Can Stress Cause Hair Loss?

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Welcome to Hair Detox! Today on our blog, we are going to be looking at the cause of hair loss, specifically, how stress can play a role in hair fall. Stress can seem like a regular way of life — something that we have become accustomed to and unavoidable whether it be related to money, schedules, the necessities of the job, relationships, and all the pressures put on us by society.

The Stress & Hair Loss Connection

Chronic stress can take its toll on our bodies. It can create a greater chance for disease to develop, be the catalyst for other physical conditions, and ultimately, prematurely age our bodies. Stress can also be the root cause for hair loss.

Is My Hair Loss Normal?

Everyone loses some hair. According to health experts, it is normal to lose about 100 hairs a day from brushing or combing one’s hair, from the shower, or during sleep. Losing hair is a natural process: every few months we shed and regrow hair. However, there may be cause for alarm if we are losing more hairs a day than typical and if the hair we are losing isn’t growing back.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen is the name for the resting stage of the hair growth cycle and telogen effluvium, which can be acute or chronic, is when hair roots are prematurally pushed into this resting phrase. As a result these hair follicles fall out over the course of a few months. In some cases, a person can lose 70% of their hair if there is a sudden shock to their system. In this case, hair will be shed in handfuls. There are a lot of causes for telogen effluvium including:

  • High fever
  • Childbirth
  • Severe infections
  • Severe chronic illness
  • Psychological stress
  • Major surgery or illness
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Crash diets lacking protein
  • Some medications (retinoid, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, antidepressants, and NSAIDS)

Though the hair loss will be most noticeable on a person’s head. They may lose their hair elsewhere on their body.

Types of Stress-Related Hair Loss

As each person handles stress differently, stress-related hair loss will manifest in different ways. Three types of hair loss which are typically associated with high stress are:  

  • Telogen Effluvium
  • Trichotillomania
  • Alopecia Areata

Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is a psychological disorder that manifests physically as those affected have irresistible urges to pull out their own hair from their scalp, eyebrows, and other areas of the body. Often those with this disorder have large bald patches which can also affect their social life and their career success. Trichotillomania exists on a spectrum: some who suffer from its effects can easily manage it, while others compulsively pull hair out. Symptoms of trichotillomania include:

  • Pulling hair out from scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, and other areas of the body
  • Emotional tension during resistance to pull hair out, and release or pleasure when the hair is pulled out
  • Noticeable hair loss and sometimes hair-pulling patterns or rituals
  • Biting and chewing on pulled hair, or rubbing it on face

Many who suffer from trichotillomania are conscious that they are doing it, while others aren’t. Additionally, because this is a mental condition, it can be related to negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, tension, boredom, loneliness, fatigue, or frustration.

Hair Loss: From the Inside Out

If you are experiencing hair loss, it is best to consult a doctor, as hair fall can be a sign of a significant disease or condition. Hair loss or hair thinning can also be a sign of nutritional deficiencies due to stress, aging, and other factors. Though reducing your stress will make a significant impact, often providing your body the nutrients you need can stop hair fail and even create regrowth.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes scalp hair follicles to be attacked by the person’s own immune system — stress is considered to be one of the possible culprits. However, alopecia can also be genetic and related to other diseases. Often those suffering from alopecia of this kind lose their hair in patches, differentiating it from male pattern baldness. They may also have other symptoms:

  • Exclamation mark-shaped hairs near the bare spots
  • Hair loss on other parts of their body
  • Nail problems that include pitting, whire spots, lines, roughness, thinness, and splitting

Alopecia can also manifest as Alopecia totalis (lose all hair on scalp) and Alopecia universalis (lose all the hair on the body).

For this reason, we created Hair Detox, hair regrowth supplements made entirely of natural ingredients to nourish your body. To learn more about the possibilities for you and potentially thicken your head of hair, visit the Hair Detox website!