Can Stress Cause Hair Loss?

It is a stressful time we live in. Working long hours, trying to make ends meet, raising a family can all contribute to our everyday stress. Then there are life events. Issues with our health, anxiety or post-traumatic stress can be more complex forms of stress. It has long been thought that stress triggers hair loss. There are many theories on why this happens. If you are experiencing hair loss it may be due to stress and there are things you can do to reverse it.

Stress effects the body in many ways. In fact, scientists are still discovering all the ways in which stress causes our body to physically react. What they do know is that stress alters our body systems and with hair being our fastest growing tissue, we see problems there first.

One of the ways in which stress can cause hair loss is called Telogen Effluvium. When faced with an extreme situation that puts the body under stress, emotional or physical, a hair loss event is triggered. Examples of such events are an emotional shock like the loss of a loved one, a divorce, a loss of a job. In addition, pregnancy and childbirth, surgical procedures, a lifestyle change, a high fever or an illness are also known to cause telogen effluvium.

Telogen Effluvium causes an abundance of hair follicles that are in the anagen, or growth, phase to switch in the resting and then the release phase. You may notice that when you’re washing your hair or bushing it that more is coming out than you are used to.

The hair loss that is caused by telogen effluvium is usually not permanent. Soon the hair follicle will enter the growth phase again and a new hair will emerge. There are ways to speed up this process. Laser therapy stimulates blood flow to the hair follicle, bringing oxygen and nutrients that are crucial for healthy hair growth. Some products have stimulating properties like the Trichology products offered at Images International. Natural ingredients can help stimulate the hair follicle and provide nourishment for healthy growth.

A second stress related form of hair loss is called Alopecia Areata. This is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the hair follicle. The hair loss occurs in a circular shape, usually about the size of a nickel or quarter. As with other autoimmune conditions, stress exacerbates this conditions and triggers symptoms to flare up.

During periods of high stress hair loss will occur, it may be one small patch, or it can spread to large patches that cover the head. It is best to work with a doctor if you are noticing localized hair loss. There is no cure, but they may be able to calm your immune response.

Unfortunately, with this condition medical treatments do not always work. There are holistic treatments available at Images International designed to stimulate hair growth once the body is balanced. If you think you are experiencing alopecia areata you are welcome to have a free consultation where we will use our magnified scope to examine the area of hair loss. Our scope can detect new growth much earlier than the naked eye. Once we see growth it is time to start nourishing the hair follicles so we get the most out of the hair growth cycle.

When stress is the culprit of your hair loss it is usually temporary. Once you’ve overcome your stress your body finds balance again. Some ways to manage stress are by exercising, meditating and seeking therapy. For more information on the ways stress can cause hair loss we encourage you to book an appointment for a free consultation. We can rule out other causes as well as examine your scalp to assess its health.

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