Hair loss is a common problem these days. Both men and women develop this condition at a rather young age now-a-days. While there is a growing trend of going bald in men, it is a big problem for the women and they are ready to make all the required efforts to restore their tresses.
Now, in order to cope up with the problem, you first require finding out the reason behind the same. There are many reasons such as change in some of your hair care products, changes in your lifestyle or certain bodily changes that lead to this condition. However, if you haven’t undergone any of these then the reason for your hair fall may be stress. Let us learn how stress and anxiety can cause hair loss and as to how you can prevent it.
Hair Loss Due to Stress
Different Hair Loss Conditions Caused by Stress
Stress does not only impact you mentally but also has immense effect on your physical health. There are different levels of stress and hair loss occurs when the severity is pretty high. It can cause different conditions that lead to hair loss.
- Telogen Effluvium: It is said that constant stress and anxiety can send hair follicles into a resting phase and thus stop the hair from growing and after a few months the hair attached to these follicles may begin to fall. If you see significantly more hair falling as compared to the usual fall then you are facing this condition. Telogen Effluvium is known to be the most common reason of hair loss caused due to stress.
- Trichotillomania: This is a condition wherein a person unknowingly pulls out strands of hair from his head, eyebrows and other parts of the body. There can be various factors that cause this kind of hair loss and stress supposedly is one of them. It is said to be a way of coping up with stress, anxiety or loneliness.
- Alopecia Areata: This condition causes sudden loss of huge clumps of hair mainly around the scalp. Under this condition the immune system turns on the hair follicles and leads to hair fall. Stress apparently is one of the factors that lead to this condition.
It has been seen that those who are too stressed about losing their hair are actually the ones who end up losing them and the cause is of course stress. When you are constantly stressed you make things worse as controlling hair loss becomes all the more difficult.
Effects of Stress on Your Hair
Stress may not only cause hair loss, it may affect your hair and scalp in other ways too. Let us learn about these in detail:
- Dry and Itchy Scalp: When you are stressed out, the production of certain hormones increases and it leads to the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals that can damage your scalp’s barrier function. This can take away moisture and make your hair and scalp dry and itchy. In such a case it is suggested to wash your hair less frequently in order to let the natural oils build. Also massage your hair and use gentle shampoo.
- Thinning of Hair: Stress can take your hair from growing phase to resting phase. It hampers the hair growth and leads to thinning. You must have a rich diet and nourish your hair with oil regularly to promote hair growth.
- Eczema: This is said to be another problem that is caused due to stress. In this, the scalp becomes itchy and incurs rashes and redness. While the problem is usually hereditary, stress can slow down the healing process and add to the problem. This can further hamper on your hair growth. It is suggested to consult a dermatologist in this case.
- Psoriasis: Under this condition, people develop patches of plaque on their scalp. This can cause flaking, itching and even bleeding. This condition is also usually hereditary and as is the case with eczema, stress aggravates psoriasis as well. Seeking guidance from a dermatologist is suggested in this case too.
How to Prevent Hair Loss due to Stress?
It goes without saying that the best way to prevent hair loss caused due to stress is to lower your stress level. Though difficult, you can reduce stress by putting in a little effort. Here is how you can keep stress at bay:
- Eat Right: Avoid having junk food and switch to a healthier diet that includes all the essential micronutrients. Eating healthy food gives you the strength to cope up with stress. This will also improve the quality of your hair making them less vulnerable to fall.
- Get Enough Sleep: One of the main causes of stress is lack of sleep. Make sure you take at least 7-8 hours of sleep each day to avoid both physical as well as mental stress. Also try to set a sleeping pattern that you can follow daily. It is said that sleeping and waking up at the same time each day promotes good health and keeps stress at bay.
- Exercise: Exercising promotes the release of endorphins also termed as the happy hormones. These hormones make you feel relaxed and thus help you de-stress. Squeeze in one hour from your daily schedule to go running, swimming, cycling or try any other exercise of your choice. Try it out for a few days and see the difference.
- Visit a Therapist: If you aren’t at peace even after trying the aforementioned methods then it is time to seek professional help. Your therapist will help you find out whether it is physical or mental stress that is causing the hair fall or if there is some other health condition that has led to this problem.
Conditions Leading to Hair Loss other than Stress
It is to be noted that while stress is said to be one of the causes of hair loss, there hasn’t ever been any conclusive scientific evidence to prove the same. The topic still remains debatable. Women may face this issue owing to various other health conditions. Let us learn about these in detail:
- Low Estrogen Levels Post Delivery: It is quite common for women to face hair fall issue post delivery. This is because the estrogen level falls drastically after delivery. However, this is a temporary condition. The hair growth goes back to being normal a few weeks later.
- Use of Birth Control Pills: Birth control pills can cause many side-effects and one of them is hair fall. Women who are hypersensitive to hormonal changes in their body can experience hair fall when they are on pills or usually after they stop having them.
- Other Medications and Medical Conditions: Hair loss in women may even occur as a side effect of various other medications or treatments. Diabetes, thyroid, psoriasis and other chronic illnesses may cause this problem.
- Menopause: A woman’s body undergoes several changes as she hits menopause. The estrogen level goes down during this phase and it leads to loss of hair among other problems. It can even make your hair extremely dull and dry. You should take a healthy diet and use mild shampoos and conditioners to take care of your hair during this time.
- Excessive Hairstyling: One of the most common reasons for hair fall among young women these days is excessive usage of hairstyling tools such as hair straightening machines and curling rods. Hair also gets damaged and is more likely to fall when you go for hair colouring, re-bonding, smoothening or make use of gels, sprays and other harsh products to style them.
Hair loss can give you sleepless nights. However, you need to understand that stressing over it will only aggravate the problem. You need to switch to healthier habits to curb this issue and do not hesitate to seek professional guidance if you aren’t able to control it by yourself.