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What Is The Link Between Stress And Hair Loss?

What Is The Link Between Stress And Hair Loss?

March 15, 2023
What Is The Link Between Stress And Hair Loss?

Stress and hair loss don’t have to be permanent. If you get your stress under control, your hair might grow back. If you notice sudden or patchy hair loss or more than usual hair loss when combing or washing your hair, talk to your doctor. Sudden hair loss can signal an underlying medical condition that requires treatment. If needed, your doctor might also suggest treatment options for your hair loss.

How Can Stress Cause Hair Loss?

There are approximately 100,000 hair follicles on the adult scalp. Each hair follicle is constantly cycling between growth and rest. The majority of these hair follicles are in the growth phase at any given time. When the hair follicle transitions to telogen, or the resting phase, the hair is shed. During an episode of telogen effluvium, a trigger causes a sudden, abnormal shift of hairs into the telogen phase all at once. One possible trigger for this sudden shift? Significant emotional stress. 

Stress can cause hair loss from the scalp. Physical or emotional stress, illness, injury, and surgery are all linked to hair fall. Stress can have a direct or indirect impact on your hair follicles and lead to hair loss. Sometimes, you may notice hair fall 6 to 12 weeks after a stressful event.

What Are The Different Kinds Of Stress That Can Lead To Hair Loss?

Three types of hair loss can be associated with high-stress levels:

  • Telogen effluvium. In telogen effluvium, significant stress pushes large numbers of hair follicles into a resting phase. Within a few months, affected hairs might fall out suddenly when simply combing or washing your hair.
  • Trichotillomania. Trichotillomania is an irresistible urge to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows, or other areas of your body. Hair pulling can be a way of dealing with negative or uncomfortable feelings, such as stress, tension, loneliness, boredom, or frustration.
  • Alopecia areata. A variety of factors are thought to cause alopecia areata possibly including severe stress. With alopecia areata, the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles causing hair loss

More than 100 strands of hair clogging your shower drain or on the hair brush is a sure-shot sign of hair loss. In telogen effluvium, you will notice hair thinning on the scalp. With alopecia, you may notice bald patches of hair on the scalp. With Trichotillomania, which causes constant pulling of hair, you may notice that your hair volume has reduced over time.

What Are Some Remedies To Reduce Stress?

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  • Keep physically active. Develop a routine so that you’re physically active most days of the week. Exercise is a powerful stress reducer. It may improve your mood and help you stay healthy.
  • Eat healthily. Healthy eating such as focusing on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish may be linked to reduced anxiety, but more research is needed.
  • Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. These substances can cause or worsen anxiety. If you can’t quit on your own, see your doctor or find a support group to help you.
  • Discuss your concerns. Talking with a trusted friend helps relieve stress and may provide a more positive perspective on your situation. This may lead to a healthy plan of action.
  • Quit smoking and cut back or quit drinking caffeinated beverages. Both nicotine and caffeine can worsen anxiety.
  • Use stress management and relaxation techniques. Visualization techniques, meditation, and yoga are examples of relaxation techniques that can ease anxiety.
  • Make sleep a priority. Do what you can to make sure you’re getting enough sleep to feel rested. If you aren’t sleeping well, see your doctor.
  • Learn to relax. Your goal is to lower your heart rate and blood pressure while also reducing muscle tension.

Recommended medication that can be used to manage stress:

  • Alfatradiol – this medication acts against dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is thought to improve the blood flow around the hair follicle. Proper blood flow will cause hair growth. The clinical studies revealed that Alfatradiol is good at slowing down the progression of hair loss. The solution can only be applied to the affected part. This will work even if not spread to the entire scalp. 

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