WHEN HAIR LOSS ISN’T HEREDITARY: CAN STRESS CAUSE HAIR LOSS?


You’ve probably used the expression “tearing my hair out” before. It’s often used when you’re feeling particularly stressed or frustrated at something. Most people aren’t actually tugging their hair out; it’s just a phrase that’s commonly associated with stressful situations.

However, it’s interesting that we so easily associate stress with hair loss, even if it’s just a saying. This is because stress has actually been identified as a trigger for hair loss in the past. Emotions such as stress and anxiety have specifically linked to the loss of hair, although some people don’t believe that there is a connection.

Stress = Hair Loss?

Stress itself doesn’t cause hair loss. However, it does trigger conditions that cause hair loss. This is where a lot of people can get confused on the subject. It’s also worth noting that hair loss is rarely the only symptom of stress.  It can also occur weeks or months after the stressful event, which can often make it a lot harder to identify.

 

Emotional & Physical Stress

You’ll often hear stress referred to in two different ways; emotional and physical.

Emotional stress comes with a multitude of warning signs. You might feel like you don’t have the energy to do anything. People often experience a lack of appetite – eating less or even eating a lot more than normal. Some people find sleeping hard, whilst other people may find themselves sleeping a lot more than usual. Emotional stress affects everyone in different ways but can have the same physical symptoms – such as losing hair.

Physical stress often occurs after your body has experienced a physical trauma. This could be after a serious injury, illness or after having surgery.

So What Are These Conditions?

As we said earlier, stress can be the reason for why you experience conditions that cause hair loss.

Alopecia Areata – This is when you start to notice large clumps of hair missing from your head – often around the scalp. This often happens because your immune system is affected by stress, leading it to attack your hair follicles, resulting in extreme hair loss.

Trichotillomania – This is a condition in which people have an unstoppable urge to pull out their own hair. It doesn’t always mean the hair on their head either; people also resort of pulling out their own eyebrows and eyelashes. It’s often a result of stress or being in an uncomfortable situation.

Telogen Effluvium – This is when stress causes hair follicles to enter a “resting phase.” You’ll notice large clumps of hair falling out gradually, often when brushing or washing your hair as normal.

 

Is it Permanent?

This is where we can give you some good news about hair loss and stress. Unlike with male pattern baldness or hair loss caused by age and genes, the loss of hair triggered by stress doesn’t have to be permanent. This doesn’t mean that your hair is always going to grow back, but it often does, especially if you get your stress under control as soon as possible. The main thing to remember is that you should go speak to a professional about your stress straight away. Your health is definitely the most important thing!

 

Unfortunately, hair loss is often permanent. In a lot of situations, it’s very rare that hair loss will grow back.

However, here at DHI Manchester, we specialise in hair restoration techniques that can help regain the hair you have lost.

To find out more, please contact us on 0161 839 3769 and we will be more than happy to help.