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How Stress Affects Your Hair: Recognising and Treating Hair Loss




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Stress is one of the main factors that contribute to hair loss, which is a problem that many people find concerning. The goal of this page is to give readers a thorough understanding of stress-related hair loss, including its causes, symptoms, and available treatments. You may take action towards healthier hair and a healthy lifestyle by realising the effects of stress on your hair and taking appropriate action.

Understanding Stress-Related Hair Loss

Does stress cause hair loss? Yes stress-related hair loss is one of the most common causes of hair loss in both men and women. Our lifestyles, both in the UK and overseas, appear to be becoming increasingly stressful, which can lead to hair loss.

Although it is perfectly natural for humans to lose between 50 and 150 hair follicles per day, we tend to think of “hair loss” as a medical illness when we start losing more hair than we can recover. The normal hair growth cycle is interfered with.

There are several potential reasons and explanations for stress-related hair loss, including a disease known as telogen effluvium and a variety of larger environmental factors. In both circumstances, the hair follicles on your head may fall out, resulting in significant hair loss and thinning.

Does stress cause hair loss
Image Source: Zestige Private Healthcare UK

How Does Stress Related Hair Loss Occur?

There are several reasons why stress and hair loss might happen. The most popular explanation for this is telogen effluvium, a medical ailment. There are, however, a number of environmental factors that may also contribute to hair loss, especially if you lead a very stressful lifestyle or have just been through a traumatic event.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium is a temporary hair loss problem that frequently happens as a result of stress. It is a condition that disrupts the hair growth cycle of your hair follicles. There are three phases to hair growth and shedding:

  • Anagen (Growth Phase): This phase is the most active in your hair growth cycle. Rapid cell division under the dermic layer (skin) forms new hair follicles. The new hair pushes out of the follicle, elongating the hair shafts. Hair can grow in this phase for up to four years. Approximately 80% to 90% of your hair follicles are in the anagen stage, which is why your hair grows.
  • Catagen (Resting Phase): This transitional stage sees the lower portion of the hair follicle regressing, stopping hair growth. Around 5% of hairs are in the catagen stage at any time. Minoxidil can help prevent progression to the next stage.
  • Telogen (Shedding Phase): During this phase, inactive hair follicles cause hair to fall out. For those without telogen effluvium, about 5% of hairs are in the telogen stage.

Hormonal Changes

One of the body’s responses to stress is a change in hormone levels. The thyroid gland, which is sensitive to stress, can alter hormone production, leading to hair loss. Additionally, stress can increase testosterone levels, which in turn raises dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels in the bloodstream. Elevated DHT levels are a known cause of hair loss.

Environmental and Lifestyle Factors

Chronic stress and traumatic events can also contribute to hair loss. Environmental factors, such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and inadequate sleep, exacerbate the problem. Leading a stressful lifestyle without addressing these factors can significantly impact hair health.

Symptoms of Stress-Related Hair Loss

Stress-induced hair loss (telogen effluvium) has many common symptoms. Among the symptoms are, but are not restricted to:

  • Increased hair on the hairbrush, pillow, or shower drain.
  • General thinning of the top of the head
  • Diffuse thinning of the donor area in patients at stage 7 on the Norwood Scale.
  • Hair that is dry and fragile and falls easily off the scalp.

It’s important to differentiate stress-related hair loss from other conditions. Stress-induced hair loss usually causes diffuse thinning over a larger area, unlike conditions such as alopecia areata, which causes small, concentrated patches of baldness.

Diagnosing Stress-Related Hair Loss

  • Identifying Triggers: Recognising the events or lifestyle changes that trigger stress is crucial. Significant life changes, traumatic events, and ongoing stressors should be noted as potential causes of hair loss.
  • Medical Consultation: If you suspect stress is causing your hair loss, consulting a healthcare professional is essential. They can perform tests and evaluations to determine the exact cause and recommend appropriate treatments.
  • Self-Assessment: Monitoring your hair loss patterns and stress levels can help identify correlations. Keeping a diary of stressful events and observing changes in hair loss can provide valuable insights.

Treatment Options for Stress-Related Hair Loss

  • Topical Treatments: Topical treatments like minoxidil are effective for stress-related hair loss. Minoxidil increases blood flow around hair follicle roots, reducing hair fall and stimulating growth. It’s a non-invasive and cost-effective option that can yield noticeable results.
  • Dietary Supplements: Ensuring you get the necessary vitamins and nutrients is vital for hair health. Deficits that may cause hair loss can be addressed with the aid of supplements. A balanced diet rich in vitamins such as B12, zinc, and iron can support hair growth and overall health.
  • PRP Therapy: Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is a cutting-edge treatment that uses the body’s platelets and white blood cells to combat hair loss. PRP therapy increases blood flow to the scalp and provides essential nutrients to hair follicles, promoting regrowth. Typically, a course of three PRP treatments is recommended for optimal results.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Adopting a healthier lifestyle is crucial for managing stress and preventing hair loss. Stress management techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and regular exercise can significantly reduce stress levels. A balanced diet, adequate hydration, and proper sleep are also essential for maintaining hair health.

Preventing Stress-Related Hair Loss

  • Stress Management: Implementing stress management techniques is vital for preventing hair loss. Practices such as yoga, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness can help reduce stress levels. Finding time for hobbies and relaxation can also contribute to better stress management.
  • Healthy Lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle supports overall well-being and hair health. Regular physical activity, a nutritious diet, and sufficient sleep are key components. Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and smoking can also improve hair health.
  • Hair Care Practices: Gentle hair care practices can prevent further damage and loss. Avoiding excessive heat styling, chemical treatments, and rough handling of hair can help maintain its integrity. Using mild, nourishing shampoos and conditioners is recommended.

When to Seek Professional Help

Is hair transplant painful
Image Source: Zestige Private Healthcare UK
  • Consulting a Specialist: If hair loss persists despite trying various treatments, seeking professional help is crucial. Specialists can offer advanced treatments and personalised care plans. They can accurately diagnose the condition and recommend effective solutions.
  • Surgical Options: For severe cases, surgical options like hair transplants may be considered. Many people wonder, “Is hair transplant painful?” Hair transplants are now comparatively painless and less invasive thanks to modern methods. Consulting with a specialist can help determine if surgery is a suitable option.


Stress-related hair loss is a common but manageable condition. By understanding the causes, recognising the symptoms, and exploring various treatment options, you can effectively address hair loss caused by stress. Implementing stress management techniques and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are crucial steps towards preventing further hair loss.

For those seeking professional advice and treatment, Zestige Private Healthcare offers expert consultation and advanced hair restoration solutions. Taking proactive steps today can lead to healthier hair and a more confident you.

Brindon Bagirathan
Brindon Bagirathanhttps://www.zestige.co.uk/
As the owner of Zestige, Brindon Bagirathan is an influential personality in the field of hair transplantation. A regular contributor to industry conversations, Brindon frequently articulates his expert insights and thought leadership through blogs. These writings allow him to reach a wider audience, providing them with fresh and informed perspectives on the latest trends and advances in the field of hair transplantation.


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