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Stress Hair Loss: How Mental Unwellness Can Cause Baldness

Learn how to decrease and treat it

February 18, 2021 0 comments
how to biohack stress hair loss

Stress hair loss has been on the rise in the recent past. You are probably wondering how stress can cause hair loss when stress is more cognitive while hair loss is more physical.

Yes, there is a strong relationship between the two. Especially now that covid 19 is threatening to wipe away the human race, and things do not seem to be improving, many people are stressed. A lot of people are losing hair, and the problem could be stress.

How Stress Loss Can Lead to Hair Damage

how stress loss can lead to hair damage

Usually, hair loss is genetically programmed. However, stress hair loss (1) is usually environmentally engineered.

Besides, your body is a system. If one system does not function properly, several other systems will suffer.

When stressed, we often tend to look for convenience, which in the long run affects body processes such as healthy hair growth. For instance, when stressed, we may indulge in unhealthy eating, which may seem convenient, but the reality is unhealthy. Besides, stress affects the digestion process by preventing the absorption of vital nutrients and vitamins. Note that hair is a non-essential body. It is one of the parts that may suffer first in case of lack of essential nutrients.

Excessive emotional or physical stress is stress mostly associated with injury, illness, surgery. These types of stress can cause two types of hair loss, which we review below.

Hair Loss and Alopecia Areata

hair loss and alopecia areata

This type of hair loss comes in because of the white blood cells attacking the hair follicles. It is commonly referred to as ‘hair loss in areas.’

A lot of professionals accept it to be an autoimmune disease. In this case, your body considers one of the hair cells as enemies and attacks them.

Stress triggers that cause hair loss of this kind are often deduced to be:

  • Bereavement
  • Illness
  • Shock
  • Accident

Characteristics of alopecia areata include:

  • Hair falls out within a week
  • Hair falls in random circular patches, around the size of a coin or sometimes bigger
  • It can affect the whole scalp and sometimes body hair
  • Hair may regrow on its own

Hair regrowth may happen on its own, but you may need to get treatment.

Stress and Telogen Effluvium

stress and telogen effluvium

This is the most common type of stress-induced hair loss, but it is less severe than alopecia areata. When anagen( hair growth phase) is cut short by an internal disturbance( such as stress) in the body, this will cause more hair than average to move from the anagen phase to the telogen phase( hair shedding or loss stage). This process results in excessive hair fall.

The characteristics of telogen effluvium include:

  • Hair thinning
  • Stagnated growth
  • Hair lies dormant and falls out 2 to 3 months later
  • Hair regrows in 6 to 9 months
  • It is a form of diffuse ( Widespread yet non-concentrated)

Stress and Trichotillomania

stress and trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is referred to as pulling disorder. It is a kind of hair loss that results from a strong urge to pull out your hair. The urge is irresistible and can make you pull hair mostly from the scalp or sometimes other body hair.

The result of hair pulling may either be large or small thin patches.

The causes of trichotillomania include:

  • Psychological problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Traumatic experience

Stress and Androgenic Alopecia

stress and androgenic alopecia

Hair thinning is often associated with heat styling. However, in both men and women, hair thinning may be genetic. It is inheritable from either parent. If you have tried all biohacking hair tricks with no success or results of more length and thickness, the problem could be androgenic alopecia.

The thinning is caused by the sensitivity that arises in the hair follicles to a type of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). If you have this inherited follicle, it may start showing up during puberty.

The characteristics of androgenic alopecia include:

  • Reduced volume and length of hair over years
  • More visible scalp
  • A general unhealthy looking hair

Are you wondering how stress is involved in this kind of hair loss? Stress will cause hair to be thinner and unhealthier. With increased stress levels, your body produces more stress hormones, also called cortisol. In turn, cortisol increases the amounts of testosterone in the body, which in turn triggers more thinning.

Diagnosis of Stress-Related Hair Loss

diagnosis of stress-related hair loss

A doctor may examine strands from hair shedding to determine (2) the kind of loss you are suffering. Some of the hair tests your doctor may perform will be:

  • The diameter of the lost hair to signal the possible condition
  • A hair pull to determine how much hair is shed
  • A blood test to determine the cause
  • A washing test to count on the number of hair lost after shedding
  • Studying of the patches

Treating Stress-Related Hair Loss

treating stress-related hair loss

Knowing that stress may cause hair loss is not enough. You sure do want to know:

  • How to manage chronic stress
  • Treatment options available for stress-induced hair loss
  • How to grow back your lost hair

Generally, the best way to manage stress hair loss is to manage stress. If you notice a baldness pattern, the following could be some of the best steps to take.

Seek Professional Health

When you start losing those hair strands or notice loss, or change in hair density, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. Your doctor could help with the correct diagnosis of stress-related hair loss. A lot of people assume that it could be age, which is often a mistake. You could age and still have amazingly healthy hair. You could also get a recommendation for the best kiierr laser cap.

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Your dermatologist can help you manage stress effectively or even recommend the best stress relievers to you. You could also get the best lessons on meditation, one of the best ways to stress management.

Regular Exercising

Taking an exercise routine can o a long way in subsidizing cortisol levels in your body. Some of the exercise you could take up include:

  • Yoga( Thanks to the meditation that comes with it too)
  • Walking and running
  • Swimming
  • Jogging

Eat Healthily

eat healthily

When stressed, many people skip meals or resort to comfort eating such as canned food or fast foods. This may lead to iron deficiency and a lack of other essential nutrients.

To avoid iron deficiency:

  • Don’t skip meals
  • Regularly eat healthy snacks
  • Eat at regular intervals

This will ensure you have the needed nutrients for a healthy body and immune system, and healthy hair.

Habits to Relieve Short-Term Stress Relief

There are some habits that you can assimilate to relieve short-term relief. Some of the habits you can adapt to quickly fix stress or minimize the effects of chronic stress include:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Breathing exercises
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Visualization
  • Meditation

Habits to Increase Resilience

You could adopt some good habits at managing the stress at hand and make your body resilient to any future stress. You cannot always prevent stress, but if you can manage them and build resilience towards it, you will be in a better place.

Adopt these habits in your daily routine:

  • Self-care
  • Finding social support and a group of friends you have common interests with
  • Mindfulness
  • Eating a healthy diet

Final Thoughts

Yes, stress can cause hair loss. When the bulk of hair you shed is out of the question, do not rule out stress. Any woman would quickly rush for extravagant products to get their hair health back on track when treatment could be in the hands of a professional. When you notice any single symptom of hair loss discussed above, seek treatment.

Don’t let stress put you down; manage stress well and get the needed help. This is an excellent way to have your body health and hair health in check.

Sources:

1 https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/expert-answers/stress-and-hair-loss/faq-20057820

2 https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16921-hair-loss-in-women

 

 

 

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