“Its well established that hair loss can be related to emotional stress or anxiety. There’s usually about a 3-month delay between the stressful event or time period and your hair falling out”
(Dr Louisa Draper)
So, what is stress related hair loss?
Everybody loses a few hairs from their head every single day. However, if you’re losing more than usual, or losing lots of hairs from one patch on your scalp, there could be an underlying cause.
The medical term for hair loss is ‘alopecia’. Hair loss is very common in men and women of all ages. It happens to some degree to most people at some point during their lives.
There are different reasons why you might be losing your hair. These can include:
If you’ve lost lots more hair than usual or you’re worried that your hair is thinning, visit your local nurse or doctor for a consultation. The hair loss expert would strongly advise taking a blood test to see if you may have any deficiencies in your blood that may be related to your hair loss.
Can stress cause hair loss?
It’s well established that hair loss can be related to emotional stress or anxiety.
There’s usually about a 3-month delay between the stressful event or time period and your hair falling out. Unless there’s another underlying medical reason for your hair loss, it should only last for as long as you’re going through that particular period of stress or anxiety.
During this time, more hairs on your head are in what’s known as the ‘resting stage’.
This doesn’t mean your hair follicles are dead or that your hair will stop growing permanently. According to the NHS, usual hair growth and regrowth pattern should return to normal a few months after your stress levels go back down to normal.
Why can stress make your hair fall out?
When you’re stressed or anxious, your body produces what’s known as the ‘fight or flight response’. This is when your body is making extra hormones to prepare itself to deal with whatever it thinks of as being a potential threat.
This change in your hormone levels can have effects all around your body. When these extra hormones are made, they can affect the growth patterns of the hair follicles on your scalp.
Different types of stress-related hair loss
Stress can lead to a number of different conditions that cause hair loss on their own, including:
Worrying about hair loss can also be a vicious cycle. It’s easy for people to get anxious about losing their hair, which then in turn raises stress levels, and can cause even more hair to fall out.
The most important thing to try to do is to reduce your stress levels. This will help keep your body and scalp as healthy as possible.
Will my hair grow back?
Hair loss caused by stress is usually only temporary. If you’ve lost hair as a result of stress or anxiety, there’s every chance it will start to grow back once your stress levels are back to normal.
Try working on reducing your stress levels as well as improving your general health and wellbeing. Any hair lost due to stress should grow back on its own in a few months.
How do you treat stress related hair loss?
If you’re losing hair because you’re stressed or anxious, then the first thing to do is to get your stress levels under control. Try to have patience, your hair should grow back in a few months.
Some tips for dealing with stress:
Above all, try not to panic. This is always a lot easier said than done, but hair loss due to stress is only short-term and can be completely reversible.
Talk to your nurse or doctor if you’re worried things aren’t returning back to normal after you’ve tried dealing with stress on your own. They’ll be able to give you some more advice and carry out further tests to diagnose your condition.