Do you notice that you have lost more hair than usual in recent months? More than 50% of the population suffers from hair loss at some point in their lives. The reasons can vary: diet, certain health problems, some medications, environmental factors, or stress can play a fundamental role in weakening and hair loss. Today, at unCOMO, we’d like to delve a little deeper into one of the most common causes of hair loss: stress. Whether for family, work, or personal matters, the tension and anxiety we face daily can negatively affect our well-being and health. We describe the symptoms and treatments for stress-related hair loss below.
Causes of the fall due to stress
Hair loss caused by stress is far more common than it appears.Affected people usually see how they lose a large amount of hair every time they comb their hair or shower, in addition to usually finding hair on the pillow, sofa, or floor. Although the incidence is difficult to estimate, hair loss due to stress is one of the main consultations in dermatology and pharmacy. It representsone of the main causes of diffuse alopecia.
Although it is not a serious condition and is usually transient, hair loss due to stress can cause a lot of concern for those who suffer from it. But why does this condition apply? Episodes of stress and anxiety are the main factors that trigger this condition. In this article, we explain how to control anxiety and stress.
Types of falls due to stress
Since stress is one of the main causes of hair loss, we must differentiate the type of loss this condition can enhance.
Psychological stress: we refer to symptoms of anxiety, mental exhaustion, or depression that can lead to hair loss due to stress and that many people suffer in their day-to-day due to the context of work, family, personal problems, or sudden changes. Likewise, post-traumatic stress or bipolar disorder can also increase fall episodes. These conditions are usually underdiagnosed, so hair loss in these cases can be prolonged and intensified over time.
Organic stress: organic stress is related to diseases such as lupus or tumour processes, major surgeries, or serious trauma.
Whether the loss is caused by psychological or organic stress, the main cause of the loss is cortisol, a hormone that directly affects the body’s organs and tissues and can help us fight stress and infections. In the event of anxiety or tension, cortisol levels will be higher and more continuous, which will cause an excess of inflammation that directly alters the life cycle of the hair.
Symptoms of hair loss due to stress
Now that you know what the condition of hair loss due to stress is, it is important to know how to recognize the signs that indicate that you are suffering from this type of loss and thus be able to go to the doctor to be able to treat this hair health problem. The main symptoms are:
Sudden hair loss
Being immersed in a stressful situation or a significant trauma is conditioning your health.
See the pillow full of hairs, tufts on the brush, or plugged shower sink.
In addition, stress usually carries the following symptoms: poor memory, headaches, lack of energy or concentration, tiredness, nervousness, tachycardia, stiff neck or jaw, sexual problems, and diarrhea…
Although these signs are easily recognizable, they can sometimes be more difficult to identify, depending on the relationship between stress and hair loss. In this sense, there are three patterns through which alopecia nervosa manifests itself:
Telogen effluvium is the most common and is characterized by a disruption in the hair growth cycle. When such alteration occurs, the person suddenly enters a telogen or fall phase, increasing the loss.
Tricotilomania is the psychological alteration that occurs in those who suffer from compulsive disorders of stretching or pulling out their hair and that is related to stress, loneliness, anxiety, or depression.
Alopecia areata is an immune system alteration that attacks follicles and prevents their growth; it is caused by organic stress.
This article about Why is my hair falling out might be of interest to you.
Does stressed-out hair loss recover?
Hair loss due to stress is usually a temporary and reversible problem. Generally, the way to end this crisis is to eliminate the main factor causing hair loss, stress. The goal is to reduce anxiety, normalize cortisol levels, and restore the hair growth cycle. However, since not all people face the same symptoms of stress or anxiety, or the symptoms may vary, we recommend you go to a doctor in case you notice stronger hair loss than normal, to diagnose the problem, identify the specific causes that have triggered it, and be able to solve it quickly, adequately, and effectively.
Treatment for hair loss due to stress
In addition to medical recommendations or specific treatments, additional measures can help you reduce your stress level and promote the recovery of your hair’s health.
Meditation, mindfulness, and breathing
Practising conscious breathing or meditation can mitigate the stress you are feeling. You can become aware and try to put aside your worries by using breathing techniques that will allow you to control your nerves. Here, we teach you mindfulness. Exercises for anxiety
Stimulate the scalp.
Scalp stimulation can help you increase blood flow to the area and, consequently, stimulate the hair follicles so that the hair grows better and faster. Try massaging the scalp with hair oils to achieve this. This article will show you how to moisturize your scalp.
As we have mentioned, food is also essential to caring for your hair. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential to preventing hair loss. You should ensure you get nutrients such as vitamin D, zinc, and iron. This article on zinc-rich foods is recommended.
Perform daily activities that reduce stress.
Activities that make you feel good, help you escape from problems, or reduce stress levels will help you balance cortisol levels.
Surrounding yourself with a positive environment will allow you to feel better and, consequently, reduce your level of anxiety. Dirty, cluttered, noisy, and polluted environments directly impact our mental health and, as a result, can exacerbate stress symptoms. It is important to organize the work and enjoyment spaces to stay calm.
Learning to release tension is essential to regain the correct cortisol levels. To do this, you must recognize when your body is stressed. We recommend that you carry out muscle tension and strain exercises to reduce tension and relax your body and mind.
Low-intensity light treatment
Keratin is a key protein when discussing hair health, so we must promote its products to prevent the hair from weakening and falling out in the face of a specific stressful situation. In this regard, low-intensity light treatments that penetrate the skin and stimulate cells to increase protein production are available.
Platelet-rich plasma treatment
Platelet-rich plasma treatment, also called PRP, is used to stimulate hair growth. If the doctor deems it appropriate, it will be carried out. The plan is to take a blood sample, centrifuge it to separate the platelets from the plasma, and then inject the platelets into the scalp to stimulate hair growth once more. The results are usually visible after a year of treatment.