Stress is one of the most obvious outcomes of our fast-paced world today. We are all exposed to so much data, news and images that have a huge, permanent impact on our minds and bodies. On top of that, our own physical and psychological health adds to the pressure.
One of the growing concerns and products of stress is hair loss. Many of us have experienced shedding so much hair after going through a shock or a trauma.
But, how do we know our hair loss is due to stress? How can stress-related hair loss be diagnosed? What are the stress-related hair loss symptoms? And the most critical question to answer is: Can we reverse the process of hair loss caused by stress?
This article is for you if you are one of the millions looking for these answers.
Can Stress Cause Hair Loss? How?
The question is: Can stress lead to hair loss in males and females? The short answer is "Yes!" Studies show that stress has a negative impact on hair follicles and causes hair to fall out.
Many factors can lead to stress and ultimately hair loss, like injuries, accidents, physical and emotional stress, death of loved ones, trauma, financial issues, etc.
But, the good news is that hair loss caused by stress is temporary and reversible. Read below for more info.
Stress and anxiety can cause temporary hair loss.
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If your hair is falling out more than 80-100 strands, you might have symptoms of stress-related hair loss. Whereas, in the case of alopecia areata, you see bald patches on your scalp. And, if you have the urge to pull out your hair, it might be Trichotillomania. We'll talk more about these types of stress-related hair loss below.
If you are losing more than 100 strands of hair daily, it might be due to stress. It's best to seek medical help to stop hair loss sooner.
In telogen effluvium, stress and trauma cause hair follicles to go to the resting or telogen phase. Typically, 5-10% of hair strands are in the resting phase at any given time. But with telogen effluvium, this number increases, and the person loses more than 100 hairs per day.
Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh), aka hair-pulling disorder, is when a person constantly pulls out their hair from their scalp, eyebrows, or other areas of their body. What causes this disorder is stress, anxiety, depression, boredom, or frustration. Of course, this disorder leads to thinning hair on the scalp.
In Alopecia Areata, stress causes an auto-immune reaction where the body's immune system attacks its own follicles. As a result, you can see bald patches of hair on the scalp.
Stress-related hair loss is temporary, and the hair normally grows back.
In this article, we covered the facts about why stress causes hair loss and the symptoms and types of hair loss caused by stress.
But is stress-related hair loss permanent, or will it stop? Fortunately, hair loss caused by stress is temporary, and once the stress is over, it will stop too. After the stress and anxiety stop, the body needs 6 to 9 months to recover and restore the lost hair strands. Of course, the rate of regrowth differs from person to person.
In the meantime, try the different techniques that we talk about below to help your hair follicles and seek professional help. Your doctor will prescribe the best medication for you to stop the hair loss and help your hair grow back.
1- Is My Hair Loss Normal?
Based on the American Academy of Dermatologists, losing 50 strands of hair a day is normal. You might notice hair loss more than others if you have long hair.
2- Why Am I Losing So Much Hair All of the Sudden?
Everyone experiences hair shedding. But if you feel like you are losing more hair than the usual amount, you should be concerned. The reasons behind sudden hair loss can be:
If you are experiencing sudden, severe hair loss, talking to your dermatologist is your best option.
3- How Long Does It Take To Notice Hair Loss Caused by Stress?
If you have gone through a stressful period, loss, trauma, or for women giving birth, you might experience hair loss due to stress. This type of hair loss normally starts within 3 months after the stressful event.
4- How Can I Stop Hair Loss Caused by Stress?
The first and most obvious answer is that you need to manage your stress. Being obvious doesn't make it any easier, but you need to try different techniques to do that, like:
The second solution is to watch what you eat. You need to know that crash dieting and malnutrition are two of the leading causes of telogen effluvium.
Load up your daily intake with fruits and vegetables, whole wheat, and lean protein.
Lastly, talk to your doctor to see which supplements they recommend. Sometimes telogen effluvium can happen due to nutritional deficiencies. Your doctor might ask you to take one of the following supplements:
5- What Are the Stress Management Techniques I Can Use To Reverse My Hair Loss?
As mentioned above, you can use techniques and make lifestyle changes to reduce stress and avoid further harm to your health, as well as your hair.
If you are suffering from hair loss caused by stress, try the following: