The Connection Between Stress and Hair Loss

April 20, 2018

 

There are a few different ways you can lose hair. For many individuals, it's a result of androgenetic alopecia which is also called pattern baldness. Men can experience this at any time after hitting puberty, but for women, it's after menopause. However, sometimes hair loss has nothing to do with genetics and is the result of stress. Stress plays a huge roll in hair growth, and there are a few different types you can suffer from.

 

Emotional Stress

Stress can cause many conditions that lead to hair loss such as:

  • Alopecia Areata: Sudden loss of large clumps of hair in areas around your scalp.

  • Telogen Effluvium: This is a condition where more hairs than normal prepare to fall out.

  • Trichotillomania: This is a habitual condition caused by stress and anxiety where the person pulls out hairs without realizing it.

While high stress and anxiety can certainly cause the loss of hair, we should also mention that just because you are experiencing hair loss and high levels of stress, it does not mean that the two are necessarily related. Many times patients develop anxiety or stress due to hair loss itself, or the hair loss may be caused by another underlying issue or merely age.

 

Recovery options: Addressing the stressors in your life is the best way to reduce further hair loss. Speak to your General Practitioner who can recommend a treatment plan. 

 

Physical Stress 

Trauma is another form of stress that can affect hair growth. Car accidents, serious illnesses, or giving birth are examples of physical stress your body can go through. The body is designed to withstand a certain amount of force, but prolonged exposure to trauma can cause unnecessary hair loss. Additionally, intense heat from styling products is also considered physical stressors, but this type of hair loss usually comes from the ends breaking off rather than shedding from the scalp. 

 

Recovery options: Most physical stress requires patience. You'll need to let your body heal which doesn't happen overnight. If the physical stress is from styling, start using a heat protectant or remove the styling product from your routine. 

 

Hormonal Stress

Healthy hair cycles start with the growth phase, then rest, before eventually falling out. This process repeats itself unless something interrupts it, such as hypothyroidism. Your body works by taking the nutrients you feed it and dispersing them throughout the body. However, the moment you develop an illness, your body focuses on feeding the parts of the body that are vital to staying alive. 

 

There is also Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) for women to consider. Roughly 5 million women in America suffer from PCOS which is a hormonal imbalance in which the ovaries produce too much testosterone. High levels of testosterone in the female body cause many women to see thinning of hair on the scalp. 

 

Recovery options: If you suspect your hair loss is associated with your thyroid, see your doctor who can prescribe medications to restore balance to the body. Treatment for PCOS is handled with birth control and other testosterone blocking medications.

 

Medical Stress

Many blood thinners and blood-pressure drugs are known to cause hair to thin out. Your hair needs blood flow to the scalp to stimulate growth. These types of medications lower the amount each follicle is receiving. Other medications that can also cause hair thinning include anti-inflammatory drugs and antidepressants.

 

Recovery options: If any of the medications mentioned above are required, speak to your doctor about finding alternatives. Most importantly, give your body time to regrow the new hair. 

 

If you have spent time and effort reducing stressors in your life, but still feel you aren’t left with the healthy head of hair you once had there are options! At Nashville Hair Clinic, we understand the loss of hair can cause anxiety and worry, and we are committed to helping our patients feel comfortable with diagnosis and treatment.  We use only the latest hair surgical hair restoration techniques to assure the most natural looking results.

 

If you are ready to see what hair restoration can do for you, call 615-635-0892 to book your consultation today! 

 

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