How Stress Affects Your Hair
Does stress affect your hair? Yes, there is a connection.
Typically, people lose around fifty to a hundred hairs a day. However, a significant stress of some sort can sometimes spark a change in the body’s functions.
There are three types of hairloss that can be associated with high stress levels.
1. Alopecia areata
Severe stress is one of the factors that can cause alopecia areata. Alopecia areata (AA) is a type of hairloss where the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing patches of baldness. In most cases, hair grows again after several months.
2. Telogen effluvium
Telogen effluvium (TE) is one of the most common forms of hairloss. In TE, significant stress pushes large numbers of your hair follicles into a resting phase. After a few months, these hairs may suddenly fall out when you wash or comb your hair.
This is an impulse disorder where the person has an irresistible urge to pull out hair from the scalp, and even other areas of the body. The hair pulling can be the person’s way of dealing with negative feelings like stress or frustration.
However, physiological stress and emotional stress is not the same thing. Experts say that only things that cause physiological stress can cause a hairloss to occur. Fortunately, as long as the stress event is temporary, the hairloss is usually temporary as well. Once the stressor is gone, the hair grows back and the hair cycle goes back to normal.
If you start noticing sudden or patchy hairloss when washing or combing your hair, talk to your doctor or a trusted hairloss expert to rule out underlying medical conditions and treatment plans.