As any doctor will tell you, stress is bad for your body and bad for your state of mind. But it can also be highly detrimental for the health of your hair and can lead to significant hair loss. Stress-related hair loss
comes in a variety of forms and can affect both men and women of any age.
Why does stress cause hair loss?
To fully understand why stress causes hair loss
, it is first necessary to understand what stress is in biological terms.
Stress is a necessary part of human existence, and is part of the ‘fight or flight’ response which puts the body into a state of readiness to take action in response to a perceived threat. When triggered, the brain instructs the body to release hormones, which in turn lead to the introduction of cortisol, noradrenalin and adrenalin into the blood stream. These naturally produced chemicals make the body more alert and able to take action quickly.
Unfortunately, in the modern world we live in, few situations which trigger stress are likely to be resolved by running away from the problem or physically fighting it. If the situation which triggered the stress response remains unresolved these chemicals begin to build up in the body, changing stress from a handy biological advantage to an ongoing debilitating condition.
High levels of these chemicals can affect the hair follicles on the scalp, as well as many other parts of the body, and this can lead to hairloss
Hair loss conditions caused by stressTelogen Effluvium
is one of the hair loss conditions that can be triggered by stress. It may be caused by a particular event which is stressful or traumatic, or as a result of prolonged stress. Telogen Effluvium occurs when more hair follicles than usual enter the resting, or telogen, part of the hair growth cycle. Hair loss is usually not noticed until a number of months after the stressful event which caused the condition, when the hairs are shed and no new hairs appear to replace them.
Although it is generally a temporary condition and hair will re-grow in time, provided that the cause of the stress which triggered it has been dealt with, treatment for Telogen Effluvium
can help to speed up this regrowth process. This hair loss condition can, however, spark or exacerbate Male Pattern Baldness
in men or Female Pattern Hair Loss
in women if they have an existing predisposition to this genetic condition.
Unlike Telogen Effluvium and Alopecia, Trichotillomania
is entirely psychological in nature. Those suffering from the condition have an unhealthy, often unconscious obsession with their hair, causing them to twist it and pull it out, leading to bald patches. Trichotillomania can be an unconscious and destructive way of dealing with stressful feelings and negative emotions. Treatment for the condition will often require psychological therapy to tackle the underlying causes for the behaviour, but hair loss experts can help to repair the damage.
Treatments for stress-related hair loss
The Belgravia Centre’s team of experienced hair loss experts regularly deal with a range of stress-related hair loss conditions and successfully help sufferers to stabilise hair loss and promote hair growth.
Whilst not all stress-induced hair fall will require treatment, in cases where it may do - for example, where stress has exacerbated existing cases or triggered underlying male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss - hair loss treatment
courses can be tailored to the individual's needs.
Most importantly, we work with clients to identify the underlying causes of their hair loss conditions
- an essential part in making sure the shedding does not continue to be a problem after treatment.