A recent study suggests that stress is by far the biggest cause of hair loss in women.
According to women’s lifestyle magazine Female First, 48% of women surveyed said they had suffered some form of hair loss, over half of which said that it was caused by stress. Commonly cited causes for this stress were work (39%), financial concerns (35%) and depressive disorders (34%).
Of course, studies which rely on individuals reporting the reasons for their own hair loss must always be taken with a considerable pinch of salt. There are many potential reasons for female hair loss, and only a hair loss specialist is in a position to diagnose an individual case. What the survey does show, however, is that stress plays a significant part in the lives of modern women: 42% of the respondents stated that stress was an unavoidable part of their lives, with only 16% of those who said they had stressful jobs being willing to consider looking for a different employer.
Stress and hair loss
Stress is a natural part of life, and occasional stressful moments should not result in hair loss. However, when stress becomes a constant part of your life or it reaches extreme levels it can trigger hair loss conditions.
Alopecia Areata is one hair loss condition commonly linked with intensely stressful and traumatic times in an individual’s life. The exact cause remains unknown but it is widely thought the condition can be be triggered by stress. It is thought to be an auto-immune disorder in which the body’s own immune system begins to attack healthy hair follicles, leading to patchy hair loss. The condition is often temporary, provided that the stress that caused it is diminished, and a couple of hair loss treatments have been shown to be effective in promoting hair re-growth.
However, alopecia can in few cases progress to a stage where all hair is lost from the scalp. This is known as Alopecia Totalis, and once all hair is lost it is unlikely for treatments to be effective. Although this condition can be long-term or permanent, it is possible that the hair will grow back at any time because the follicles do not die, but simply lie dormant.
Another stress-related hair loss condition is Telogen Effluvium. The condition can be caused by sudden traumatic or stressful events. When the condition is triggered, more hair follicles than usual enter the resting, or telogen, phase of the growth cycle. Hair loss is usually not noticed until up to three months after the onset of the condition, at which time a large amount of hair is shed. By this time the cause of the condition has usually subsided, and though it may be distressing, hair will usually begin to re-grow naturally.
However if the underlying cause of the condition remains, such as stress resulting from family difficulties or the demands of the workplace, then hair loss may continue until this is resolved.
What you can do to prevent stress-related hair loss
At The Belgravia Centre we have learned through years of experience in treating hair loss that the key to overcoming any condition is dealing with the root causes of it, and then treating the hair loss itself. If you have a lot of stress in your life then it is often advisable to seek help or take steps to reduce your stress.
Hair loss treatments
At the same time as managing your stress levels, you may want to consult a hair loss expert to help combat your hair loss and promote healthy re-growth. Our hair loss specialists have extensive experience in treating a wide range of hair loss conditions and will work with you to devise a treatment programme that is tailored specifically for you.
We have many tools at our disposal, including pharmaceutical treatments such as Propecia and Minoxidil, specialised clinical treatments, laser combs and nutritional formulas aimed at restoring your hair to a healthy condition.
If you’re suffering from stress-related hair loss then it can be a vicious circle, as losing hair can be stressful in and of itself. By taking action and seeking the help of hair loss professionals you can break the cycle and begin to recover from your hair loss condition.
If you feel you’re ready to begin receiving hair loss treatment, contact us today for a free consultation. If you are not local to our London hair loss clinic, you can instead fill out our online diagnostic form for a home-use treatment programme that we can post anywhere in the world.