A new survey conducted by British Heart Foundation has revealed work pressures are causing working people to live an unhealthier lifestyle. Nearly half of the respondents to the survey said work stress has a negative impact on their health. In addition, more than half said they have become more stressed because of their job over the last five years. Many admit to being concerned about the effects of stress on their long term health but we wonder how many realise that this stress can also cause hair loss?
Lisa Young, from the British Heart Foundation said: “Millions of people say they are smoking more, exercising less and putting on weight because they’re not considering the impact their job is having on their health and wellbeing”.
Work stress and hair loss
The findings of the study highlight the stress many suffer from work, and the potential for workplace stress to contribute to hair health and hair loss. Stress has been found to cause a number of hair loss conditions, and can also exacerbate genetic hair loss (androgenic alopecia, most commonly known as male pattern baldness or female hair loss).
Stress is the most likely trigger for the temporary hair loss condition Telogen Effluvium. Hair growth normally returns after six months, although if this anxiety is ongoing it could continue for longer than this, leading to a more persistent form known as Chronic Telogen Effluvium. Both conditions cause diffuse hair loss which presents as thinning hair all over the head, not just around the top of the head, as is seen with hereditary conditions.
Extreme or sudden stress can cause Alopecia Areata, a condition which is recognisable by patchy hair loss, often in circles, that can appear anywhere on the scalp. Once the underlying cause of the alopecia has been dealt with, hair growth will normally resume around three-to-six months later but regrowth may appear white or pale in colour at first.
A third of workers surveyed say they have put on weight because of their work, and almost half say their job has driven them to eat more junk food. An unhealthy diet can also affect hair health – a balanced diet is required to maintain a healthy head of hair and nutritional deficiencies can have a negative effect on the hair’s condition, and in some cases can even cause hair loss.
Lack of exercise
43% said that they exercise less than they would like, due to their work demands. This could be detrimental to their hair as exercising regularly helps to promote good circulation, which is essential for maintaining blood flow to the scalp.
As well as being an incredibly expensive vice, smoking is detrimental to health in many ways, causing everything from heart disease to lung cancer. With this in mind, it’s perhaps unsurprising to find that studies have found links between smoking and hair loss. Whether or not electronic cigarettes cause hair loss is still to be established although early assumptions seem to lean towards e-cigarettes being somewhat better for hair health than traditional tobacco products. As smokers tend to smoke more when they’re stressed, as this survey confirmed, this could have a major effect on their hair, prompting premature greying as well as hair loss.
Treating stress-related hair loss
Living a healthy lifestyle and taking steps to manage the cause of any anxiety will help to reduce the risk of stress-related hair loss. For some this may even mean considering a change of career, particularly as it was recently discovered that high-earners are more prone to hair loss from stress.
Even though some of the conditions brought on by stress may be temporary, lasting around six months, treatment for Telogen Effluvium is available to help speed regrowth, as well as options for Alopecia Areata treatment which many clients choose to explore.
There are also two medically-proven treatments for male hair loss, and we often see significant results from patients using high strength minoxidil as part of a comprehensive female pattern hair loss treatment course. You can see over 1,000 of these results in our extensive Hair Loss Success Stories gallery which provides images of clients from before and after starting their Belgravia treatment to give you a realistic representation of the kind of results that can be achieved and the time it takes to see them.
If you are feeling the pressure at work and think it may be starting to affect your hair, speak to a specialist who can diagnose your condition and provide professional options for a personalised hair loss treatment programme to help promote regrowth.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.