Is Stress Causing Hair Loss?

Everyone experiences intermittent stress in life. Professional and private calls for, diseases and trauma can wreak havoc in your psychological well being.

Sometimes that stress can set off your physique to react in methods that may be irritating and embarrassing. These embrace points like brittle nails, pimples breakouts and hair loss.

What provides?

The sort of hair loss that outcomes from bodily and emotional stressors is named telogen effluvium, wherein massive quantities of stress push hair follicles right into a resting interval. As a outcome, the hair begins to shed, inflicting the looks of thinning, which could be extra outstanding in sure areas of the scalp than others.

“The hair follicle has its own life cycle — growth, transition, resting and falling out of hair shaft,” stated Dr. Julia Tzu, a double board-certified dermatologist and the founder and medical director of Wall Street Dermatology. Stress alters the proportion of hairs within the progress stage and shifts them to the resting, or telogen, stage.

“No one really understands the complex biology that determines the clockwork behind hair cycling,” she continued. “What is known is that stressors do bend the clock and shift hairs towards the telogen phase.”

But this doesn’t essentially result in lasting harm. According to Dr. Lauren Ploch, a board-certified dermatologist on the Georgia Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center, telogen effluvium doesn’t at all times trigger everlasting hair loss or baldness.

“Complete baldness does not occur unless there is an underlying inflammatory process” like alopecia areata, an autoimmune illness that causes hair loss in patches and could be triggered by extreme stress, she stated.

You received’t discover a distinction in hair loss instantly after experiencing one thing notably tense. 

“Telogen effluvium usually occurs within the first three months after a stressful event,” Ploch stated. “Usually, the hair loss is a sign that a new hair is growing again at the base of the lost hair, so new hair growth should be apparent three to six months after the initial shedding.”


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Stress-induced shedding doesn’t at all times result in everlasting hair loss or baldness, however see a health care provider in the event you discover extra strands than regular falling out.

When to fret 

The common individual loses 50 to 100 hairs a day. This is totally regular, and in contrast with the overall variety of hairs in your head (about 150,000), the absence of these strands isn’t even noticeable. However, shedding is taken into account an issue when it turns into extreme.

If you discover extra strands than regular popping out if you comb or wash your hair or in the event you see diminished thickness in a single space or all through your scalp, you must see a health care provider, Tzu suggested.

As for why hair loss occurs throughout stress, Ploch stated that shouldn’t be trigger for alarm. Because hair progress shouldn’t be an important perform, you may lose it if you’re stressed.

“When our body experiences stress, it essentially goes into survival mode and diverts resources away from functions that are nonessential for life such as hair growth and nail growth,” Ploch stated.

There’s little information behind whether or not there are teams that have extra stress-related hair loss than others, however Tzu and Ploch stated that new mothers are prone to have hair loss, given the extent of physiological stress that comes with childbirth. 

Postpartum alopecia, a distinct sort of hair loss, can occur due to a sudden lower in estrogen ranges round childbirth. This drastic hormonal shift shocks the hair follicles to the purpose that they shut down for roughly 4 months, however new moms can count on their hair to return to its regular progress and fullness after a 12 months. 

Additionally, trichotillomania, a psychological well being situation characterised by compulsive urges to tug hair from numerous components of the physique, is related to excessive nervousness ranges. 

Preventing hair loss isn’t as important as finding healthy ways to handle the stress that causes it.


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Preventing hair loss isn’t as vital as discovering wholesome methods to deal with the stress that causes it.

Easy methods to cease your shedding strands

Making sure way of life adjustments may also help. Along with getting sufficient sleep and spending time doing hobbies you get pleasure from to scale back stress, Ploch emphasised the significance of getting enough vitamins. 

“Eat a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals. Be careful with biotin supplementation,” she warned, referring to a memo the FDA launched in 2017 about how biotin supplementation can have an effect on lab values. Ploch recommended preserving biotin consumption to 35 micrograms or much less every day. Biotin, a B vitamin that’s generally used to fight hair loss, could be discovered naturally in small quantities in meals akin to eggs, milk and bananas.  

But most vital, keep in mind that it’s not as essential to deal with hair loss as it’s to seek out wholesome methods to deal with the stress that causes it. Regular train, enough sleep and a nutritious diet can alleviate nervousness. Eating chocolate, hanging with good buddies and listening to music can cut back damaging moods. (Dozens of different strategies may also help as effectively.) If you suppose stress is interfering along with your every day life, it is likely to be price attempting one thing like remedy or discussing your psychological well being along with your physician.

While self-treatment could be an possibility in gentle circumstances, you must see a dermatologist as quickly as attainable in the event you start to note extreme shedding. 

“There’s no reason to let hair loss go undiagnosed,” Ploch stated. “Even if it’s just telogen effluvium that will likely self-resolve, I would hate for someone to misdiagnose themselves and not seek treatment for what is actually an inflammatory or scarring type of hair loss.”

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