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How Stress & Hair Loss Are Related?

Dr. Jolly Shah 89% (1072 ratings)
MBBS, DNB (Dermatology)
Dermatologist, Mulund W, Mumbai  •  22 years experience
How Stress & Hair Loss Are Related?

A head full of the lush silky mane is what everyone desires as it enhances one's personality and physical image but with the growing levels of pollution and workload, it becomes difficult to maintain its health and beauty. There are a number of factors that contribute to the deterioration of hair and stress is one of them.

Stress is a complimentary ingredient in today's lifestyle. Hectic work schedules, maintaining a social life and many other reasons invite stress and it has become increasingly difficult to avoid. There are three types of hair fall that can be attributed to stress and anxiety.

  1. Telogen effluvium - There are three stages in the life cycle of hair, growth, resting and shedding stage. Stress and anxiety incurred from physical trauma, severe accident, illness and pregnancy can cause sudden and in most cases temporary hair fall. Sudden stress shocks the hair follicles and pushes them to the resting stage resulting in hair fall from combing or washing. This type of hair loss has been termed as Telogen effluvium.
  2. TrichotillomaniaPulling out hair from the scalp, eyebrows can be a way of dealing with stress. Inner palpitation, tension, anxiety has a way of coming to the surface and it has been noticed in some people that they unknowingly pull their hair out to cope with stress and in worst cases they also make a habit of it. This condition is commonly referred to as Trichotillomania.
  3. Alopecia areata - Hair falls out from certain portions of the scalp exposing scattered patches of skin. There are several reasons for this condition known as Alopecia areata, and stress has been identified as one. With alopecia, the immune system of the body attacks the hair follicles causing them to shed.

Hair fall from stress is rarely permanent and resumes to its normal shedding routine once the stress subsides. However, abnormal shedding of hair is usually an indication of a deep-rooted medical condition which should be treated immediately.

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