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Understanding Stress and Hair Loss

12.12.2019

Medical professionals, for some time, have associated stress and anxiety as underlying causes of hair loss. Although it is typically not long-term, the hair loss itself can become a factor in a person’s psychological well-being because of the reduction in quality of life. Some people who suffer daily stressors like work, financial, or familial obligations experience serious hair loss that is equivalent to those who have medical conditions where it is symptomatic. Understanding stress and hair loss will enable sufferers to assess lifestyles and find ways to cope with changes.

There are several types of hair loss associated with stress, including a primary inducer, an aggravating factor, and a secondary problem (such as a previous history with hair loss). There are also three primary hair loss conditions that dictate whether you have acute or long-term loss. While the primary way to reduce hair loss is to minimize stress, the diagnosis and treatment differ depending on the cause. You can also implement treatments like Bosley hair care products and exercise and nutrition to support your overall goal of mind and body health.


  • Alopecia Areata

    Alopecia areata affects about 6.8 million people in the U.S., but most who experience it are under age thirty. People with alopecia areata experience symptoms suddenly and develop small quarter-size patches on the scalp, and in some severe cases, it can cause alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis. A person is also 20% more likely to get alopecia areata if a family member had it, although not contagious.

    While there is no known cure, you will likely recover without intervention. Adding Bosley hair products for scalp, follicle, and hair regrowth will improve the results. After recovering from alopecia areata, you can use products like Bosley for men or Bosley for women as a haircare restoration recommendation. It’s vital to note that future hair loss will depend on stress levels, so we recommend stress relief exercises to reduce.
  • Telogen Effluvium

    People who have telogen effluvium generally have experienced trauma, shock, or stress that results in hair loss on the top of the scalp. The hair loss is also considered to be advanced when it occurs for more than six months, although it is only temporary and will grow back. Unlike alopecia areata, the symptoms of telogen effluvium are reversible with scalp care. You will be able to make changes and renew hair growth.

    This hair loss condition also tends to be more prominent in women, so counteracting it with Bosley hair products will improve your hair cycle performance and help restore the normalcy of the anagen, catagen, and telogen hair cycle phases. A tenth of a person’s hair is always in the telogen stage, but when telogen effluvium occurs, about thirty percent of follicles remain in a resting stage and slow the shedding cycle.

    Causes of telogen effluvium include severe stress that leads to hair loss within two to three months afterward, hormonal changes, poor nutritional deficiencies or weight loss, and pregnancy or childbirth, which these conditions aggravate the mental health of those who suffer regularly. Thankfully, once a person deals with the cause, the hair cycle will normalize through treatments like hair replacements or counseling.
  • Trichotillomania

    Unlike the hair loss conditions above, trichotillomania directly relates to stress and mental health as a person will experience negative personal behaviors. A person will also repeat hair-pulling actions from the scalp or body. Even when people are aware of their actions, they also are unable to stop. While some sufferers can overcome these urges, others require professional intervention from mental health professionals. 

The symptoms of trichotillomania include tension as a trigger, hair pulling consistency, feelings of relief when finished, nervous behaviors like chewing with the removed hair, biting nails, and thinning or balding. Severe stress at home, work, or school can cause anxiety. There are also automatic and focused behaviors that dictate actions as some do not realize they are doing it while others need to relieve tension.

People who have trichotillomania also experience positive and negative emotions and feelings (associating relief with hair pulling practices or anxiousness in one’s life). As a person can suffer long-term, symptoms progress without seeking help from a mental health professional. A person may also halt their behaviors in the short-term and then continue months or years later as their stress and anxiety levels increase and lessen.



Stress and Nutrition

Stress and nutrition affect everyone as the body needs sustenance to function. It also provides energy to think logically and overcome stressful situations. If you are suffering from hair loss, regulating your diet is a great way to deal with stress while also providing the proper vitamins and minerals that you need for cell, skin, and hair health. The body also produces adrenaline when experiencing stressful situations, which increases liveliness. When that function occurs, it also causes a drop in blood sugar levels when the adrenaline level lowers and causes cravings.

When you know you are going to be under elevated levels of stress (work, finances, or family), you want to make healthy choices so that you get the right nutrients to boost your overall health. Stress and hunger can also disrupt normal body functions that are critical to long-term fitness. Here are a few critical ways that stress and hunger affect a person during day-to-day activities.

  • Food Cravings: If you like to work through your lunch to reduce stress, your body will crave food as a reminder that you have not eaten and lack critical nutritional intake. Try to keep a healthy snack in your desk drawer to curb these feelings until your mealtime.

  • Sugar Highs: Eating large amounts of sugar is problematic as your blood sugar will increase and then plunge quickly, causing fatigue and exhaustion. Your body will also crave more sugar and will leave you feeling hungry when stress levels are too high.
  • Caffeine: If you are like most, you need a pick-me-up morning coffee or tea to get your energy flowing. Unfortunately, it also affects stress hormones and can cause dehydration and sleeplessness. Opt for caffeine-free beverages such as a mid-day chamomile tea.
  • Digestion Issues: An imbalanced diet or one made up of fast food can disrupt routine digestive functions. When under great stress, try to eat superfoods like fish, nuts, yogurt, or leafy green vegetables as magnesium helps to balance cortisol, a stress hormone.
    If you are under severe stress, you can alternatively consider taking a nutritional supplement to replenish the body. Herbal supplements that contain vitamin B and C, as well as calcium and magnesium, are significant to hair restoration. It will also support stress relief and digestion.

Stress And Hair Health
Whether you are under physical or emotional stress, your hair is going to show it. You’ll also notice more hair strands begin to shed on your brush, towel, clothes, or pillow as stress levels rise. It is this action that signals to the hair follicles that something is amiss, so it disrupts the normal hair cycle and increases thinning and loss. If you are losing more than one-hundred hair strands per day, it’s an indication there is an underlying cause. Hair also appears dull and lifeless.



How Does Exercise Relieve Stress?

If you want to relieve stress, exercise is an ideal solution. If everyone had the time to get in daily workout recommendations, stress levels would not be problematic for hair loss. So, how does exercise relieve stress? Health and fitness relate directly to stress management, from stress-relieving yoga techniques to cardio and aerobics. During exercises, the body also produces endorphins, so it creates happy feelings that reduce stress. Regular exercises also boost mobility and quality-of-life, so you feel and look better, which boosts your confidence and self-esteem.

Routine workouts also cause mood enhancement, and as your body responds, you feel more confident about choices, which reduces feelings of stress and anxiety. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans highly recommend more than seventy-five minutes of advanced level aerobics or one-hundred-fifty minutes of moderate exercise at least two to three times per week. You should think about your health limitations before determining the best workout, and it can be helpful if you ask a medical professional to oversee stress relief as a hair loss treatment plan.

To reduce stress, it can be beneficial to find a workout buddy who will be committed to supporting stress management initiatives. Exercising with others is also fun, so you won’t even think about stressful triggers when you are content about fitness and health. You can also take different classes, like Zumba or hydrotherapy. You will also benefit from exercise by asking for a stand-up desk taking the stairs at work during your lunch break. Getting family involved will also promote a happier and healthier home, which will support the necessity to reduce hair loss.

Stress and hair loss don’t have to go hand-in-hand. Using the best shampoo for thinning hair and organizing your mental and physical health around fitness and nutrition will significantly help. By following the daily recommendations for stress, you also reduce the likelihood of ailments.

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