Stress-Induced Hair Loss: Causes and Possible Solutions
Hair loss is a common issue between both men and women alike. Hair loss can be caused by a number of factors, ranging from genetics to the environment. One of the most common causes is stress-induced hair loss. Stress can impact your haircare routine in many ways, leading to hair breakage and thinning as well as excessive shedding. The science behind this association lies within our ancient fight-or-flight response; when we are stressed out, there’s less blood flow going to our organs which translates into a weaker immune function that leaves us more prone not only to illness but also premature aging of skin and follicles too! Fortunately, there are some things you can do about it! In this article, we will discuss the causes of stress-induced hair loss and some possible solutions that may help prevent or stop it from getting worse.
What is telogen effluvium?
Telogen effluvium is the scientific name for hair loss caused by stress. The whole process starts with a stressful event that causes our body to prematurely stop making new hairs and enter into an inactive resting phase, where no growth happens at all. After three months of this period of rest, we shed around 50-100 strands from each follicle which will continue until everything returns to normal again! In most cases, people would have already been able to recover from a stressful event before he starts manifesting symptoms of telogen effluvium. Although this condition is mostly temporary, there are instances wherein hair loss carries on until the underlying cause for stress has been resolved.
More about telogen effluvium
Telogen effluvium is more common in women because of the stress and changes that come with pregnancy. Around 20 to 45% percent of new mothers experience telogen effluvium, which means hair loss after 3 months or so postpartum. The good news is this type of hair loss usually goes away within 12 months following childbirth for most people! Telogen effluvium can also be caused by traumatic events such as an accident or the death of a loved one.
How to stop hair loss caused by stress
A thinning hair can be quite distressing especially at a time when your looks are a prime concern. Sometimes hair loss is just temporary and will resume its full growth once you addressed some dietary or grooming styles as discussed below. But it is well to consult with your doctor when your start to notice your comb or hairbrush is gathering more hair strand the usual. So without further ado, here’s how you can stop hair loss caused by stress:
Take care of your hair
One way to stop hair loss is by taking good care of your locks. The first time you notice that the scalp has become itchy, flaky, and dry, or if the ends are split due to heat damage then it’s best to avoid harsh hair care products containing alcohols or silicones as these will further aggravate the problem. Instead, opt for a moisturizing shampoo with ingredients like jojoba oil which can help restore moisture to brittle hair strands while encouraging healthy growth at the same time. Remember also not to style your tresses in hot rollers because this would lead to more breakage; instead, use ides such as braids and twists when styling them.
Get the right nutrition
To arrest stress-induced hair loss, it’s best to get the right amount of nutrition and balance. If you’re not getting these in your diet, then consult with a doctor or dietician on what is needed for good health so that your body can function properly and maintain its natural beauty. A poor dietary intake will cause anemia which ultimately leads to insufficient nourishment of the scalp; this means fewer amino acids are able to reach our follicles resulting in stunted growth. Anorexia nervosa may also lead people astray from their healthier habits by taking unhealthy measures such as starvation or purging food regularly due to anxiety about weight gain among other things – both factors have been known cases causing diffuse balding patterns across different regions without any clear explanation why.
Check your grooming and lifestyle
Chemical treatments on your hair could be damaging to hair strands and roots. Artificial coloring, bleaching, straightening, and perming can cause hair to become brittle and fall off. Frequent shampooing has been known to result in hair damage due to too strong a cleansing formulation in them. Dilute your shampoo with water or use gentler baby shampoo. Either way, frequent use can still take its toll on your delicate hair. Besides, some hairstyles can cause undue stress to the hair strands and cause them to fall off. Any styling that pulls hair tightly, like in dreadlocks can result in traction alopecia. The resulting hair loss can be permanent if it damages hair follicles resulting from tension in the scalp.
Consult with your doctor
Hair loss can be a sign that there is an underlying issue with your health. If you have addressed other factors like diet and grooming habits, but still experience hair loss after some time, then it could be due to genetic or medical conditions such as hormonal imbalance problems which are common among women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It’s important to see a doctor if this is the case because they will help diagnose any physical issues while also testing hormone levels for them to come up with an effective treatment plan. Aside from genetics-related causes of hair thinning and shedding, medications used against severe acne may result in an increased likelihood of losing even more locks than usual.
- Peters EMJ, Müller Y, Snaga W, et al. Hair and stress: A pilot study of hair and cytokine balance alteration in healthy young women under major exam stress. PLoS One. 2017;12(4):e0175904. Published 2017 Apr 19. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0175904