Anyone who’s ever moved house will testify to how stressful it can be. But a recent study has revealed some surprises on the effects of that stress.
According to a psychological study commissioned by home conveyancers In-Deed, the stress of selling one house, buying another and actually uprooting from one home to another can make you feel up to four years older. The physical symptoms of this, as reported by the 200 people who participated in the survey, include short term memory loss, loss of libido, and, hair loss.
10 percent of those involved in the study reported suffering from hair loss during the period in which they were selling/buying a house. But how could moving home result in hair loss? The lead author of the study, psychologist Dr Glenn Wilson explained that, “periods of prolonged stress and anxiety can seriously take their toll on our wellbeing, with depression, weight loss and premature ageing a likely outcome.”
Keep your hair on
Because hair is a constantly growing part of your body which undergoes regular renewal, it is particularly susceptible to imbalances within the body, such as those caused by the stress and upheaval of major life changing events.
As for buying and selling houses, 39 percent of those surveyed reported that they found it more stressful than family arguments, while 44 percent found it more stressful than an important job interview. The causes of this stress included being messed around by lawyers and estate agents, and waiting for approval for a mortgage. In total, seven out of 10 people claimed that they had experienced premature effects of aging while recently buying or selling a house.
Why does stress cause hair loss?
There are some hair loss conditions which have been identified as either being caused by stress, or being very likely to be caused by stress.
In the case of the hair loss condition Telogen Effluvium, stress causes more hair follicles than usual to enter the resting, or telogen, phase of the growth cycle. Because fewer new hairs appear to replace those which have been shed, the appearance of hair loss is the result. Often, this hair loss will become apparent up to three months after the event or events that triggered the condition, so if you recently moved house and then noticed hair loss months after settling into your new home, Telogen Effluvium could well be the cause. Fortunately, the hair loss is usually only temporary and will re-grow naturally in time.
Alopecia Areata is another condition which is widely thought to be triggered by stress, though there is no firm scientific evidence to prove this connection. It is a disorder of the auto-immune system in which the body’s own natural defences mistakenly attack the hair follicles, causing them to either slow or cease growth. It is more commonly associated with particularly traumatic events and shocks, such as accidents, bereavement and divorce, but in individuals who are particularly prone to suffering from stress, it might be triggered by the prolonged period of stress that can be part and parcel of buying or selling a house.
Treatments for stress-induced hair loss
In some cases, hair lost due to stress will grow back itself over time, provided that the causes of the stress have ended and a permanent form of hair loss such as male or female pattern hair loss have not been triggered.
At The Belgravia Centre, we have a great deal of experience of dealing with the full range of hair loss conditions, from Telogen Effluvium and Alopecia Areata to Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss.
As well as our in-depth practical knowledge of hair loss and hair re-growth, we have at our disposal some of the best pharmaceutical and clinical hairloss treatments available. Two of our main tools are Minoxidil and (for men) Propecia. Both of these are scientifically proven to be effective in the treatment of Male Pattern Baldness, but we have also found them to be of great use in treating stress-related hair loss and other conditions. Other weapons we use in our fight against hair loss include LaserCombs, clinical steam treatments, and our own Hair Vitalics nutritional supplement.
To see the kinds of results we achieve, take a look at some of our Hair Loss Success Stories.. To find out more about how we can help you, contact us for a consultation at our London clinic, or fill in our online diagnostic form for a treatment programme that can be shipped anywhere in the world.