Does extreme stress causes Hair Loss

Does extreme stress causes Hair Loss
17 Jul 2023
7 mins
Table Of Content
Does extreme stress causes Hair Loss

    Stress has become an unwelcome companion in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. We frequently find ourselves balancing several duties, meeting deadlines, and overcoming various obstacles. In the middle of this chaos one unexpected side effect of stress emerges is hair loss. Yes! stress can damage our beautiful tangles, causing them to shed in alarming numbers. The good news is that stress-related hair loss is mostly temporary. If the hair loss happens only due to stress, complete recovery often occurs in some months or a year. Let’s look into types of stress-related hair loss and steps to reduce stress. 


    Types Of Hair Fall Due To Stress


    1. Alopecia Areata


    In this stress-induced hair loss type, the immune system attacks the hair follicles and causes hair loss. People may lose hair in the eyebrows, eyelashes, or pubic areas other than the scalp. Some people tend to lose hair in all body parts. When this happens, this disease is referred to as alopecia universalis. 


    Round or oval bald patches are typically seen in people with alopecia areata. People may feel a burning or stinging sensation before having hair loss. People with the condition usually see their hair regrow naturally, but treatment is necessary sometimes. 


    2. Trichotillomania (Hair-Pulling Disorder)


    Some people tend to pull out their hair when they undergo uncomfortable feelings such as stress, frustration, loneliness, and boredom. Other than scalp hair, they may pull out hairs from beard, eyebrows, etc. This hair-pulling disorder is commonly seen in young adults and teenage people. The physician generally recommends cognitive behavioral therapy to overcome trichotillomania. 


    3. Telogen Effluvium (Excessive Hair Shedding) 


    When you lose significantly more hairs each day (close to 300 hairs), it is called excessive hair shedding (telogen effluvium). High-stress levels can force more hair follicles to the resting (telogen) phase. 


    The resting phase takes two to three months; in the end, hairs fall out. This is why people experience hair loss two or three months after a stressful event such as the death of a loved one. Most people recover hair growth and volume within six to nine months. But if a stressor remains, it may cause long-term hair loss. 


    Hair Fall Due To Stress: Effective Ways To Cope 


    1. Eat Healthily


    When feeling stressed, it’s normal for anyone to make poor nutritional choices. It can increase the stress and risk of other health conditions such as blood pressure. When your food does not contain enough zinc, biotin, vitamin D, and iron, it can also lead to hair loss or worsen the existing hair loss. 


    Try not to skip meals even if you are stressed. Include more berries, salmon, spinach, eggs, avocados, and nuts, which can provide nutrients for hair health. 


    2. Exercise Regularly


    Exercise can decrease the stress hormone cortisol and increase the release of endorphins, which help relieve stress and pain. Exercise has been shown to reduce the severity of depression. It can distract you from negative emotions and thoughts. Choose activities you enjoy and do them regularly. Try walking, jogging, gardening, etc. 


    3. Pick A Relaxation Technique


    Relaxation techniques include breath focus, mindfulness meditation, guided imagery, repetitive prayer, yoga, and tai chi. These techniques provide various benefits to mental and physical health in addition to reducing stress. Choose a technique and do it for at least twenty minutes each day. Even a few minutes would help to ease stress. 


    4. Connect With Positive People


    Surrounding yourself with family members and friends can help reduce stress. Talking to them while stressed can help you realize you are not alone. Research has shown that loneliness and poor social support can lead to poor mental health. 


    5. Avoid Unhealthy Coping Techniques


    Many people develop smoking, alcoholism, or overeating to manage stress. These techniques increase the stress and risk of developing many chronic health conditions. 


    Things To Try If You Have Trichotillomania


    You can try squeezing a ball or showering to lower anxiety or other uncomfortable feelings. Putting plasters on the fingertips or deep breathing may help you until the urge disappears. It may help to open up your condition to someone you trust, as hiding it can worsen the stress.


    The Bottom Line 


    Hair loss caused by stress can be upsetting, but knowing the connection between stress and hair health is the first step towards managing and reducing this problem. You may recover, control and restore your crowning splendor by using stress management techniques, caring for your hair, and obtaining medical assistance when necessary. 


    Remember that a healthy mind and scalp work hand in hand, paving the way for vibrant, resilient hair that can withstand stressful events. Other than stress, there are various reasons why you might be losing your hair. If you find persistent hair loss or hair loss more than usual, visit a dermatologist. He/ she will find the cause and guide suitable changes and medications.

    Written by
    GuruvigneshwariMedical Content Writer
    AboutM. Pharm