Can Stress & Anxiety Cause Hair Loss?


Right from the ancient times continuing today in the 21st century, natural hair has been an empowering factor for humans. Healthy natural hairs are dear to every human being. The relationship between a person and his natural hair is very close-knit. Hence, whenever anything affects one of them, there has been a direct impact on the other. In today’s busy times, stress and anxiety affect the health of every individual, and hair loss is no exception to it. So, if you are wondering whether stress and anxiety can cause hair loss, read on to know how stress and anxiety can cause hair loss.

Stress is a state of psychological or emotional strain or tension affecting you due to certain adverse or demanding circumstances. Stress can result due to the work pressure, emotional turbulence, or study pressure, in the case of teens.

Every day numerous hair strands are lost, however, when you experience a hair fall more than usual, you need to be wary of the underlying cause. A hair fall of around 50-100 strands per day is considered to be normal.

Causes Of Anxiety Hair Loss

When you are anxious or stressed i.e. suffering from anxiety disorder there is a production of stress hormones in the body known as Cortisol. When you have high levels of cortisol, it brings with it a series of negative effects. High levels cortisol increases the breakdown of hyaluronan and proteoglycans (hair protein components) which help in the normal growth and function of the hair follicle.

Hair growth comprises various stages. Here, we mention the phases of hair growth.

  1. Anagen is the first and the active growth phase
  2. Catagen is the resting stage
  3. Telogen is the regression of the hair follicle phase
  4. Exogen is the active shedding of hair phase
  5. Kenogen is the phase between the empty hair follicle and the growth of new hair.

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Types Of Hair Loss

There are three different types of hair loss resulting due to the stress.

1. Telogen Effluvium:

Stress hormones push the hair follicles prematurely into the resting stage without completing the anagen stage. The hairs that are pushed stay in the resting stage for 2-3 months before falling out. Some commonly affected areas by this type of hair loss are the crown region and the top of the head. This condition occurs 2-3 months after the stressful phase of your life. In many of the cases, no specific treatment is needed and the hair grows back after a period of 6 months. In cases where the hair loss lasts for more than 6 months, the condition is called Chronic Telogen Effluvium. Such cases may need medications to treat the underlying cause.

2. Trichotillomania

This is a type of hair loss where there is an irresistible urge to pull out body hair from the scalp, eyebrows, and other areas of the body. It is also known as Hair Pulling Disorder, and it is considered under the obsessive-compulsive related disorder induced by anxiety and stress. It can result in the bald patches on the scalp. Although the cause is not known, it can occur as a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Trichotillomania can cause difficulty in social and work functioning.

3. Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition triggered by stress, genetic, or environmental factors. Alopecia areata occurs as bald patches on the scalp, mostly circular bald patches. In severe cases, it can lead to a complete hair loss of the scalp (Alopecia Totalis). Alopecia areata can spread from single to multiple bald patches, as the condition worsens.

Other Causes Of Hair Loss:

Besides stress and anxiety, there are numerous other causes of hair loss and hair thinning. Some of them are listed below.

  • Genetics: Hereditary factor can be responsible for hair loss, such as Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) and female pattern baldness (FPB).
  • Nutritional Deficiencies: Nutritional deficiencies, such as deficiencies of vitamins (like Vitamin A, C, D, B) or iron in the diet can result in a hair loss.
  • Diseases: Diseases, such as thyroid disorder, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), lichen planus, and other ailments, can cause a significant loss of hair.
  • Certain Medications: A hair loss can be a side-effect of intake of certain drugs for the long term, such as some medicines used for cancer, heart problems, depression, and high blood pressure.
  • Chemical Products: A frequent use of hair dyes, heat tools, hair products for hair styling, and similar more can result in the hair damage leading to a hair loss.

Does The Lost Hair Grow Back?

If the hair loss is purely stress-induced, the usual hair growth and regrowth pattern can return to normal a few months after your stress levels have been restored down to normal. However, if the hair loss persists for a longer period, then the underlying cause needs to be identified. Expert help of doctors will be needed to diagnose the case and get you the exact treatment options available.

Can Homeopathy Help Treat Hair Loss?

Major benefits of homeopathy for hair loss treatment could be summarized as under.

  • The individualized hair loss treatment with homeopathy is based on the study of patient’s patches, extent, cause, genetic pattern, emotional sphere, hormonal imbalance, and other factors which lead and maintain the disease.
  • Homeopathy addresses the altered immune system and identifies the underlying cause if any, thus it treats the roots of this condition or autoimmune disease.
  • Homeopathic treatment for hair loss is not superficial but deep acting, and it offers lasting to almost permanent results in most cases. It is absolutely harmless, safe, and non-toxic.

Also Read: How to Control Hair Fall in this Summer

So, if you happen to suffer from hair loss due to stress and anxiety or any other cause, count on homeopathy without a second thought to treat your hair loss effectively.

– Written by Dr. Neethu Krishnan, Associate to Dr. Rajesh Shah

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