Stress can affect your body in several ways. You may have experienced a fast heartbeat, a cold sweat, an upset stomach during times of stress or high emotion. There are other physiological ways your body reacts to stress like acne, loss of appetite, brittle nails or hair loss.
Hair loss due to stress is very common. Your body experiences stress from everyday influences like work and finances. Illness, crash dieting, over exercising and poor mental health can also trigger a stress response.
Why it Happens
If you are experiencing stress in your life or if you had a stressful event occur in the last six months and your hair is shedding excessively you may be experiencing telogen effluvium. This is when large amounts of your hair follicles are shocked into releasing hair. You experience an abnormal amount of hair fall which causes the look of thinness throughout your hair. It is not uncommon to notice thinning in certain areas of the scalp more than others.
Your hair grows in three stages, growth, resting and release. Stress can affect how many hairs are in the release stage at one time. It is not well understood exactly what occurs that makes our follicles shift into the telogen phase, but it is accepted that the hair growth cycle is effected biologically by stress. Typically, during stress our body redirects it’s resources away from non-vital processes in our body such as hair growth.
Some scientists believe if you are genetically predisposed to hair loss, stress can trigger this gradual thinning and miniaturization of your hair. The earlier you take preventative measures the better outcome you will have. Images International has a full line of preventative treatment products for men and women.
The hair loss experienced during telogen effluvium is typically reversible unless there is an inflammatory condition present such as alopecia areata. A doctor may run tests to determine what is causing your hair loss.
Shedding does not typically occur immediately during a stressful event, in fact, it can occur up to six months after a stressful event. At times the shedding of the hair may be due to new hair growing in, pushing the old hair out.
It is completely normal to lose fifty to one hundred hairs a day. This normal shedding does not affect the overall volume of your hair. If the shedding is becoming excessive and you notice an appearance of less hair, then it is time to call a doctor.
What You Can Do
Your hair is your fastest growing tissue, it is important to get enough sleep since sleep is when your tissues repair. We recommend eating a balanced diet since hair growth depends on adequate levels of protein, vitamins and minerals.
Biotin is a popular supplement for hair growth. While there are not many scientific studies supporting it’s use for hair loss, we know that a biotin deficiency causes hair loss and so it is widely used as a supplement to boost hair growth. Whenever you use supplements be cautious. With biotin it is best to take under 35 micrograms since it has shown to affect lab values, according to 2017 FDA report. We recommend just getting your biotin intake from food sources such as milk, eggs and bananas.
Addressing stress induced hair loss requires addressing your stress. Finding healthy ways to de-stress will help your body balance. Meditation and exercise are proven ways to improve your mood. Socializing with friends, yoga, and listening to music may help as well. If your stress is a burden too complex for these methods, consider seeking therapy from a professional.
After you’ve seen a doctor, we recommend a scalp therapy approach at Images International. Our trichology program addresses the health of the hair follicle, it maximizes the hair growth cycle, stimulating new growth and elongating the growth stage. Our products are plant derived and contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Your hair will grow strong and healthy due to the optimal environment for growth. If you’d like to learn more schedule a free consultation by calling (248) 540-0900. We will examine your scalp with a magnified scope to help determine why you experiencing hair loss.