Most people believe there is a link between stress and hair loss. As a result, it is one of the most common topics on the subject of baldness. Does stress lead to thinning hair, hair loss and can anything be done?
First of all, let’s look at what stress actually is, before we examine its relation to hair loss. Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense something isn’t right, whether it’s real or not, the body goes into defence mode – an automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction or the “stress response.”
The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. However, this can cause anxiety and concern, which lowers self-esteem, and makes us react and behave differently.
Does stress cause hair loss?
Stress can cause many conditions that lead to baldness and thinning hair. These include Alopecia Areata, which is a sudden loss of large clumps of hair in areas around your scalp, and Telogen Effluvium, which is a condition where more hairs than normal prepare to fall out. Trichotillomania is another condition caused by stress and anxiety where the person pulls out strands from the root.
Extreme emotional stress can affect the hair and cause the hair follicles to go into a shedding phase. This leads to temporary hair loss. We should reiterate the word ‘temporary’, because in most cases the hair will grow back, usually after the stress is alleviated, at around 3-6 months.
Can stress related be treated or stopped?
If you’re losing hair because you’re stressed or anxious, then the first thing to do is to get your stress levels under control. This of course is much easier said than done, but it is an essential part of the recovery process.
Some of the most effective ways of lowering your stress levels include:
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink plenty of water and eat healthy
- Avoid junk food
- Ease up on your caffeine intake
- Take health supplements
Remember, stress-related hair loss is a normal process and often temporary. Seek the advice of a hair loss professional before purchasing multiple remedies off the shelf.