Stress and Hair Loss: Is There a Connection?

3 mn read

We lose about 100-200 strands of hair every day but sometimes one may experience excessive hair shedding. And if the hair loss persists for several months, it results in thinning of hair. Now, there are a number of reasons that may cause hair loss. Some are lifestyle and diet-related, others are related to a medical condition or medication, and yet others are genetic in nature. But it is a well-known and documented fact that stress and shock can also cause hair loss. 

Telogen effluvium

Telogen effluvium is a hair loss condition where a person experiences a large amount of hair fall for about six months or more. An adult human scalp has almost a hundred thousand hair follicles (more or less based on the natural hair color). These follicles, like all other cells, have a growth period and a resting period. Most of them, however, remain in the growth or anagen phase almost all the time. A few follicles are in the resting or telogen phase, these are the ones that cause hair fall. A person affected by telogen effluvium essentially loses a lot of hair because most of their hair follicles enter the resting phase. Though there are a few other things like severe illness or medicines that may trigger this condition, emotional stress remains a major cause. 

Defining emotional stress is a tricky task because it is highly subjective in nature. However, generally, any event that gives you a big shock can give you emotional stress. It may be the death of or separation from a close person or loss of your job or any other such crucial, negative life event. Smaller issues like a stressful work environment or a bad-tempered partner may also lead to emotional stress over a prolonged period.

Telogen effluvium is quite sneaky and so you probably won’t realize that you’ve been affected until you start losing a lot of hair. And though it looks and sounds sudden, it’s anything but sudden. The hair follicles suspended in the resting phase usually take almost 3 months before they shed hairs which is a long time. But once the shedding starts, it gets problematic because the person starts noticing hairless patches and the parting line gets wider. A sure symptom of this condition is when you spot an unusual number of hairs on your pillow in the morning or the drain after a bath. 

One cause of relief though is that telogen effluvium is often a temporary and reversible condition. It may lead to the loss of as high as 50% of hair and cause hair thinning but it usually doesn’t cause baldness. Finally, it is known to affect women more than men. So, now that we have looked at the problem, let’s turn to its possible solutions.

Treatments for stress-induced hair loss

Although there is no known way to prevent a hair loss episode, one can try to contain the damage and provide extra support to their hair. Following are a few tips which may prove helpful-

1. Eat a balanced diet 

Your diet should contain a sufficient amount of protein, vitamins A, D, and B complex, and the essential mineralsiron, selenium, and zinc. All these elements play a crucial role in the life-cycle of hair follicles and help keep the hair healthy. So, make sure to include plenty of green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, egg, and other dairy products. 

2. Work out

Set some time aside for exercising daily. Pick your favorite type(s) of exercise(s). There’s yoga, aerobics, Zumba, and a lot more to choose from. You may do it for just 15 minutes or an hour, what matters is its stress buster effect. Also, it is good for increasing testosterone level and blood circulation which are also crucial for healthy hair growth. Additionally, men may take Finpecia 1 mg tablets to support hair growth. 

3. Meditate or practice mindfulness

Keeping yourself calm and focused throughout the day isn’t possible for most of us. This is why meditating for a few minutes per day is important- bring your attention to the immediate moment and relax. If you want, you may practice exercises like tai chi that calms the body and mind.

4. Haircare and head massages

Make sure you use mostly natural hair products that don’t cause further damage to your already thinning hair. Additionally, massage your scalp and hair gently with some coconut or olive oil. You may add a few drops of essential oils like cedarwood and lavender to make the experience aromatic and get their benefits too.

5. Practice your hobbies

You must already have a hobby or two, if not, get some. Gardening, singing, writing, painting, etc., are just a few common ones to choose from. Indulging in them gets your mind off of things and helps you relax.

6. Medicines

If the above tips are not very helpful to you, you should consult your doctor for medical help. He may prescribe you an oral dose of Fincar 5 mg that contains Finasteride and helps to prevent the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). You need to take the medication for at least 3-6 months to see any significant results. 

These are some points that many people have benefited from and that may help you too to some extent. Remember, it is a temporary condition that can be defeated with some effort on your part. 

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