Updated: Apr 30
Throughout our lives, our hair will usually change in texture and thickness. In case you notice that your hair is thinning or falling out, you probably want to know hair loss reasons. Does hair loss for women result from heredity, hormones, or some other factor? Does stress cause hair loss? The answer is yes! Speaking of irony, don't you want to tear your hair out when just out of nowhere, your hair starts making its presence felt in places apart from your scalp? All of a sudden, your hair partition begins to gape too much, or your hairbrush appears to have more hair than bristles. There's hair everywhere you look. Though it's normal to lose 50 to 100 hair strands a day, anything over and above that mark is a red flag. Though there could be several reasons behind the causes of hair loss, female hair loss from stress seems to be the main issue that afflicts women these days. Shedding appears to be a part of our lives, but unnatural shedding in the shower or while styling, or when simply running your hands through your hair is a sign that it's coming from a stressful source.
Stress and the Hair Cycle: Impact on Hair Loss in Women
There are scientific studies that provide evidence for the link between significant emotional stress and a hair loss condition known as Telogen Effluvium. When we are stressed, our adrenal glands secrete a hormone called cortisol that signals our hair follicles to shift from the growing phase into catagen, a transition period when our hair falls out. This is called Telogen Effluvium. The outcome can be rapid hair loss due to this extreme stress response. But mind you, that's what you see on the surface. There's a catch here. Despite Telogen effluvium's characteristic abrupt onset, hair loss typically doesn't occur for about three months after the event that triggered it. You need to understand that your body is redirecting its energy away from non-essential functions like hair growth to more critical functions crucial to ensuring survival. Your hair follicles are constantly cycling between growth and shed. At any given moment, most hair follicles are in the growth phase (anagen). Shedding occurs when the hair follicle abnormally transitions to telogen or the resting phase. When an episode of telogen effluvium occurs, a trigger causes a sudden, abnormal shift of hair into the telogen phase. Is there an apparent cause for this sudden transition? Yes! Excessive stress does cause hair loss.
Nature of hair loss from stress
The stress hair loss linked with telogen effluvium is known as the diffuse pattern. It refers to hair loss or thinning over the scalp and broadening of the parting line. While up to 50% of scalp hair might be shed during a telogen effluvium, this condition does not result in complete baldness, which is comforting. The good news is that this form of hair loss is just temporary and will eventually recover to its pre-effluvium density, but this is a gradual process. It can take months for the shedding to halt and months to years for the lost hair to regrow slowly.
How to Deal With it
Now that your question about women's “ does hair loss cause stress?” is answered, the most crucial step in addressing stress-related hair loss is to strive to reduce your everyday stress. Reflecting upon your lifestyle choices is a good start. The idea is to figure out where these stressors are coming from. There is no bigger remedy than self-care. You have to learn to understand and monitor how you're reacting to stress if you are to develop some resilience in your body. Certain healthy lifestyle choices are beneficial for managing stress in the present and building resistance to future stress. The goal is to incorporate them into your daily routine, even when you aren't feeling stressed. Here are some lifestyle tips to help you deal with hair loss from stress.
1. Go Chemical-Free
It's time to change your hair care products. Inflammation and oxidative stress can occur in our hair follicles due to using chemical-based products. Chemicals found in these products can disrupt our hormonal systems, negatively impacting our hair. Therefore, it is recommended to replace anything that contains chemicals, such as sulfates, with natural hair care products from brands such as The Love Of People. This is a major step in reducing female hair loss from stress.
2. Give Your Hair a Break
Don't just go chemical-free with only your hair care products; refrain from chemical treatments like straightening, coloring, etc. Avoid using heat for styling at any cost. Be gentle with your hair and use protective styling instead of doing hairstyles that unnecessarily tug at your hair. You must also ensure that you are not being rough while detangling. Treating your hair right goes a long way in managing hair loss from stress.
3. Eat Right
Particular food items can help you lower your cortisol levels, the critical stress hormone. The overproduction of cortisol causes stress in the body, leading to increased inflammation and blood pressure. Focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet is the most excellent strategy to minimize cortisol levels in the body. Here are the best supplements for hair growth.
B vitamins are abundant in fortified whole grains and some animal sources, particularly vitamin B12, which aids cortisol metabolism. Think Meat, fish, poultry, fortified cereals, etc. Omega-3 fatty acid-rich food like Fish, Avocadoes, Flax seeds, Walnuts, etc., help to decrease inflammation. Magnesium aids in the reduction of inflammation, the metabolism of cortisol, and the relaxation of the body and mind. For this reason, you may want to add Bananas, Pumpkin seeds, Spinach, and Broccoli to your diet. Biotin and protein-rich foods can help promote healthy hair development especially when stress causes hair loss.
Maintain a consistent workout routine that incorporates cardio and strength training. A regular workout program can help reduce stress and prepare you to handle stressful situations. Yoga with a proper breathing technique is a great way to stretch and de-stress your body and mind.
To restore calm and soothe your mind, practice mindfulness or meditation. Dedicate a few minutes each day to meditation to reduce stress and break the stress cycle that is causing hair loss.
6. Sleep Well
Changing your sleeping habits will go a long way in reducing hair loss from stress. Sleep disorders, such as insomnia and stress, are inextricably linked, which means that sleeping too late, not sleeping enough, or waking up frequently during the night can often aggravate stress. Implementing lifestyle changes may help here.
7. IV Hydration/Pellet Treatment
Helping replace vital nutrients that the body may be in need of can help the body out of a vitamin slump. It is key for vitamins such as Vitamin D, Magnesium, and certain hormones to be balanced to reduce cortisol on a regular basis.
So, are you going through a stressful period in your life? Does stress cause hair loss? Yes! A variety of factors can cause stress. Difficulties in personal life, a demanding job, or a difficult financial situation can cause and worsen stress, resulting in symptoms ranging from insomnia and fatigue to headaches, aches, pains, and a weak immune system. Could you take a deep breath and let it all go? At least! Now you know it is manageable and your hair loss from stress is not permanent. The fact of the matter is that stress-induced hair loss is usually very temporary, and hair tends to regrow once stress levels are reduced. The best method to address stress and get it under control is to combine suitable treatment options with relaxation techniques, a balanced diet, and great holistic medical guidance. This will not only improve your general health, but it will also assist you in re-growing your hair! The choice is in your hands.
About The Author: Paula Bland
The founder of TLP, Paula Bland, is a medically qualified Nurse Practitioner, Hair aesthetician and also a psychiatric Nurse Practitioner known for her highly effective hair consultation. Paula has a non-traditional approach to hair care and advocates a chemical-free, natural, and holistic approach. The Love of People is her brainchild, and its products reflect her approach to hair health and have helped women with naturally curly hair manage their curls in a chemical-free and organic way.