headaches, nausea, trembling, and rashes. Anxiety and hair loss is one physical side effect that is not so commonly mentioned. Most people dont think anxiety affects the hair because it doesnt affect everyone. However, anxiety can have an effect on your hair and when it does, it can be very distressing for those dealing with sudden hair loss.
Treatment For Male Pattern Baldness
If youre a man living with male pattern baldness, visit our online hair loss clinic to learn about how finasteride works. If youre a woman experiencing hair loss, you may benefit from minoxidil, which is available from LloydsPharmacy.
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How Stress And Anxiety Are Linked To Hair Loss
Hair loss itself is not directly caused by anxiety, but rather the stress brought on by everyday difficulties for those suffering from anxiety. Anxiety and stress are similar conditions, but anxiety itself can be a lifelong struggle. Studies have shown that stress and anxiety-induced stress can contribute to specific hair loss conditions.
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, which means an increase in dormant hair follicles, with the end result being hair loss. TE can appear as thinning hair with the hair on the top of the scalp thinning more than the sides or back of the scalp.
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.
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How Will A Healthcare Provider Diagnose Hair Loss In Women What Tests Are Done
The tests performed to diagnose hair loss in women can be simple or complicated:
- Gently pulling on your hair to see how many hairs come out.
- Blood tests. These check for vitamin and mineral levels and hormone levels .
- Scalp examination under a microscope and trichoscopy.
- Scalp biopsy to remove and examine a very small piece of scalp skin.
Other Causes Of Hair Loss In Men And Women
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