Stress has multiple negative effects on our bodies, both inside and out, and one of these effects is hair loss. Many women wonder, can stress really cause hair loss? And will it grow again?
Stress is known to cause hair loss. However, this hair loss is unlikely to be permanent, and it will grow back again approximately 6 months after.
There are two types of stress, physical stress and psychological stress, and it is important to differentiate between them when it comes to the causes of hair loss. While both can cause hair loss, physical stress can be easier and faster to treat than psychological stress. Physical stress can include illness, childbirth, and major changes in diet.
What is psychological stress? How does it cause hair loss?
Psychological stress, such as the loved one loss, ongoing work stress, financial problems, or parenting problems, can cause hair loss. These mood changes can lead to hormonal imbalances that lead to constant stress and thus hair loss.
During periods of extreme stress, what is known as “telogen effluvium” can cause hair loss. Telogen effluvium is the most common type of hair loss caused by stress, but it is not permanent. Hair often grows back within two or three months.
Also, psychological stress can lead to a certain type of alopecia. This type is characterized by the sudden appearance of bald spots on the scalp, which can spread to cover the entire head. Again, hair loss caused by alopecia is not permanent and it often grows back, although treatment is sometimes required.
Can a heartbreak cause hair loss?
A heartbreak is the most common cause of hair loss due to psychological stress or trauma. The hair can remain falling out for this entire period, plus an additional 7 or 8 months until it grows back properly. This is because the psychological stress resulting from hair loss affects the follicles and prevents the hair strands from growing properly. The hair then goes into the shedding phase and starts again. However, if the trauma is not dealt with, this cycle occurs again before the hair grows properly. Once the stress of trauma is released, hair can begin to grow back. However, this may take approximately 7 to 8 months.
Can post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cause hair loss?
People with PTSD will find that their stress hormones never return to normal levels, and that their bodies choose to conserve energy and nutrients for basic body functions, preventing hair from growing back once it has fallen out.
This disorder not only affects behavior, but also affects internal hormonal levels in the body. It chooses to preserve any nutrients (such as vitamins and minerals) for essential body functions. Because hair is considered “non-essential,” hair follicles do not get the nutrients they need to produce healthy, strong strands. This means that hair will fall out without being replaced, eventually leading to hair loss.
Can anxiety cause hair loss?
Anxiety itself does not directly cause hair loss. In fact, it is the stressful situations that those with anxiety face that can cause hair loss. The amount of hair loss depends on the intensity of stress and the frequency of interactions with it.
Anxiety is the body's reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar situations. Although everyone feels anxious from time to time, those with anxiety disorders experience distress so severe that it interferes with their ability to live a normal life. As with other psychologically stressful situations, anxiety can lead to telogen effluvium or alopecia areata, which ultimately leads to hair loss.
If stress is the cause of my hair loss, what is the treatment?
If you think you are suffering from hair loss as a result of stress, it is better to consult a doctor. He may refer you to a counselor to determine the causes and help you to overcome the psychological stress, which will help prevent further hair loss, as well as allow hair to grow back.
Psychological stress and hair loss should not be permanent problems. If you can control the psychological stress you are exposed to, your hair may grow back again.