Are you losing your hair? Stress may be to blame
There are many factors which can lead to hair loss. However, in the United States one of the main causes for hair loss is stress. But how can stress cause you to lose your hair and is there anything that you can do to prevent such hair loss?
How does stress cause hair loss?
Stress causes the body to be tense. Being that stress starts in the brain and works to the other parts of the body, it would make sense that the follicles around the scalp and the skull can be affected by large prolonged stress. While there is no definitive proof that stress can cause hair loss, there have been definitive studies which have shown that stress affects the entire body (both internal and external organs). Primarily, the body as a whole becomes over exerted and fatigued. When the body becomes such, areas which are weak suffer. In terms of hair loss, when the follicles around the hair are fatigued or if the skin tissue is tense from stress over a prolonged period of time, the follicles around the hair can become weakened causing hair loss.
The two types of stress hair loss
There are two main types of hair loss caused by stress. The first is known as telogen effluvium. In this situation the body becomes stressed and the hair stops growing. Usually, the hair will fall out 2 to 3 months after the stressful event and will grow back. The second type of hair loss is alopecia areata and occurs within weeks of the stress. It is caused by an attack of the white blood cells on the scalp. This can be the result of fatigued and weakened follicles on the scalp and the body trying to respond to that weakness
Secondary ways in which stress causes hair loss
Apart from the direct weakness of the hair follicles caused by over tension and weakening of the areas of the scalp, stress can cause hair loss from secondary stress habits. Primarily, a person that is stressed may perform the following actions which will cause hair loss:
- Rubbing the sides of the skull in circular motions can cause the hair to become dislodged as the friction of the repeated movement is basically the same as twirling one’s hair.
- Running your fingers through your hair will also cause hair loss as you are combing the hair very primitively. Nails and jewelry (such as wedding rings) can easily snag strands of hair causing hair loss.
- Pulling the hair out of frustration can also cause hair loss. While it is not likely that you will see a massive amount of hair loss from pulling on the hair, gradual loss can happen if you pull on the same areas over a prolonged period of time.
- Scratching the scalp (such as when thinking on a stressful situation) can cause the scalp to become cut and scabbed. These weakened areas may then cause the hair to lay dormant or cease production of hair in those areas. Scratching the scalp may also increase the production of skin cells in that area causing excess flaking of the dead skin as well as an abundance of loose hair follicles as a result.
Hair loss, stress, and testosterone
When we become stressed we are typically more agitated. This means that there are higher levels of testosterone in the system. This does not mean that the testosterone is working in your favor. It is like having a trailer over loaded with goods and on a faulty axel. Women who are stressed and have a larger amount of testosterone may see that pattern baldness occurs.
Stress and medication
Those which are under medication for certain stress disorders should check to see what the side effects of the medication include. Some medications can weaken the follicles or cause hair loss. Medicine which is not taken according to the prescribed usage may cause serious side effects including baldness.
The best solution to stress related hair loss is to minimize the amount of stress in your life. Take time out for yourself every day to re-focus and to lower down your stress level. If you find that you are unable to relieve your stress level you are encouraged to seek proper professional treatment.
Hair loss which has occurred, resulting in unsightly bald patches or hair loss can be corrected in micro-pigmentation treatment. In this procedure the hair pigmentation is tattooed onto the scalp to give the appearance that you can grow hair. This process can be performed on small bald or balding spots or over the entire skull. If you have any questions concerning hair loss and scalp micropigmentation please feel free to ask.
Skalp® have clinics around the world. We have clinics in New York, Los Angeles, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin, Marbella, Milan and Amsterdam.