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.
Reasons Whyyour Hair Skin And Nails Are Suffering
- Erika Geisheimer, Blog Coordinator
- Communications, Good n’ Natural Health Food Store
Irritated or aging skin? Thinning or dry hair? Brittle or unhealthy nails? While using topical products is a valid method of treatment, it also helps to consider that more often than not, external symptoms are a manifestation of some internal dysfunction or imbalance, whether it is too much of something or not enough of another. Consider the following potential underlying causes that are triggering your beauty blunders!
1. Nutrient Deficiencies
Protein The amino acids in protein are building blocks for thick, shiny hair and strong nails. Deficiency symptoms include dry, shedding hair and weak nails. As a general rule, aim to consume at least half of your body weight in grams of protein per day! Specifically, collagen is the main structural protein found in skin and other connective tissues. When levels fall hair thins, skin sags & wrinkles and nails become brittle. Elastin fibers form a matrix with collagen in hyaluronic acid. Together these ingredients function to lock in moisture and make skin, hair and nails smooth, elastic and firm. With age, menopause and damage from toxins, our natural renewal rate of these nutrients slows down. Important collagen building blocks include Silica and Biotin, as well as Sulfur, Zinc and Vitamin C.
2. Sluggish Liver
3. Stressed Lifestyle
4. Hormone Imbalances
5. Oxidative Stress
6. Poor Gut Health & Inflammation
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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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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A Receding Hairline In Boys
As we age, our hairline changes. There are two types of hairlines to be aware of: a maturing hairline, and a receding one. A maturing hairline is a natural process that takes place during late adolescence. It is normal and will happen in all boys, much like a deeper voice and hairy torso.
On the other hand, a receding hairline is problematic and signals a deeper issue. This is usually male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia . Unless treated in time, a receding hairline will keep on getting worse with time.
The main way to discern between a maturing and receding hairline is by looking at the pattern.
An even hairline one that keeps a consistent line from temple to temple is the main sign of a maturing hairline. An uneven hairline that is more recessed at the temples is a sign of a receding hairline, unless you have a natural widows peak, which further complicates the issue .
Free Download – Hairguard’s Ultimate Hair Regrowth Cheat Sheet
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Stress And Telogen Effluvium: Excessive Daily Hair Shedding
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.
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 we should. For instance, we may skip meals or eat more processed foods than usual which, while convenient, have little nutritional benefit. Stress also impacts digestion and your bodys absorption of vital nutrients.
Because hair is a non-essential tissue, 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 guide to Telogen Effluvium.
Hair Shedding Common After Major Health Event
Hair loss after COVID-19 probably isn’t caused by the virus attacking hair follicles, doctors say. Instead, they think it’s most likely a reaction to the physiological and emotional stress brought on by the disease.
“Anytime you have a shock to your system, it can shunt the hair into a shedding phase, said Shoshana Marmon, M.D., clinical assistant professor of dermatology and director of clinical research in the Department of Dermatology at New York Medical College.
The technical name for the condition is telogen effluvium. It usually resolves on its own about six to nine months after it starts, Marmon said.
Lauren Ploch, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Augusta, Georgia, and Aiken, South Carolina, said hair loss is common in patients after other stressful events such as major surgery and childbirth. As with COVID, it usually shows up a few months after the inciting event.
“The reason this happens is that our bodies, when under stress, devote resources to functions that are physiologically more important, Ploch said. Your body is focused on healing and repairing itself, and not focused on hair growth.
In the most severe cases, patients lose as much as a third of their hair, Ploch said.
Dermatologists are tracking COVID-19 survivors who continue to have symptoms, called long-haulers, to find out for sure if what they are experiencing is telogen effluvium or something related to ongoing illness or inflammation.
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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:
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.
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Does Emotional Stress Cause Hair Loss
Emotional stress, such as loss of a loved one, work-related pressure, financial troubles or parenting problems, can cause hair loss. These changes in mood can trigger hormonal imbalances, which lead to hair loss, often through telogen effluvium.
During periods of extreme emotional stress, telogen effluvium can cause the hair to fall out. Telogen effluvium is the most common type of stress-induced hair loss but is not permanent. Hair often grows back within 2 or 3 months.
Emotional stress can also trigger a specific type of alopecia, called alopecia areata. This is characterised by sudden bald patches on the scalp, which can spread to cover the entire head. Again, hair loss caused by alopecia areata is not permanent and often grows back, although sometimes treatment is required.
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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Not All Hair Loss Is Anxiety Related
It’s also important to note that not all hair loss is anxiety related, but the two may occur at a similar period of time. Some people that start to suffer from hair loss are at an age with many other stresses, like kids, work, and finances. Because they happen at the same age they may seem related, but are technically different conditions.
Furthermore, some people start to feel anxiety**_ because_** they’re experiencing hair loss. In a way, hair loss is their anxiety trigger, and they experience greater levels of anxiety because they are so worried about losing their hair.
Finally, sometimes those with anxiety simply see more hair loss where it doesn’t exist, because of their fears. It’s not uncommon for hair to look exactly the same but anxiety plays tricks with the mind to make it seem or feel like more fell out than usual.
While anxiety can absolutely cause hair to fall out – in some cases in very large clumps – anxiety is not always the problem. Sometimes the problem is simply that your anxiety causes you to think more and care more about your hair than necessary, giving the impression that the two are related.
How Extreme Stress Causes Hair Loss
Stress levels are high, and for some, that could mean less hair on your head.
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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What Are Some Tips For Dealing With Hair Loss In Women
There are some things you can do on your own. You might check with your stylist or try some of these:
- Coloring your hair adds volume to the strands, making your hair seem fuller.
- Massaging your head, like when you are washing your hair, can stimulate blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles.
- Getting your hair cut shorter, and having layers added, can make your hair seem fuller.
- Using the right kind of shampoo can also help. Look for a shampoo that adds volume without using sulfate detergents.
- Using the right kind of product at the right time can also help. There are products that add volume that you add while your hair is still wet. However, using too much product can add weight.
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:
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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.
How Common Is Stress
According to the Cleveland Clinic, 50 percent of women will experience noticeable hair loss in their life. Of those, most of them will experience female-pattern hair loss , as this affects roughly 30 million women in the U.S. This is different than stress-induced hair loss, but the Cleveland Clinic confirms that stress is a popular cause of female hair loss.
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How Can Hair Loss In Women Be Prevented
Preventing hair loss is not possible when it is due to disease, aging, heredity or physical stressors like injuries. You can prevent hair loss caused by caustic chemicals or tight hairstyles by avoiding them. You might be able to prevent some hair loss by eating a healthy diet that provides necessary nutrients in terms of vitamins, minerals and protein. You can stop smoking.