Can Stress Lead to Hairloss?


stressed man

In today’s fast-paced environment, just about everyone has a frenetic schedule to accommodate their everyday grind. And sure enough, by the end of the day, stress is bound to reign over. Most of us though are used to dealing with stress as a typical part of life in the 21st century.

The effects of stress on your health are undeniable but just how serious can the damages be?

If you push yourself way beyond your stress limits, you are putting yourself under a lot of health hazards. Hair loss can be one of them.

How are stress and hair loss related?

The diversity of everyday life demands a lot of energy; work, managing finances, school, rearing your kids and house chores among other things. Juggling all these tasks and cramming them in your daily schedule is already enough to cause stress. So how is stress linked to hair loss?

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency

If you experience stress, your body’s supply of vitamin B12 gets used up at a rapid pace. This alone influences the cycle of your hair growth. Vitamin B12 is partly responsible for delivering oxygen, blood and other nutrients to your body tissues. And because your body considers your hair as a non-essential tissue, your hair will be the last to get the nutrients it needs for hair growth.

  • Immune system may attack your hair follicles

During extremely high levels of emotional stress, it’s possible for your own immune system to mistake your hair follicles as a foreign body and attack it, a contributing factor to an autoimmune disorder called alopecia areata.

  • Hormonal imbalance

Hair loss may also be caused by a hormonal change. And hormonal imbalance is usually caused by stressful events. High levels of stress can cause hormonal changes that could make your hair follicles shrink and produce thinner hair.

What types of hair loss can be associated with stress?

Too much stress can be a contributing factor to three types of hair loss:

  • Alopecia AreataIt’s speculated that severe stress has a hand in the development of alopecia areata, in which the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles, mistaking it as a foreign body.
  • Telogen effluvium – emotional and physical stress may cause this scalp disorder in which the hair cycle is interrupted. With telogen effluvium, your hair follicles do not continuously produce hair. A high level of stress puts your follicles into a resting phase that may last for a few months and cause your hair to fall out.