Can stress cause hair loss?

In today’s competitive world, stress has become very common. The fast-paced life has never spared anyone to stay out of pressure. It has become a very difficult task for people to manage professional and personal life simultaneously. However stress causes hair loss, it might be temporary in most of the cases. On an average, 20% hair follicles are always in the resting phase while 80% are active in the growing stage. When this balance disrupts due to any reason, hair fall occurs.

There can be a lot of reasons for stress like anti-depressants, chronic illness, childbirth, malnutrition, surgery etc. which can be the reason behind telogen effluvium. There are three types of stress-related hair loss:

Types of Stress-Related Hair Loss

1.    Telogen Effluvium

This is when shedding occurs during the resting phase due to the thinning of hair. It is often visible at the centre of the scalp and in extreme cases, at certain parts of the body as well.

2.    Alopecia Areata

It is an autoimmune disease when the immune system attacks the hair follicles and round patches appear all over the head and even on the body in case alopecia arteata is extreme.

3.    Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is the third type of stress-related hair loss. It is a problem in which the person starts pulling his/her hair out of the scalp himself/herself due to an irresistible urge. Not only from the scalp, but people also pull hair out from their eyebrows and other parts of the body.

 

How to stay stress-free?

Since we know that stress causes hair loss, we must focus on how to stay stress free. There are various things you can do to stop hair fall or to stay stress-free. Let us have a look at some of them:

1.    Nutritious Diet

A nutritious diet is not only necessary to give energy to your body but also important for relieving you from stress. You must never skip your breakfast and eat three meals a day for having a healthy lifestyle. You should replace your fatty and sugary foods with vegetables and fruits while increasing the intake of multivitamins and fats like omega 3 which are necessary for the body as they help in maintaining a healthy scalp.

2.    Exercise

Exercise helps in alleviating emotional stress. You can do anything you feel good with like running, cycling, dancing etc. the concept behind exercising is that when you exercise, your body releases happy hormones known as endorphins which makes you feel calmer and relaxed. You can also practice yoga or meditation. Do anything that makes you smile but stay relieved as stress causes hair loss.

3.    Sleeping Time

While you sleep, you are relieved of both mental as well as physical stress. Taking at least 7-8 hours to sleep at a particular time regularly helps you to stay happy and relaxed. It will improve your performance at work and also improve your overall mood.

4.    Time after Major Psychological Change

If you have had any traumatic experience recently like a car accident, abortion, illness or anything which has been very traumatic for your body like childbirth, then you must give your body some time to adjust to the shock by the traumatic event. Once you recover from the traumatic event, your hair will grow back.