Can Anxiety Make Your Hair Fall Out
Anxiety itself does not directly cause hair loss. Instead, it is the stressful situations that those with anxiety encounter that can cause the hair to fall out. The amount that falls out depends on the severity of the stress and frequency of the interactions.
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.
As with other emotionally stressful situations, anxiety can trigger telogen effluvium or alopecia areata which will ultimately cause hair loss.
If you think you are suffering from hair loss as a result of emotional stress, it is best to consult your doctor. Your doctor may refer to you to a counsellor or therapist, to address the underlying cause of the emotional stress which should help prevent any further hair loss, as well as allow the hair to regrow through the resolution of the source of emotional stress.
The Initial Causes Will Hair Grow Back After Stress Loss
The main cause of hair loss is stress. While most of us shed about 50 to 100 strands of hair daily, we also continue to grow new ones at the same rate. This shedding is normal, and its perfectly natural to replace lost hair with new ones. However, if youre losing hair that is excessively slow or isnt growing back, youre experiencing hair fall. There are many possible causes for this condition, but theres no one single solution.
Tinea capitis, also known as scalp ringworm, is a fungal infection that affects the scalp. Symptoms include bald spots and patches of hair loss. Infection may be caused by fungus, and scaly, red patches may develop. In severe cases, sores may develop on the scalp and oozing pus may be present. Treatment with a prescription may be necessary, but the long-term results of taking these medications are not always permanent.
In some cases, temporary hair loss may be the result of a hormonal imbalance. While some women experience hair loss due to hormonal fluctuations, others may experience permanent loss of hair. These changes can be caused by hormones in the body, such as those produced by the thyroid or by the adrenal glands. In severe cases, the loss of hair is caused by medical conditions. Inflammatory diseases can cause an excess of androgen, a male hormone. High levels of vitamin A in the blood and in the body can also result in hair thinning.
Can Stress Cause Hair Loss
Our bodies are a network of interconnected systems, meaning very few events relating to our health happen to us in isolation. Many types of stress start out in the mind, then go on to immensely affect our physical wellbeing.
This is certainly true of our hair and it is why we take a holistic approach to hair care. Stress results in hair loss far more frequently than most people realise, and we consider stress management a crucial part of most treatment plans. Of course, hair loss itself can be stressful, which may then perpetuate the problem.
Types of stress related hair loss include:
- Telogen Effluvium
- Alopecia Areata
- Androgenic Alopecia
It is important to note that stress will usually not cause hair loss straight away. Most hair loss you experience will present itself anywhere between 6-12 weeks after a stressful event, due to the nature of the hair growth cycle.
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Stress And Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is a condition that causes specific patches of hair loss to appear randomly on your scalp. These are usually circular in shape and roughly the size of a coin, although they can also be larger.
Alopecia areata is widely accepted to be an autoimmune disorder, where your body sees certain hair cells as foreign enemies and attacks them. What triggers this response is not entirely understood, but 90% of cases are associated with stress, shock, bereavement, illness, or an accident. For more information, please read our section on Alopecia Areata.
Symptoms Of Alopecia Areata
The main symptom of alopecia areata is hair loss that occurs in small, round patches on your head. This leaves smooth, peach-colored areas of scalp exposed. A mild case of alopecia areata starts with one to two coin-size hairless patches. In many instances, it stops after that. Sometimes, the hair will grow back. However, theres no guarantee. The condition is unpredictable, and the cycle of hair loss and regrowth can repeat itself.
Alopecia areata can grow into another form of alopecia. In its worst form, alopecia universalis causes you to lose all body hair. This includes eyebrows, eyelashes, arms, legs, underarms, pubic, and chest and back hair for men. Rarely, people who have alopecia may feel burning or itching in the areas where they once had hair.
Some people with alopecia areata see changes in their fingernails and toenails. Nails can have tiny dents , have white spots or lines, and be rough.
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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.
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.
Also Check: Can Eczema Come From Stress
What Are The Stages Of Hair Growth
There are three main stages of hair growth:
Anagen: This is the growth phase in which the hair follicle grows.
Catagen: This is the transition phase where the hair follicle stops growing.
Telogen: This is the resting phase where the hair stays for 2 to 3 months until it falls out. About 10% to 15% of your hair is in the telogen phase at any given time.
Telogen effluvium occurs when hair follicles are pushed into the telogen phase earlier than normal. In 2 to 3 months after the stressful event, these hairs will start falling out.
Does Stress Increase Dht
Stress does cause hair loss, however, it is not thought to directly increase DHT levels. Instead, it affects your hair through other mechanisms such as prompting your body to conserve nutrients for core functions, or pushing hair into the resting phase too quickly.
In one study, army recruits were deprived of sleep, increasing both physical and emotional stress levels for them. Their hormone levels were monitored. While their testosterone levels had dropped, their SHBG levels remained consistent.
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Cure Anxiety To Stop Hair Loss
Hair loss that’s caused by anxiety only has one cure – stopping the anxiety. While not all hair will grow back even if you take away your anxiety, many conditions will. Hair growth is a very long process, so your hair may not come back for months, but you can improve that timeframe by doing something about your anxiety now.
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How Long Does It Take For Hair To Grow Back After Chemo
Chemotherapy is usually used to treat cancer. Chemo is a potent medication that attacks rapidly diving cells, such as cancer cells, but it may also attack the hair follicles in the scalp and other parts of the body, leading to rapid hair loss.
Hair will start to regrow on its own two to three weeks after chemotherapy is completed. The hair may grow back as a soft fuzz at first. After about a month, real hair will begin to grow back at its normal rate of 6 inches per year.
Your new hair may grow back a different texture or color than before. In rare instances, hair loss from many years of strong chemotherapy can be permanent.
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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.
Can Stress Cause Hair Loss And Will It Grow Back
Stress is well known to cause hair loss. However, this hair loss is unlikely to be permanent and will grow back. The hair should start to grow back roughly 6 months after the stress has resolved.
It is important to distinguish between physical and emotional stress when it comes to hair loss. While both can cause hair loss, physical stress can often be quicker to address and fix than emotional causes of stress. Physical stress can include severe illnesses, childbirth and extreme changes to diets.
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Your Diet Affects Your Hair
When you don’t get enough iron or protein — or you get too much vitamin A — your hair can fall out. Get protein from meat, eggs, and beans. Get iron from fortified cereal, spinach, and clams. You can use supplements, but it’s better to get your vitamin A from food so you don’t overdo it.
Some people notice hair loss when they lose more than 15 pounds. The hair loss usually starts about 3 to 6 months later, but the hair will grow back on its own.
Hair Loss And Anxiety
Furthermore, it’s important to note that not all hair loss is caused by anxiety, but when you have anxiety it’s easy to worry more about your hair. Many people with anxiety pay too much attention to things that occur naturally, believing that they must all be caused by anxiety. It’s even possible to convince yourself you’re suffering from hair loss when in fact there is no hair loss at all.
So keep that in mind as well. Even though anxiety affects hair, many people that worry about their hair may misinterpret issues that happen naturally.
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Causes Of Hair Loss And Baldness
A variety of factors from illness to poor nutrition to hormonal imbalances to major stress can contribute to hair loss. If you’re experiencing thinning hair or baldness, you need to get to the root of the problem to determine the best treatment.
Hair loss whether baldness or noticeably thinning hair can occur for a number of different reasons. Sometimes hair loss is a side effect of a health problem that needs to be addressed and will remedy itself when the health problem is properly treated. When hair loss is due to a condition involving the hair itself, as in the case of alopecia, the hair loss can be permanent.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- How much hair do I need to lose before calling my doctor?
- If one of my parents has alopecia areata, is there a genetics test I can take to determine if I will get it?
- If my hair loss has lasted more than a year, what are the chances it will return?
- Do certain diseases put people at risk for developing alopecia areata?
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What Is Stress Hair Loss And How To Treat It
While losing 100 to 150 strands of hair per day is normal, some women lose much more. This is often known as stress hair loss, which can be a huge problem. If you want to know if stress can cause hair loss and subsequently how to regain hair loss from stress, read on. Luckily, there are measures you can take to prevent and treat hair falling out from stress.
Stress And Androgenic Alopecia
Hair thinning in both women and men is genetic and can be inherited from either parent. It is caused by a sensitivity in your hair follicles to both testosterone, and a hormone converted from testosterone called dihydrotestosterone .
If you have inherited follicle sensitivity, it will be triggered at some point after puberty . Once the sensitivity is triggered, your hair follicles will gradually miniaturise and the hair will grow back thinner over the years, reducing the volume and length of your hair, and making your scalp more visible.
Stress and anxiety can significantly intensify the effects of this type of hair loss. One of the main reasons behind this is that stress often increases your bodys production of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn can raise your bodys levels of testosterone. Stress may also increase the sensitivity of your follicles to circulating androgens .
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Infections That Cause Hair Loss
A number of infections and illnesses can lead to hair loss. An infection that causes a high fever, a fungal skin infection, and bacterial infections like syphilis can all be responsible for balding or thinning hair. Treating the underlying infection can restore hair growth and prevent future hair loss. So your first step is to seek medical attention for the primary health problem.
Your Options For Restoring Lost Hair
If youre bothered by the appearance of large bald spots or severe hair loss, a hair transplant may be your best option to regain hair youve lost. Dr. Mikell has experience in a range of hair transplantation procedures, and he can help you determine if a hair transplant is right for you.
A hair transplant involves taking small grafts of scalp and hair from elsewhere on your head and moving them to areas without hair. Typically, Dr. Mikell uses hair from the back of your head and transplants the grafts to the crown and front.
Hair transplants are considered surgical procedures, and it could take up to two years before you see the full results of your transplant treatments.
Dont let alopecia hinder your confidence. Partner with Dr. Mikell and our team to find a hair loss treatment that fits your needs. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone with Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry today.
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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.