The Impact of Stress on Hair: Exploring Solutions for Thinning

The Impact of Stress on Hair: Exploring Solutions for Thinning

Everyone has times in their life when they come under a great deal of stress. Whether it’s from work, school, or your home life, we all have things that can weigh on us from time to time. On top of making it difficult to concentrate, high levels of stress can cause physical symptoms as well. This can include headaches, exhaustion, and even hair loss. Many people are not aware that stress can lead to thinning hair, however, it’s actually very common.

About Hair Loss from Stress

It’s normal to lose a handful of hair each day, however, certain things can trigger a temporary increase in hair loss. Thinning hair caused by stress falls under what is known as telogen effluvium (TE). TE typically occurs when your body experiences some type of physical or emotional shock. Shock can directly impact the normal growth cycles of your hair, causing an increase in hair loss. If you notice large clumps of hair falling out when you style or wash your hair, you may be suffering from TE.  

What types of events can trigger telogen effluvium? When we talk about stress, that can mean a lot of different things. For example, there is extreme emotional stress which can be caused by losing a loved one, difficulty at work, or problems at home. However, physical stress can also be the root of your TE. Dieting, childbirth, medications, and serious illness are all triggers of temporary hair loss as well. Physical stress puts your hormone levels out of balance. If these stressors persist over a long period of time, it can have a major impact on your health.

Combating Stress-Induced Thinning Hair

The good news is that hair loss from stress can be temporary. During telogen effluvium, your hair follicles enter into a resting phase. Periodic resting phases is natural for hair follicles. In fact, at any given time, around ten percent of your follicles are in this period of rest. However, during TE, a larger number of follicles than usual will go into rest. There are some ways to reverse the effects of TE which include:

Addressing the Cause of Your Stress

Identifying the cause of your stress is the first step towards reversing thinning hair from TE. Once you’ve found the root cause of your TE, you can take steps towards reversing it. If your stress is emotion based, group therapy or counseling may help you find balance again. While physical stress may require medical intervention such as a change in your medication or treatment for a serious illness.

Lifestyle Changes

TE is brought on by a hormone imbalance, so it’s important to take care of yourself physically so your body has an easier time getting back to normal. Eating a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can be very helpful. Certain supplements have also been known to aid in hair loss including vitamin B12 and folic acid. In addition, you should try to incorporate at least some low-impact experience into your normal routine.