Can Stress Cause Hair Loss?

There are many factors that contribute to hair loss such as diet, health, environmental, drugs and genetics. In addition, we are beginning to understand that stress impacts hair loss.

3 Levels of Stress:

  • Acute: This type of stress reflects daily challenges such as traffic problems, non-life threatening illnesses among family/friends, kids schedules, etc. These are temporary stressors in our lives that we deal with and return to our normal routines.
  • Chronic: This long term stress is created through situations that don’t seem to have a solution. Chronic stress may arise from your job, on-going family issues or other serious issues that can significantly impact our lives.
  • Traumatic: The most severe stress is traumatic stress which is caused by sudden and/or severe trauma or illness. While hair loss can arise immediately after a traumatic event, it could also occur up to three month later.

Note: Traumatic events can impact your entire nervous system, which can lead to organ malfunction. Your hair may be the first casualty since you do not need hair to survive.

3 Types of Stress Related Hair Loss

  • Telogen Effluvium stops hair from growing as your stress sends hair follicles into a resting phase. Up to a few months later, your hair attached to those affected follicles may begin to fall at a higher rate than normal.
  • Alopecia Areata causes hair to fall out (often in larger chunks) as your immune system turns against your hair follicles.
  • Trichotillomania is where an individual compulsively pulls their own hair out as a method of coping with stress. This could even include eyebrows and other body hair.

Tips to Reduce Stress (& Hair Loss):

  • Get enough sleep
  • Commit to a healthy diet (note: increase proteins and Vitamin B)
  • Excercise
  • Review medications with your doctor

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