You’re thinking your job is stressful and your family life is chaotic.
On top of that, your social life is absent, and you are reluctant to get out of your bed every morning.
After your shower, you noticed an abnormal amount of hair on the floor.
But stress-induced hair loss is more common than you think.
Stress can be one of the leading causes of hair loss in both men and women.
“Stress: the silent killer of your hair”, will explore stress induced hair loss in detail, and provide you with tips on managing it.
Stress-hair loss connection
You might not realise it, but stress could be the silent killer of your hair.
That’s right, stress can lead to hair loss.
While it might not be the only factor in hair loss, it can contribute to the problem.
Stress is a state of mental, tension or emotional strain.
It’s due to adverse or demanding circumstances.
In other words, stress is your body’s response to any type of demand or threat.
The Stressful Reality of Life
Acute stress is the most common type of stress. It’s the type that occurs in response to a sudden, brief-term event, such as an upcoming test or a job interview.
Episodic stress is another type of stress. Where it represents many stressors, such as juggling work load or family responsibilities.
Chronic stress is the most serious type of stress.
This happens when exposed to stressors like caring for the sick or working in a demanding job.
The mysterious reason why stress leads to your hair loss?
Well, when you’re stressed, your body goes into “fight-or-flight” mode.
This is a survival mechanism designed to help you deal with dangerous situations.
During the “fight-or-flight” response, your body diverts blood away from non-essential functions.
When this response triggers too often, it can harm your health, which in turn affects your hair.
This can lead to a type of hair loss known as telogen effluvium.
Hair loss stress cycle no one told you about
You’re touching your hair and running your fingers through it.
And wondering why it feels thinner than usual.
It’s not as full as it used to be, and you used many hair products, but it doesn’t seem to help.
When you worry, it becomes stressful, and all this can affect your hair growth cycle.
Do you know your hair growth cycles?
- anagen (active growth phase),
- catagen (transitional phase), and
- telogen (resting phase).
During the anagen phase, hair follicles are developing, which then allows hair to grow.
The catagen phase is a transitional phase. When hair growth slows down and the hair follicle shrinks.
In the telogen phase, hair growth stops completely and the hair follicle rests.
When you’re stressed, it can cause hair to go into the telogen, or resting phase sooner than it should.
This means your hair follicles will stop growing, effecting hair growth.
As a result, you may experience hair shedding and thinning.
Do you know how to tell if stress is causing your hair loss?
One way is to look at the pattern of your hair loss.
According to most researchers, if you’re losing hair all over your head, it’s because of stress.
Another way to tell is by looking at the texture and hair regrowth.
Provided your hair is breaking or shedding more than usual, it’s a sign that stress may be to blame.
You may also notice more scalp showing through your hair due to thinner strands.
If you’re experiencing such changes in your hair health, seek a doctor or dermatologist advice.
3 Types of stress-related hair loss people seldom talk about
You might not think your hair is all that sensitive, even though it’s dead cells.
This might not be obvious, but your scalp hair can change when you’re experiencing stress.
There are three main types of stress-related:
This is a common type of stress-related hair loss. It usually affects young adults and children.
It is also a condition where the immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing them to fall out.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Alopecia areata.
But there are some prescription medicines that can help people who have lost 50% of their hair.
Telogen is a type of stress-related hair loss that occurs when the hair follicles go into a resting phase.
This is due to bodily or emotional strain.
Telogen hair loss is completely reversible.
Compulsive pulling or twisting of the hair causes the third type of hair loss.
This urge to pull out one’s hair begins in preteens and can last a lifetime.
Although its cause is unknown, studies suggest it might be hereditary.
Could this be the hair loss solution for you?
Let’s look at how you can treat and manage stress-related hair loss, now that you have a better idea.
Three types of medications to help you
If you take these medications, they have side effects you need to be aware of.
1. Minoxidil (Rogaine) can cause scalp irritation and scalp redness.
2. Finasteride (Propecia) can cause decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and breast tenderness.
3. Corticosteroids can cause weight gain, mood swings, and increased appetite.
Additional options you may not have thought off
You may consider some lifestyle changes to help manage your stress-related hair loss.
- Look after scalp hair: try to avoid tight hairstyles that can pull your hair and damage the roots.
Instead, go for loose styles that won’t put any strain on your scalp hair.
- Reduce further hair loss: try to reduce the interval you spend brushing or combing your hair.
Particularly wet hair is vulnerable to breakage, so be extra careful when handling it.
- Hair follicles needs food too: ensure you’re getting enough protein in your diet.
Hair consists of keratin, a type of protein. So eating a diet of protein-rich foods (like eggs, chicken, and fish) will help keep your hair healthy.
- Massage your scalp: try to massage your entire scalp for a few minutes each day.
This will improve circulation to the hair follicles and promote healthy hair growth.
- Stress management: try to find ways to relax and de-stress.
Meditation, yoga, and spending time in nature are all great ways to reduce stress.
More tips to help you
1. Take a break from heated styling tools. If you use a curling iron or straightener, give your hair a break and let it air dry for a few days.
2. Protect your hair from the sun. When you’re outdoors, wear a hat or scarf to shield your hair from harmful ultraviolet rays.
3. When you do brush, use a soft-bristled brush and be gentle to avoid damaging your hair.
Your hair can recover sooner only if you take the proper steps recommended.
Even if your hair is damaged, snarled or split, you can restore it to its former health with some maintenance.
Before long, your hair will be stronger, and you’ll be happy to run your fingers through it again.
So don’t wait any longer, take action today and get started on the road to healthy hair!
Can psychological problems, anxiety, sadness and depression cause hair loss?
When feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed or under significant emotional stress, it can manifest itself physically.
This includes hair loss.
What does stress reacted hair loss look like?
The type of hair loss caused by stress is thinning hair or shedding, rather than bald patches.
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