How Hair Loss Affects Your Mental Health: Stress, Anxiety, Depression & More
Both men and women experience some degree of hair loss during their lives. While it is normal for thinning hair to occur as a result of aging, there are a variety of other reasons why adults can lose hair from their scalp. Some of the most common causes of hair loss include female and male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, as well as thyroid disease and iron deficiency anemia. Stress, emotional trauma, and hormonal changes can also cause your hair to change in thickness or texture.
While losing your hair can alter aspects of your appearance, it can also affect your mental health. A variety of emotional conditions occur as a response to hair loss. In the guide below, you will learn more about the links between hair loss and conditions such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Once you have this information in mind, it will be easier to make decisions about how to improve your overall wellness. When you know how to feel better, you will also be more prepared to take steps to get your hair back to its normal quality.
The Relationship Between Hair Loss & Stress
No matter what the reason for your hair loss is, it will certainly cause you to feel emotional and tense. According to research on the burden of hair loss, the degree of mental distress involved with losing hair is more profound than some people think. A few of the most common adverse emotions that patients feel due to hair loss include shame, anger, and disgust. Each of these feelings contributes to tension and stress.
Unfortunately, the relationship between stress and losing your hair often becomes a vicious cycle. One of the most common questions people have is, can stress cause hair loss? While having stress is not directly linked to normal hair loss, Verywell Mind says that too much physical or emotional stress can contribute to you losing your hair. In fact, there are a couple of different hair-related conditions that can occur after suffering severe emotional stress or trauma.
The first of these conditions is telogen effluvium. When it occurs, the hair on your head may stop growing. Some people who have telogen effluvium notice that their hair lies dormant on the scalp for a couple of months, and then starts to fall out. After a few more months, their hair will begin to grow back.
While the symptoms are usually not cause for any serious health concerns, they can certainly be unsettling. If you are diagnosed with this condition, managing your everyday stress and coping with trauma can help you to reduce your symptoms so you can grow healthier hair again.
The second condition involving hair loss and stress is alopecia areata. When you are stressed-out on a regular basis, your body may begin to make excess white blood cells to fight off what it perceives as a threat. The attacking white blood cells may also damage your hair follicles, which can result in hair falling out in patches.
Some people who experience severe trauma or stress may even see hair fall out over the entire scalp. Full body hair loss is also possible. For this reason, serious cases of alopecia areata may require treatment in order for hair to grow back normally.
Understanding the negative impact that stress and mental health problems have on hair growth can motivate patients to care for a more holistic approach to wellness. It can also help doctors and other clinicians to consider stress-relieving strategies for people who are dealing with these symptoms.
Living with Hair Loss, Anxiety & Depression
When you’re experiencing worry and social stress as a result of how you look after hair loss, your stress may turn into depression and anxiety. A recent study on alopecia in adults shows that anxiety and depression are both elevated when someone experiences more severe forms of hair loss. Those who experience frustration, sadness, and nervousness about thinning hair, balding, or growing hair back quickly can also develop a condition known as trichotillomania.
If you are not familiar with it, trichotillomania is a mental health condition characterized by severe stress that leads a person to tug at their hair or pull their hair out. If the behavior continues, it is possible to make the hair loss worse. Common effects of trichotillomania include bald patches on the head and uneven hair on one side of the head. It’s natural to develop additional feelings of shame or low self-esteem as a result.
Treating symptoms anxiety and depression as soon as they begin can help you to prevent mental health problems that lead to more hair loss. It can also help you to focus more on improving the health and look of your hair. Watch for signs of feeling anxious or depressed like irritability, trouble sleeping, and decreased energy. Other common symptoms include changes in appetite, body pain, and difficulty concentrating.
How to Better Cope with Hair Loss
If you are tense, worried, or depressed due to hair loss, it is important to find ways to cope with your feelings. Without treatment, your hair loss or mental health symptoms may not get better. First, remember that your hair loss does not have to be permanent. Thanks to technology and innovations in hair care, there are a variety of ways to grow thicker, healthier hair again.
Look on the positive side of things. Reframe the situation to realize that conditions involving hair loss or thinning such as alopecia or balding are not life-threatening. When you know that your symptoms can improve, you can focus on inspiring and impactful activities for enhancing your appearance and the health of your scalp.
Here are a few other healthy and enriching ways to cope with hair loss:
- Repeat Positive Affirmations: Reciting positive mantras or statements can help reduce the negative thoughts in your head. They are also designed to keep you in a positive, solutions-focused state of mind. Remind yourself that hair thinning or loss has nothing to do with the success or enjoyment of your social life, your sexuality, or your attractiveness. Write down a few affirmations, and then tape them on your desktop computer or put them on a sticky note in your car. Statements such as “I am beautiful,” “I can handle the challenges that come my way,” and “I am a social butterfly” can all help you to stay confident as you care for your symptoms.
- Stay Inspired and Motivated: Avoid following social media accounts that make you think negatively about your appearance, your body image, or hair loss. Instead, look for those celebrities, influencers, and the people in your social circle who embrace everyone for their unique beauty. Keep yourself focused on content that accepts people for who they are and seeks out the bright side in every situation. When you surround yourself with motivating information, you will train your brain to think more positively. It will also be easier to avoid negative sources in the future.
- Try Laser Therapy: Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), formerly often referred to as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), is a cutting-edge technology used to treat hair-thinning and hair-loss. It is even an effective option for those who are suffering from male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss. Wearing one of our Capillus® laser therapy caps for just six minutes per day can help you to grow thicker, healthier hair and improve the health of your hair follicles.
- Use Hair Therapy Products: Our clinical hair therapy products are the perfect complement to our laser therapy caps. All four Cap+ Clinical Hair Therapy products, including our shampoo, conditioner, revitalizer, and activator, use the best ingredients to gently cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize your hair and scalp. When used with the laser therapy cap of your choice, they promote the effectiveness of your hair health regimen, as well as your overall hair and scalp health.
- Change Your Style: It’s time to embrace your unique look, as well as the changes that are happening in your life. If you are someone who is experiencing severe hair loss, try a new hairstyle. Work with a stylist who is experienced with thinning or conditions like male pattern baldness to find the cut and style that is right for you.
In addition to visiting the salon, a variety of head coverings can make you feel more stylish and attractive. Turbans, caps, and hats are all fun and temporary ways to complement your outfit and enhance your confidence. Change them up any time the mood strikes.
Wigs and hair pieces are other popular options, especially for severe hair loss. Browse online or shop your favorite stores to find the perfect look. Feel free to purchase a few different accessories for every feeling or activity.
Choosing the Right Laser Therapy Cap for Your Needs
There are many benefits to choosing the right laser therapy cap for your needs. Unlike other treatments for hair thinning or loss, wearing a PBMT device like a Capillus® laser therapy cap for just six minutes per day has no known adverse side effects. It also does not use any invasive procedures or pharmaceuticals.
Choose from three different devices, including one of our most popular products, the CapillusUltra. As our most economical and convenient model, it provides 410 mW of laser energy to help you to grow healthier hair. If you have been pricing out different options, know that it also provides better scalp coverage than similarly priced comb or helmet gadgets.
When you need the right combination of power and affordability, upgrade to our mid-range device, the CapillusPlus. This laser therapy cap provides 1010 mW of laser energy, which is 2.5x more lasers than the CapillusUltra.
For 3.3x the scalp coverage and 1360 total MW of laser energy, select the CapillusPro. Our premier device provides professional-grade treatment. No matter which device you choose, you will enjoy discreet therapy in the comfort of your home, all under your hat.
Improving Your Hair & Mental Health
Try following some of the tips above, such as staying positive and using effective and safe hair therapy treatments. When used in combination, they can help you to grow healthier hair, as well as reduce the effects of poor mental health on your appearance. If you think you need assistance with your symptoms of depression, stress, or anxiety, don’t hesitate to talk to a doctor. Having a conversation with your primary care physician can help you to find resources that work for you. You can also make an appointment with a counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist.
Some of the most common treatments for mental health conditions include therapy and medication. Your provider may also recommend a few lifestyle changes. The most popular approaches include getting more sleep and exercising for at least 30 minutes, five days per week. It’s also a good idea to care for your body and mind by drinking enough water, eating healthy foods, and practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation.
A commitment to your wellness and happiness provides a great foundation for enhancing your hair and scalp health. It is also a positive step in the right direction for improving your mental hygiene. Know that you are worth every change that you make in the coming days and weeks. Soon, you will be able to enjoy an improved mood, as well as thicker, healthier hair.