Ways To Reverse Hair Loss Caused By Stress
According to Mental Health.org, Stress is the feeling of being subdued or the inability to cope with emotional and mental stress.
Stress is our body's response to pressure and is part of everyday life. At times, stress has its advantages; it can make you push harder to get a promotion at your workplace or win a marathon at the dying minute. But if you get stressed for a long time, it can interfere with your family life, social life, work and health, and hair.
We live in a busy world surrounded by hustles and bustles. Since we've different schedules, we also have other stress triggers.
Stress affects many aspects of our lives, including healthy hair growth! Sounds surprising, right? If you're wondering how stress can make your hair fall out, this article is for you. Here, we'll discuss the causes of stress, its relation to hair loss, and how to reverse hair loss caused by stress. Let's start!
Causes of Stress
The situations that cause stress to us are referred to as Stressors. Many think stressors are negatives, such as family problems or exhausting work schedules. Whatever requires us to put in too much can cause stress. This includes positive events like walking down the aisle, moving into a new apartment, or going to college.
Internal factors cause some stress; when you worry too much about something that may happen or not, you will end up stressed. Having outrageous and negative thoughts about life can also cause stress.
Causes of External stress include Major changes in life, a rocky relationship, being too occupied, children and family issues, and financial problems. On the other hand, internal stress is caused by negative self-talk, pessimistic thoughts, expecting perfection, inability to accept reality, and lack of flexibility.
There are so many types of stress and what causes them. Work stress is one of the most common types of stress, and its causes include:
- Working for long hours
- Having too much responsibility
- Being unhappy in your job
- Having poor management or no say in decision making in your workplace or family
- Working under risky conditions
- Insecurity about your chance of advancing or risk of termination
- Facing harassment or discrimination
General life stress can be caused by:
- The sudden death of a loved one
- Getting married or divorced
- Chronic illness
- Financial problems
- Traumatic events
- Moving to a new apartment
- Emotional issues such as depression and anxiety
Stress and Hair Loss: What's the Connection?
High-stress levels could lead to less hair on your head.
Research has shown that significant stress can be caused by some hair loss disorders, especially Telogen Effluvium. Here's the reason why;
There are about 100,000 hair follicles on an average adult's head though this has a lot to do with hair color, race, and genetics. Each hair follicle is constantly recycled between three stages. However, most hair follicles are in the anagen (growth stage). When they reach the telogen (resting stage), they fall out.
When a person suffers from Telogen odor, all the hair follicles suddenly shift into the telogen stage. One of the leading causes of this trigger is excess emotional stress.
Generally, there are three types of hair loss related to stress, and they are:
1. Telogen Effluvium: This phenomenon refers to a condition that causes the hair follicle to go into the telogen or resting phase abruptly as a result of stress and anxiety.
The condition usually starts with hair thinning on one area of the scalp; this will later expand to the whole scalp. Hair thinning caused by TE usually affects the top of the scalp, and it hardly causes a receding hairline.
After suffering from this condition for several months, your hair follicles will start to fall out when combing or washing them. However, as bad as this situation might seem, it's usually temporary, and the hair tends to grow back after some months.
Telogen Effluvium disorder is mainly caused by life-threatening stress like a job loss, divorce, death of a loved one, or a near-death experience. Other causes of the disease include environmental factors, diet, hormones, and side effects of some medications.
2. Trichotillomania: This is a term used to describe a psychological disorder where an individual develops an obsessive impulse to rip hair from their head, eyebrows, and other hairy parts of the body.
Also referred to as hair-pulling disorder, this condition is caused by extreme stress and anxiety. It is also how some individuals deal with uncomfortable emotions such as sadness, loneliness, depression, anxiety, and boredom.
The condition affects 1 in every 50 individuals. It is usually developed during the adolescent years, but few cases have been recorded in children. It is a chronic condition that can last for several years and affects more females in adulthood.
Signs of this condition include:
- Repeatedly pulling out hair, trichology.
- Breaking off hair strands.
- Feeling less anxious after pulling out hair.
Most trichotillomania patients pull hair at their head crown, leading to the development of bald patches over time. When the condition worsens, a person might start to pull hair from their eyebrows, eyelashes, beards, and pubic area.
Trichotillomania can lead to permanent hair loss, as constant pulling of hair from the scalp can damage the hair follicles.
3. Alopecia Areata: A pervasive hair loss disorder that causes pattern baldness on the scalp. It causes hair to fall in small patches making it unnoticeable until the patches connect.
Alopecia areata leads to sudden hair loss on the scalp, eyebrow, beard, and other body parts. It usually develops slowly and can reoccur after years.
One of the leading causes of this condition is chronic stress. When worsened, the state can lead to Alopecia Universalis, a disorder that leads to total hair loss and is usually permanent.
As of now, there's no medication for alopecia. However, some remedies can help hair grow back quickly and prevent future hair thinning and loss.
How do I Know If My Hair Loss is Stress-Related
Since the causes of hair loss are many, it will be hard to tell if your hair loss is caused by stress.
An excellent way to know is if you're experiencing the symptoms of disorders caused by hair loss. If you notice too much hair on your comb or when washing it, it might be Telogen Effluvium, a stress-related hair loss disorder.
Noticing bald patches on your scalp or having the compulsive urge to pull your hair might signify Alopecia areata and TrichotillomaniaTrichotillomania, respectively.
Ways to Reverse Hair Loss Caused by Stress
Fortunately, hair loss caused by stress is mostly reversible. Controlling your stress levels can help in growing your hair back.
Conditions like Telogen Effluvium recover naturally after a few months, while TrichotillomaniaTrichotillomania needs psychological intervention.
If you're suffering from stress-related hair loss, here are some practical ways to reverse it:
Eat Nutritious Diets:
Eating a healthy diet can help curb stress and promote the growth of healthy, strong hair. Foods rich in beneficial hair nutrients like vitamin A and Biotin include egg, spinach, fatty fish, red and sweet pepper, and milk. These foods help develop healthy and glossy hair, nails, and skin.
Excess stress could sometimes make us skip meals, thereby depriving our body and hair of vital nutrients needed for proper growth.
Getting back to eating a well-balanced diet containing iron, zinc, vitamins, and proteins can reverse hair loss due to stress. An excellent way to make sure you're getting all the vitamins and nutrients that you need to grow healthier, stronger hair is by taking a multi-vitamin specifically formulated to promote hair growth, like HAIRFINITY Healthy Hair Vitamins.
Working in tandem with your Hairfinity hair care, a daily dose of Hairfinity Healthy Hair Vitamins provides:
- Vitamins A and D promote healthy hair and scalp.
- Niacin promotes healthy blood circulation to the scalp.
- Pantothenic Acid for stronger hair follicles.
- Vitamin B12 to oxygenate scalp and hair follicles.
- Biotin supports existing hair growth, keratin production, and increases hair elasticity.
Try Topical Treatments:
Many over-the-counter drugs help treat hair loss and promote the growth of healthy long mane.
Minoxidil is an FDA-approved over-the-counter medication to treat hair loss in men and women. It is available in the form of cream, shampoos, and sprays.
The medication functions by prolonging the anagen (growth) phase of hair.
Some Minoxil topical treatments are made for men, while some are for women. Talk to your doctor before you start using the topical medication.
Castor oil is another popular hair loss home remedy used by men and women. However, there's little scientific evidence that the oil treats hair loss.
The most effective way to treat hair loss is by going back to its cause. Managing stress is the best way to reverse hair loss caused by chronic stress. Here are some tips:
- Relaxation techniques: Engage yourself in different relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises to reduce stress levels
- Positive thinking: An excellent way to deal with emotional stress is to have a holistic outlook on life. Surrounding yourself with positive thoughts and people can help deal with excess stress.
- Exercise: It triggers the release of feel-good hormones (endorphins) that help deal with stress. A calm mind and a healthy body can reverse hair loss caused by stress.
- See a therapist: If you've tried stress dealing methods that didn't work, consider seeing a therapist for effective stress-reducing strategies.
Get Enough Sleep:
Stress usually causes anxiety and lack of sleep leading to insomnia and other sleep-related disorders. This can affect the hormonal balance of your body.
Sleep for at least 6 to 8 hours daily and practice good sleep hygiene, like going to bed early and at the same time every day, turning off lights, and keeping electronics away from your bedroom to avoid distractions.
Having a good sleep will improve your overall health, which will also help reverse hair loss caused by stress.
Avoid Hot Tools and Chemicals:
As much as you love to reverse hair loss caused by stress, you'll have to cut down the use of harsh chemicals and hot styling tools like flat ironing, blow-drying, and curling.
These styling chemicals and tools are too hard on the hair and lead to excess hair shedding and breakage. If you have to use hot styling tools, use a hot protecting spray containing shea butter or green tea.
It's also advisable to stay away from washing your hair with hot water, which can dehydrate your scalp and lead to inflammation, making hair strands fragile and more likely to shed.
Wash your hair with warm water and a soothing shampoo that will add a protective layer to your hair cuticle.
Choose Gentle Shampoos
Most shampoos contain ingredients that can lead to hair breakage and shedding. Avoid shampoos containing high amounts of sulfates, parabens, and polyethylene glycol.
Choose shampoos containing niacin, biotin, histidine, Phyto-caffeine, minoxidil, and essential oils that can reverse hair loss and make your hair thicker.
Not all shampoos that claim to treat hair loss do, so it's essential to ask a hairstylist for recommendations.
You can also consider using thickening or volumizing shampoos to grow a thick full mane, like HAIRFINITY Grow Stimulating Shampoo. This gentle shampoo, that stimulates hair growth, goes deep down to rescue and detoxify your hair. Infused with caffeine, peppermint, and biotin, this invigorating formula removes excess oils without stripping hair and provides a soothed scalp, fresh tresses, and follicles that can finally breathe.
Consult Your Doctor:
If you notice symptoms of hair loss caused by stress, consider seeing your doctor for a proper checkup.
Your doctor is best positioned to suggest hair restoration techniques that best fit your situation.
Most doctors will advise you to take a healthy diet and try hair growth supplements like biotin or viviscal to hasten hair growth.
However, it's still essential to talk to your health care provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hair Loss Caused By Stress
Will Hair Loss Due to Stress Grow back?
Hair loss due to stress is primarily temporary and tends to reverse once stress level is reduced, and proper treatment methods are implied.
Is Hair Loss Due to Stress Permanent?
No. Hair loss due to stress is temporary. If Telogen Effluvium causes it, your hair will regrow spontaneously after some months. Using the above tips also helps effectively treat hair loss and enhance the growth of a robust and healthy mane.
How Much Time Will It Take For Stress To Cause Hair Loss
Generally, hair loss due to stress occurs after 3 - 4 months of excess stressful events. It will also take some months to grow back hair lost due to chronic stress.
Does Stress Cause the Release of DHT?
Excess stress can cause the release of male hormones (androgen), which stimulates the release of DHT, a hair loss-related hormone.
There are many ways to address hair loss caused by stress. Using OTC FDA-approved topical treatments, massaging the scalp with essential or carrier oils, and managing your stress levels are some practical ways of reversing hair loss caused by stress.