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.
Heres How The Hair Growth Cycle Works:
Ok, its science-y but very cool, basically each hair follicle on our scalp undergoes three stages of a life cycle, explains Dr Wong.
AnagenThis is the active growing phase, which can last between 2-7 years during which the hair becomes longer and thicker.
CatagenAfter anagen, the hair follicle moves into the short transitional phase called catagen when the hair fibre stops growing, followed by the resting phase telogen which lasts around 3 months.
TelogenDuring telogen the old hair is gradually pushed up towards the skin surface before it is then shed naturally and replaced with a new emerging anagen hair.
On a typical head of hair each follicle is at a different stage at different times so you probably wont notice it happening. Very cool. This cycle continues repeatedly throughout our lifetime and each hair follicle is cycling independently of neighbouring follicles meaning that human hair growth is asynchronised, says Dr Wong.
Its important to note that hair loss is a very common problem for women much more so that people realise. “Research shows that at least 1 in 3 women will suffer from hair loss or reduced hair volume at some point in their lifetime,” says Anabel Kingsley. So, if you are losing strands, it’s important not to freak out, your mane willrecover. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know…
What You Can Do To Slow The Stress Shedding
Getting blood work as well as targeted hormone testing can help you pinpoint the root cause and there may be more than one so you can address the issue at its core. I highly recommend this vs. just starting to pop prenatals or some hair-skin-nails formula. Although they can certainly be helpful in terms of providing nutrients to any hair thats trying to grow. Contact my office to get more info. However, with stress being a main issue behind hair loss learning to decrease or better manage your stress is job one. Ive talked about this in many articles so see all of these for more support:
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Hair Problems With Anxiety
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.
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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Treatments For Hair Loss
Are there effective preventative measures that can be taken?
Treating hair loss in its early stages can help minimise overall hair loss and increase the treatments efficacy. There are a few ways to control hair loss, but what to do depends on the cause of why you are losing your hair.
Some hair loss conditions such as hair loss experienced after pregnancy are temporary and may resolve on their own. However if your hair loss is persistent you may want to schedule an appointment with your local dermatologist so as to diagnose if your hair loss is caused by conditions such as male pattern baldness, thyroid issues, scalp infections, nutrient deficiencies, stress or simply ageing.
I would recommend four main hair-loss prevention treatments to consider, all of which work to stimulate regrowth on dormant follicles.
Finasteride, also sold under the brand name Propecia®, is an FDA-approved prescription medication for hair loss prevention in men. Finasteride can be an effective way to prevent your hair from thinning because it prohibits the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone . DHT is a powerful hormone that is thought to cause hair follicles to miniaturise and eventually stop growing hair. To get this benefit of finasteride, you need to take it properly and consistently as prescribed by your doctor.
4. LLLT or LED Light Therapy
Can hair grow back after it falls out?
Improve blood supply to the scalp
Promote hair strengthening
Whats The Best Way To Treat Hair Loss After Surgery
While it may be concerning to see thinning hair or increased hair loss after your surgery, there are steps you can discuss with your doctor to help treat it.
A dermatologist can determine whether a home or professional treatment is best, but either option can take several months to take full effect.
Is There Anything I Can Do To Stop My Hair From Falling Out Naturally
Everyone loses hair naturally and it is normal for hair to thin somewhat when you get older. But the truth is that male pattern hair loss is a genetic condition that cannot be stopped entirely.
There is a condition called Traction Alopecia, which is caused by constant pulling or tension of your hairs over a long period. You dont have to be dragged around the floor by your head to suffer from this either if you often wear tight braids, particularly cornrows, or tight ponytails, you are more likely to get Traction Alopecia. So try not to pull your hair tight excessively. Some experts also recommend exercise as a good way to maintain a healthy head of hair.
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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Is Baldness Caused By Emotional Stress Or Sexual Frustration
Some hair loss is associated with stress although male pattern baldness is a genetic condition found in many men. If you find your hair is falling out in clumps or at unpredictable times, it is most likely to be the symptom of something else. This could be stress related but is unlikely to be caused by sexual frustration. The best thing to do is to see your GP for a check up.
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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There Are Different Types Of Hair Loss Genetic And Reactive
There’s a chance you’re genetically predisposed to hair thinning, which means you may see a progressive, gradual reduction in hair volume. “In these instances, certain hair follicles are sensitive to male hormones and this sensitivity causes follicles to gradually shrink and produce slightly finer and shorter hairs with each passing hair growth cycle.” Explains Anabel Kingsley.
This means your hair loss is the result of a trigger. “Excessive daily hair shedding is not reliant on having a genetic predisposition, it occurs as the result of an internal imbalance or upset, such as a nutritional deficiency, severe stress, crash dieting or an illness” says Anabel Kingsley.
Hair Shedding Often Stops On Its Own
Its normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs a day. When the body sheds significantly more hairs every day, a person has excessive hair shedding. The medical term for this condition is telogen effluvium.
Excessive hair shedding is common in people who have experienced one the following stressors:
Lost 20 pounds or more
Experiencing lots of stress
Had high fever
Recovering from an illness, especially if it included high fever
Stopped taking birth-control pills
Most people notice the excessive hair shedding a few months after the stressful event. For example, a new mom can see excessive hair shedding about two months after giving birth. The shedding usually peaks about four months after giving birth. This shedding is normal and temporary.
As your body readjusts, the excessive shedding stops. Within six to nine months, the hair tends to regains its normal fullness.
If the stressor stays with you, however, hair shedding can be long lived. People who are constantly under a lot of stress can have long-term excessive hair shedding.
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Can Stress Really Make Your Hair Fall Out
Its a common cartoon trope, but its actually true, in a way.
Its a common cartoon trope stressed or scared people never make it out without losing a few hairs. But does stress really make our hair fall out?
The short answers is: it can. But little bouts of stress, or fear, arent going to make you lose your locks, says Mental Floss rather, only intense and frequent stressors would.
Hair grows in three phases anagen, catagen and telogen. Anagen is the part you think of when you think of hair growth the follicle divides and forms a little hair, and that little hair gets longer and longer about a half an inch per month. Hairs can stay in the anagen phase for two to six years before switching to catagen, when they stop growing and hunker down. Hair stays in the catagen phase for about two to three weeks before switching over to telogen, the resting stage. Hairs stay in telogen for something like three months, and then fall out naturally.
It turns out that stress can actually cause hair to prematurely switch over from the catagen to the telogen phase. Which means that, when you get stressed, large chunks of your hair can fall out, but they wont actually come loose until about three months after the stressful episode. Heres Mental Floss, explaining the process:
More from Smithsonian.com:
Common Symptoms Of Stress
If youre experiencing hair loss due to stress, youll usually notice the classic symptoms of hair loss:
Extra hairs on your pillowcase and bedding
More stray hairs on your shower or bathroom floor
Lots of stray hairs in your shower drain catch
Less density and a thin look to your hair, especially under bright light
Hair loss is often subtle, meaning you might not notice it day to day until you look at yourself in a mirror or see your hair in a photograph.
If youre worried that you might have hair loss due to stress, it may help to take regular photos of your hair to track any changes in thickness over time.
You can also try counting the hairs that you lose. Its normal to lose about 100 hairs per day. If you have telogen effluvium, you may lose an average of about 300, making it easy to detect a change in your hair shedding.
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How To Treat Stress
Because telogen effluvium has a variety of potential causes, theres no one hair loss treatment that works for everyone.
If your hair loss is caused by a one-off stressful or traumatic event, such as a physical accident, surgery or psychologically stressful event, your hair will typically grow back on its own over the course of several months.
Can Emotional Stress Cause Hair Loss
Ever heard phrases related to hair falling out in reference to someone being really stressed? It turns out this phrase might be more significantly rooted in science than we originally thought
Many people underestimate the effects of stress on the body, brushing it off as a strictly emotional condition. But stress can manifest in the form of serious physical symptoms including increased shedding or hair loss. If youve experienced some form of emotional or physical stress in the last six months, and youve noticed some increased hair shedding or what looks like the beginning of male pattern baldness, theres a chance you could be experiencing stress-induced hair loss.
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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.
How Can I Treat It
Baldness is a natural process. Firstly you need to ask yourself whether you really want to treat it or if you can find a way to accept it rather than try to camouflage bald spots or regain your hair completely.
If you do want treatment, there are two drugs that can help.
Minoxidil lotion is applied twice daily to the scalp. Not available on NHS prescription, but can be purchased over-the-counter. About 60 per cent of patients benefit from it to varying degrees. Its effects start to wear off as soon as it is stopped.
Finasteride is a medicine taken in tablet form that partially blocks the effects of the male hormones . Propecia has been shown to halt further hair loss and promote re-growth of scalp hair in approximately 80 per cent of patients after three to six months. The treatment benefits also stop when you stop taking the medication. Only available on prescription and is available on some NHS primary care trust lists for certain conditions.
You might also consider cosmetic surgery, which is a reliable way to replace lost hair. Methods include transplants, scalp reductions and flap surgery although all are expensive long-term solutions.
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Why Stress Makes Your Hair Fall Out
And why it happens three months later
The times when Ive pulled fistfuls of hair out of my head in the shower, my life wasnt particularly stressfulor at least, it wasnt until my hair started coming out. Then, of course, I assumed I was either balding or belatedly inheriting my familys matrilineal thin hair. Faced with the stark reality of my hair-related vanity, I would try to comfort myself with the fact that I could at least wear fun wigs. You know, the natural cycle of things.
But the explanation for this actually lies in another cyclethe life cycle of a hair.