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When we feel stress, we may think we need to work out our problems on our own. But in fact, expressing your worries out loud and face to face with a friends, a family member or a trusted colleague helps put stress in perspective. Not only does saying your concerns out loud help you vent, but it can actually help you see it from a new perspective and it might even shine light on a solution you could not have seen on your own.
What Are The Myths About Hair Loss
Myths about hair loss are widespread. Nothing in the following list is true:
- Youre losing hair because you shampoo it too much, or because youve colored it or gotten a perm.
- Dandruff causes permanent hair loss in women.
- Stress causes permanent hair loss in women.
- If you shave your head, your hair will grow back twice as thick.
- If you stand on your head youll increase circulation, stimulating hair growth.
- If you brush your hair 100 strokes a day that will make your hair healthier.
- Hats and wigs cause hair loss in women.
- Hair loss only affects intellectual women.
Stress And Androgenic Alopecia
Hair thinning is often associated with heat styling. However, in both men and women, hair thinning may be genetic. It is inheritable from either parent. If you have tried all biohacking hair tricks with no success or results of more length and thickness, the problem could be androgenic alopecia.
The thinning is caused by the sensitivity that arises in the hair follicles to a type of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone . If you have this inherited follicle, it may start showing up during puberty.
The characteristics of androgenic alopecia include:
- Reduced volume and length of hair over years
- More visible scalp
- Hairline that keeps receding
Are you wondering how stress is involved in this kind of hair loss? Stress will cause hair to be thinner and unhealthier. With increased stress levels, your body produces more stress hormones, also called cortisol. In turn, cortisol increases the amounts of testosterone in the body, which in turn triggers more thinning.
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Why Does Stress Cause Hair Loss
Stress is one of the most common causes of Telogen Effluvium. This is because when we are stressed, we often do not look after ourselves as well as we should do. For instance, we may skip meals or eat more processed foods than usual which, despite their convenience, have very little nutritional benefit. Stress also impacts digestion and your bodys absorption of vital nutrients.
Whats more, hair is a non-essential tissue, so it is often the first thing to suffer if your body is lacking in nutrients. Vitamin imbalances, iron deficiency, inadequate protein intake, and meals that contain too few calories, can all contribute to hair shedding.
Furthermore, stress affects our immune system, making us more susceptible to illness. Illnesses like the flu, high fevers and systemic upsets often trigger hair loss. For more information about diffuse hair shedding, please visit our section on Telogen Effluvium.
If you are worried about any form of hair loss, our Clinics in London and New York specialise in all aspects of hair and scalp health, and will be pleased to welcome you.
First How Stress Affects Your Hair
Both Rieder and Wechsler say that the type of stress-induced hair loss that affects most people is known as telogen effluvium. The condition commonly surfaces two to three months after a stressful event such as a medical procedure, illness, psychological stressor, weight loss, or even the start of a new medication, says Rieder. Essentially, your hair follicles suddenly shift from the anagen, or growth, phase to the resting phase, called telogen, Wechsler explains. And the loss can be quite dramatic.
Though theres much we dont know about how telogen effluvium strikes, additional research suggests that cortisol, a stress hormone, may interfere with normal functioning of the hair follicle. Bottom line: If youre pumping out cortisol because youre feeling tense or anxious, your hair may react accordingly.
Another less common condition called alopecia areata occurs when your immune system attacks your follicles. Like all autoimmune diseases, this can be brought on in susceptible individuals by a stressor, explains Wechsler. Even less common is trichotillomania , which is when stress leads you to pull out your hair.
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Habits And Lifestyle Changes
Changing your lifestyle and habits can often help to reduce stress. If you often feel stressed, try using the techniques below to limit your exposure to sources of stress and manage stress when you experience it:
If your hair loss is caused by chronic stress, understanding and coping with the stress in healthier ways may help you to regrow some or all of the hair that youve lost.
This is something that youll need to discuss with your healthcare provider.
Switch Out Your Shampoos
When stressed, your hair can become delicate and easily prone to damage. Try switching to gentle or organic shampoos and conditioners. Argan, jojoba and sunflower seed oils are ingredients to look for in shampoos and conditioners, as they are very gentle and have nourishing and moisturising properties. Love Beauty And Planet Hope & Repair Shampoo and Conditioner are infused with organic virgin coconut oil that helps hydrate and nourish for healthy-looking hair and scalp .
As stated earlier, the average person may lose 100 hairs a day. If you feel that you might be losing more hair than you normally do or have discovered small coin-shaped bald patches on the scalp or elsewhere on the body, its a good idea to speak with a medical professional. Board-certified dermatologists are trained to diagnose and help treat scalp issues and different types of hair loss, including hair loss caused by stress and/or autoimmune disease.
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How To Address Stress
If you are going through a stressful period and want to reduce your risk of hair loss, there are a few simple things you can do. To prevent loss, we want to balance the high sodium levels. The easiest way to do this is:
Increase potassium to improve the electrolyte balance. Include plenty of green juices, celery, lettuce, cucumber and other green leafy vegetables. Apple cider vinegar also contains potassium, so you can take 10ml in a glass of water each day.
Increase magnesium Another way to balance the sodium out. You can get magnesium through food, but in this case I typically recommend a magnesium chelate supplement. This also helps to support the body during stress.
Boost your water intake Increasing your fluid intake can help to flush out excess sodium and improve the balance of electrolytes.
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 860,616 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.
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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.
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- Scabs or crusts are present in the hair
- Ringworm of the scalp suspected.
- Broken hairs from tight hair style and pimples are present in scalp
- Patch of hair loss and cause not known
- Widespread hair thinning and cause not known
- Hair loss from nervous habit of twisting the hair
- Hair loss is a chronic problem
- Normal hair loss suspected, but doesn’t grow back within 6 months
- You have other questions or concerns
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Stress And Hair Loss: The Basics
Contrary to popular belief, stress is not linked to male pattern baldness the form of hair loss that causes you to permanently lose hair around your hairline, temples and the crown of your scalp.
However, stress can trigger and potentially worsen a form of temporary hair loss called telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium affects your hair by interrupting the natural hair growth cycle.
Normally, there are four different growth phases during the hair cycle as it grows from below the skin to its full length, then falls out to be replaced by a new hair:
The first phase is the anagen phase, during which the hair grows to its full length.
The second phase is the catagen phase, during which the old, fully grown hair follicle detaches from the skin.
The third phase is the telogen phase, also known as the resting phase, during which a new hair starts to grow from the follicle to replace the old one.
The fourth phase is the exogen phase, during which the old hair falls out, with the new hair growing in its place.
Just like your skin and nails, your hair is constantly undergoing this growth cycle. Weve covered each phase of the hair growth cycle in more detail in our guide to the hair growth process.
Each phase of the hair growth cycle varies in length. Hairs usually stay in the anagen phase for up to six years during which they grow to their full length.
About 90 percent of your hairs are in the anagen phase at any time, meaning that most of your hair is constantly growing.
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.
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What Are The Types Of Hair Loss
There are three: anagen effluvium, telogen effluvium and FPHL.
- Anagen effluvium: This is caused by medications that poison a growing hair follicle .
- Telogen effluvium: This is caused by an increased number of hair follicles reaching the telogen phase, which is the stage where hair falls out.
- Androgenetic alopecia/female pattern alopecia/female pattern hair loss /baldness: This type is the most common. Hair thins over the top of the head and on the sides.
What About Haircare And Styling Products
Because of the fleeting nature of the conditions described above, both Rieder and Wechsler insist there arent necessarily any products that you cant use if youre experiencing stress-induced thinning. Theres no reason you shouldnt be able to style and color as you normally would, says Wechsler. The only thing Id try to steer clear of are hairstyles that may pull at the hair and damage the follicles, like tight ponytails or braids.
Of course, creating the right scalp environment for hair health can help, too. That could mean using a calming shampoo or a CBD hair oil that can nourish and pamper follicles. And it should be an essential part of your routine. A lot of my patients with hair loss get so worried that they dont wash their hair as often, Wechsler adds. And thats definitely not the best thing to do.
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Be Mindful Of Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are a form of contraception that works by suppressing ovulation and/or making it more difficult for a fertilized egg to implant into the lining of the uterus. Hormonal hair loss in women may occur when women start or stop taking certain kinds of contraceptives. The hormones that make birth control pills effective may also cause hair thinning in women who use them. You are more likely to experience this side effect from birth control pills if you have a family history of hair loss. Stopping the pill is also a cause of hair loss in women. Hormones are not the only medication that may be associated with hair loss. Blood thinners and blood pressure medications may do it, too. So can drugs used to treat depression, heart disease, and arthritis.
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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What Are The Causes Of Sudden Hair Loss
VASCULAR CAUSE: poor blood flow to the hair bulb means the hair does not get the essential elements it needs to grow.NUTRITIONAL CAUSE: a deficiency in the nutrients essential to hair growth.INFLAMMATORY CAUSE: Psychological or physical stress or certain disorders will result in an imbalance that will be conveyed as stress at cell level. At the scalp level, cells subject to this stress will release neurotransmitters, including substance P. These neurotransmitters will trigger an acute inflammatory cascade. Hair goes into the telogen phase prematurely. This triggers sudden, rapid hair loss.IS IT POSSIBLE TO SLOW DOWN THIS HAIR LOSS?
In order to slow down sudden hair loss, you must treat these three causes. Each can be responsible for sudden hair loss, alone or in combination with one another.
What Causes Hair Loss When You Are Stressed Out
Your hair follicles live and die according to their own life cycle. There are hereditary factors that can affect how long or short these cycles may be in addition to stress causing changes in your hair life cycle.
When a person is under sustained amounts of stress, their body will revert to survival mode in an effort to keep your essential systems functioning properly. Hair may be socially essential, but your body doesnt actually need it in order to survive, hence why its often on the chopping block when your body needs to prioritize resources. This process is called telogen effluvium and it alerts your hair follicles they need to start the rest portion of their life cycle. The rest cycle ends when those hairs fall out so you wont see them go right away. Rather, a few months after they have entered their rest cycle you can expect them to come out when you brush your hair or when you shower.
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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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