Stress Related Hair Loss - Is That Even Possible?

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Stress Related Hair Loss - Is That Even Possible?

It is very common for hair to change in structure and thickness over a lifetime. Everybody loses hair from their heads every single day. However, if you’re losing more than usual, or losing lots of hairs from one particular patch on your scalp, there could be an underlying cause. Is it possible that something is causing this condition? Yes, this is a possibility. Let’s talk about one of the most common problems we face today, stress related hair loss.

Life Cycle of Hair

There are hundreds of thousands of hairs on your head and each of them is at a different stage of its life. The growth and loss of hair may seem like a simple process, but the hair growth cycle is actually composed of four distinct phases.

hair growth cycle 

Alila Medical Media /

The phase in which a hair strand is growing is called the anagen phase, and 90% of the hair strands you have are currently in that phase. 

The second phase of your hair growth cycle is catagen. At this stage the hair stops growing and detaches itself from the blood supply and is then named a club hair. 

This is followed by the third or telogen phase in the hair life cycle.This phase begins with a resting period, where club hairs rest in the root while new hair begins to grow beneath it. After this time, the exogen phase happens when the resting club hairs fall out to allow the new hair to come through the hair follicle. 

Most stressful events that can affect hair loss actually occur during the growth phase of your hair. Because of this, you may feel that your hair follicles are dead or that your hair will stop growing permanently. Don’t panic right away, your usual pattern of hair growth and regrowth should return to normal as soon as the stress level decreases.

hair regrowth cycle

Barks /

Normal Hair Loss

Although we often imagine it differently, hair isn’t meant to stay attached to the scalp indefinitely. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, it’s normal to lose anywhere from 50 to 100 strands of hair per day. When you consider that there are at least 100,000 hair follicles on each person’s scalp, losing about 100 strands of hair a day doesn’t sound so terrible. 

This is due to a few factors:

Aging - After 30 men and women may start experiencing hair thinning. However, this varies from person to person.

Lifespan - The average lifespan of one hair is 4.5 years, after which the hair falls out and is replaced with a new one, usually within 6 months.

Styling - Excessive shampooing, aggressive combing, exposure to high temperatures, hair pulling, hair bands... All of this has an impact on hair loss.

Can Stress Cause Hair Loss? 

Many people still underestimate the effects of stress on the body. According to studies stress does impact hair follicles, causing hair to fall out. When you’re stressed or anxious, your body produces what’s known as the ‘fight or flight response’. Your body produces extra hormones to help it deal with any potential threat. This change in hormone levels can cause hair follicles to shed.

Signs of hair loss

The first and most visible sign of stress induced hair loss is an increased amount of hair in the comb or collected by the shower drain.

Some other signs are:

  • A bald spot that grows slowly
  • A receding hairline that becomes more visible
  • Thinner-than-normal ponytail
  • Hair breakage along the hairline
  • Wider than normal hair parts
  • Thinning or patchy eyebrows, eyelashes, beard, or nose hairs

Causes of stress-related hair loss 

If your daily hair fall is more than usual, you might be suffering from stress-related hair loss. Here are some of the most common causes of significant stress-related hair loss:

  • Losing a loved one
  • A break-up / divorce
  • Childbirth
  • Global pandemic
  • Individual health crisis
  • Ongoing financial insecurity
  • Pressure at work or school

Types Of Stress-Related Hair Loss

Stress can lead to a number of different conditions that cause hair loss including:

Telogen effluvium - The body tells the hair to stop growing on the scalp more than usual.

Alopecia areata - Includes loss of large amounts of hair in patches of the scalp. 

Trichotillomania - Using fingers to pluck hair on your head or around your body as a self-soothing mechanism.

Is there a female pattern of hair loss?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Stress and anxiety have an impact on your hair. This problem is more common after menopause, so hormones are probably responsible for this condition.

Doctors divide female pattern baldness into three types:

  1. the appearance of a small amount of thinning that begins around the part
  2. the appearance of increased thinning around the part
  3. the appearance of thinning throughout, with a see-through area at the top of your scalp

If you’ve noticed thinning hair on your scalp, see your doctor or a dermatologist.

Is It Reversible?

The good news is, temporary hair loss that usually happens after stress, a shock, or a traumatic event is generally reversible. It doesn't permanently damage hair follicles. It may look like it has affected your hair growth, but it will grow back in a few months. Try not to worry too much.

Can You Tell If You Are Losing Too Much Hair?

You can perform a “pull test” on your hair at home. It's very simple. Take a small section of clean hair and gently run your fingers through it. If more than two or three hairs are left in your hand after each tug, consult your doctor to determine the cause. 

Adopt a Healthy Hair & Scalp Care Routine

A good hair care routine can improve hair retention. Wash your hair and scalp thoroughly with a gentle shampoo and condition to add a protective layer to the hair cuticle. If using themal irons, remember to use heat protection products. If you are in the mood for a little extra care, Shedavi has prepared Hair Growth Vitamins just for you. This natural herbal vitamin is full of nutrients needed to promote  growth and thickness from within. Massaging your scalp can increase blood circulation promoting hair growth. Try Shedavi's Hair & Scalp Growth Elixir with your scalp massages. 

In conclusion

If you’re experiencing hair loss that’s unusual for you, you should see your primary care physician or a board certified dermatologist. They can tell you whether you have hair loss or excessive hair shedding (some people can even have both). They can tell you the causes and suggest effective treatment options. Remember, the sooner treatment begins, the better the prognosis.

Finally, try to manage your sources of stress and if possible remove them. Remember, self-care is extremely important. Try to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, eat a balanced diet, drink enough water and try to get a good amount of sleep. * P. S. SHEDAVI bundles are tailored to almost everyone's needs, even for Post Baby Hair Loss. Check out our website to find the perfect hair care products just for you.
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