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Hair loss stress: What can I do?

Stress is high and for some this could mean less hair on their head. In fact, science supports the notion that significant emotional stress may be associated with at least one type of hair loss: Telogen effluvium. Learn all about hair loss due to stress here!

The relationship between stress and the hair cycle

There are about 100,000 Hair follicle on the adult scalp (although this number may vary depending on hair colour). Each hair follicle constantly alternates between growth and rest. Most of these hair follicles are in the growth phase (anagen) at some point. When the hair follicle enters telogen or the resting phase, the hair is shed. During an episode of telogen effluvium, a trigger causes a sudden, abnormal shift of hair into the telogen phase all at once. One possible trigger for this sudden shift? Significant emotional stress. 

Can hair loss come from stress?

What qualifies as significant emotional stress? Think of a major negative life event (i.e. loss of a loved one or divorce). While a single bad day at work should not meet this threshold, severe and prolonged stress resulting from the Covid 19 pandemic, for example, might well qualify.

In order to understand the relationship between significant Stress and hair loss test, the researchers artificially exposed mice to sonic stress (a form of psychosocial stress) and found that this led to premature termination of the anagen or growth phase of the hair cycle. This study confirmed the assumption that stress disrupts the normal cycle of the hair follicle and can lead to hair loss due to stress. 

The signs of telogen effluvium 

Hair loss associated with telogen effluvium diffuse, and Temporary.

Abrupt start

The telogen effluvium is characterised by the sudden onset of hair loss is marked - but there is a catch. Hair loss usually doesn't start until about three months after the triggering event. Why? Once the hair follicles enter the telogen phase prematurely, it takes about three months for the cycle to complete and the hair to be shed. Stress is one of several triggers of telogen effluvium. Medication, severe illness and childbirth can also trigger an episode. 

Diffuse thinning

The pattern of hair loss associated with telogen efflux is diffuse . Patchy hair loss or widening of the part line generally suggests other diagnoses, such as. Alopecia areata or hair loss in women . People with telogen effluvium may notice a thinning ponytail or a sudden increase in hair loss in the shower, on the pillowcase or around the house. It is considered normal to lose about 100 to 200 hairs a day to get an idea of what 200 shed hairs look like), but the exact number varies depending on the person or Hair care. While it is not uncommon for up to 50% of scalp hair to be shed during a telogen effluvium, this condition reassuringly does not cause complete baldness.  

Temporary in nature

The other good news? The hair loss is Temporary and should return to its pre-effluvium density, although this process is generally slow. It can take months (but generally less than 6) for hair loss to stop, and then months to years for lost hair to grow back at a sluggish rate of ~ ½ inch per month.

Under certain circumstances, the hair does not fully return to its normal density. For one thing, telogen effluvium may reveal other types of long-lasting hair loss (such as the female pattern ). In addition, overall hair density is expected to decrease slowly with age, and in a few (usually women aged 30-60 years) telogen effluvium can be chronic and last for several years.

Is there a way to prevent hair loss due to stress?

Unfortunately, there is no proven way to prevent or stop an episode of telogen effluvium, and it should resolve itself over time. Or you should avoid the stress and Hair loss due to stress to stop!

However, there are some things that can help support overall hair health. Eat a balanced diet and in particular consume an adequate amount of protein (0.8 grams / kilogram / day). Hair is mainly made of protein (keratin), so it is no surprise that sufficient protein is important to maintain and grow hair. Also avoid very tight hairstyles, excessive heat styling or chemical-based treatments as these contribute to hair loss or Cause hair loss can. We recommend our natural Hair Growth Serum Test winner.

Maintaining emotional health and practising coping strategies such as meditation can also be helpful in reducing the effects of a stressor.

If your hair loss is chronic, patchy or associated with redness, itching or pain, see a doctor .

FAQ

Can stress cause hair loss and does it grow back?

Stress and hair loss do not have to be permanent. If you have your stress under control, your hair can 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. Read the article to find out more about what to do!

What does hair loss due to stress look like?

How do I know if my hair is falling out due to stress? More than 100 strands of hair clogging your shower drain or hairbrush is a sure sign of hair loss. In telogen effluvium, you will notice that the hair on your scalp is thinning. In alopecia, you may notice bald hair strands on the scalp.

How long does hair loss due to stress last?

Usually, hair loss starts two to four months after the event that triggered the problem and lasts for about six months. New hair starts to grow immediately after the hair loss, but significant growth may not be noticed for several months.

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