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Can stress make you Lose Hair?

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Can stress make you Lose Hair?

Hair loss is a common problem among men and women alike. It can occur due to various reasons, and one such reason is stress. Yes, stress can trigger hair loss.

Today we will discuss how stress can affect your hair health and if its effects are permanent. We are also going to let you know the deal with stress-related hair loss.

Stress-related Hair Loss

All hair loss may not occur due to stress. Three types of hair loss are generally linked with high-stress levels:

Telogen effluvium

Telogen effluvium (TE) occurs when the number of hair follicles that are growing your hair change. If this change happens during your hair’s telogen — or resting — stage, it can cause shedding.

You will not see thinning all over the head, but in small patches, especially in the centre of your scalp. People affected by TE do not lose all of their hair.

Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune problem. It occurs when your immune system targets your hair follicles. This is stimulated by stress and can result in hair loss.

You may lose your hair in round patches or the entire scalp. In a more severe form of alopecia areata known as alopecia Universalis, hair loss occurs in the whole body.

Although alopecia areata has no cure, some prescription medications may help if you have more than 50% hair loss.

Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is a hair-pulling disorder. You may feel an urge to pull out hair from your scalp or other parts of your body. It is considered an impulse control disorder.

You might find that this happens without much thought, like when you are bored or distracted. However, it can also be intentional and used to relieve stress or other negative emotions.

What can you do about Stress-related Hair Loss?

There are steps that you can follow to minimize hair loss and encourage new growth.

Nutrition and Diet

Eating a balanced diet is essential for your body — and your hair. Although it is crucial to include all essential vitamins in a healthy diet, some specifically contribute to hair growth:

  • Vitamin C: It is vital for building your collagen. Collagen is the skin’s connective tissue that is also found in hair follicles.
  • Vitamin B: This complex of several vitamins stimulates a healthy metabolism, along with healthy hair and skin.
  • Vitamin E: It contains antioxidants, which contribute to a healthy scalp.

If you do not have these nutrients in ample amounts in your daily diet, consult your doctor about taking supplements. Remember to keep yourself hydrated for healthy hair growth.

Stress Management

Managing your stress levels can help in reducing further hair loss. You may have to try different stress-management techniques before you find what works best for you.

Ways to reduce stress:

  • Exercise: Exercise is the best way to get rid of stress. Go for a daily walk, join a dance program, or do some yard work.
  • Hobbies: Busy yourself with things that you enjoy doing. It can be an excellent method to fight off stress.
  • Writing: Take a few minutes every day to write about your feelings and the reasons for your stress. Review your daily activities that trigger your stress. It can help you find ways of coping with these conditions.
  • Breathing and meditation: Many consider breathing exercises and meditation as excellent ways to minimize stress.

What if you do not see any Improvement?

It may be that your hair loss is not related to stress. Some other factors or conditions can also cause hair loss.

Other reasons for your hair loss may include:

  • Ageing
  • Genetics
  • Illness or a recent surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Medications like antidepressants or blood thinners
  • Hormonal changes, such as menopause or childbirth
  • Nutritional deficiency, such as lack of iron or protein

If your hair loss is due to stress, then your hair follicles are not permanently damaged. Try managing your stress and taking good care of your health. This can result in your hair returning to a regular rate of growth.

If over-the-counter medications are not working or you do not see any changes— consult a hair doctor. They can help you find out the reason for your hair loss and advise you on steps to take.

If hair regrowth is possible, they can help by suggesting procedures like mesotherapy treatment or platelet-enriched plasma that can boost your hair growth.

Dr. Gajanan Jadhao

I am a Hair Transplant Surgeon, Cosmetologist and Anesthesiologist in Pune. I have more than 16 years of experience in this field.

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