Is Stress Causing Your Hair Loss?



The stress of any kind either physical or mental is bad for the general health of humans and it may cause medical or physical disorder in them. People affected by any kind of stress are observed with symptoms like headache, upset stomach, troubled concentration and feeling of exhaustion and anxiety. Another way in which stress affects your body includes hair loss. Hair loss due to stress mainly includes Telogen effluvium while there are other ways also in which the reason behind hair loss is also stress. A brief description of these symptoms may help in early detection and treatment.

Telogen Effluvium

Hair loss due to stress is generally termed as Telogen effluvium. It generally occurs due to some stress, trauma or shock to your body. This kind of hair loss can be well understood by understanding the meaning of the term Telogen Effluvium. Here the Telogen stands for the type of hairs which are shaped like bulb at the end and effluvium stands for the tendency to flow. This kind of hair loss is not similar to any other kind as in this case the hair loss is due to the disruption in natural growth and rest cycle of hair.

A better explanation of this hair loss due to stress lies in the fact that 80 to 90 percent of the hair follicles on the scalp are actively growing and 10 to 20 percent of the hair follicles are in resting phase. This balance between the active and resting follicles is affected by affected by a series of factors. This imbalance is typically observed when clumps of hairs fall in the brush while combing and styling your hairs or while washing them.

The state of telogen effluvium is triggered by stress. The stress, state of shock or trauma can be due to a lot of risk factors including-
• Major physical injury
• Pregnancy and childbirth
• Use of antidepressants
• Jet lag
• Surgical procedure
• Fever due to acute illness
• Illness due to chronic diseases
• Vaccination
• Sudden discontinuation of oral contraceptives
• Malnutrition due to unhealthy or excessive fad diet

These are few of many vital factors that increase stress level in humans and which in return trigger the Telogen effluvium. There are a lot of studies that justify this imbalance that the stress creates between the resting hand active hairs and this state can be cured by decreasing the stress levels.


Measures to Stop Telogen Effluvium

If the stress levels are reduced it will automatically resolve the problem of Telogen Effluvium. Once the body is brought back from the state of stress or trauma the condition will return to normal and hair fall will reduce. In case there is no need for the treatment of stress still some measure must be taken to stop hair fall. This include- consume a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables which are a great source of protein and nutrients, take vitamin and mineral supplements in order to cure the deficiency of iron, B12 or folic acid and gentle treatment of hair while combing or styling.

For those who need to be cured in order to reduce the level of mental and physical stress in them, they need to make necessary changes in their lifestyle which include- starting a regular exercise program, adapting and learning the relaxation techniques like meditation, guided imagery and deep breathing, by doing fun activities like listening to soothing music, join yoga classes and practice the postures well and increase your social involvement by spending quality time with family and friends rather than withdrawing due to stress.

Apart from Telogen Effluvium, another way in which the stress triggers the hair loss in humans by indirect ways include the following.


Sometimes an expression is used in order to describe the mental state of people under stress namely ‘pulling your hairs’ and hair loss due to this mental state is exactly what people under stress do. This is the state of illness observed in people of all age groups from children to adults where the person feels an un-resistible urge to pull the hairs from their scalp, eyebrows or any other part of the body. Research and study on this mental state have shown that people under stress, boredom, loneliness or out of frustration usual pull out of their hairs in order to deal with the negative or uncomfortable feelings.

Alopecia Areata

This is another form of hair loss caused due to the high level of stress in humans. In this case, the hairs are lost in the form of a small patch and are usually observed while you are combing or styling your hairs. In this disorder, the immune system of the body attacks the hair follicles causing hair loss. This kind of hair loss is also a result of excessive stress apart from other factors that also trigger the loss of hair in the form of patches. A similar treatment for stress can be suggested by the doctors in case it is needed.

The Bottom Line

People who observe sudden loss of hairs while they are combing their hairs or washing them than one of the reasons behind this might be a high level of stress which directly or un-directly triggers the rate at which the hairs are lost by creating an imbalance between the active and resting hairs. In order to recover from stress which in turn resolve the problem of hair fall, necessary changes need to make in the current lifestyle.

You should start consuming a healthy diet with more vegetables and fruits included in it as they are a rich source of protein and other nutrients. Exercise regularly and take yoga classes. Involve in more social activities with friends and family rather than avoiding them due to stress.


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