Is Stress the Cause of Your Hair Loss?
Losing your job. Getting married. Going through a very messy divorce. Being diagnosis with a serious health concern. What do all these have in common? They all can elevate your stress level for extended periods of time, resulting in bald patches or thinning hair.
Stress hair loss
Biologically each one of us is ‘wired’ to react differently; this includes how we respond to stress. For example the hormone cortisol is secreted in our bloodstream daily. In the mornings it is secreted at a lower level and gives us that burst of morning energy. At higher prolonged levels cortisol, also termed ‘the stress hormone,’ is responsible for several stress-related changes that can occur in the body when we feel anxiety or under pressure. Stress-related symptoms may include:
- Heart attack
- Gain weight
- Decreased muscle strength
- Moodiness or depression
- Hair loss
Types of hair loss associated with stress
Alopecia (al-oh-PEE-shah) means hair loss and there are several types. According the American Academy of Dermatology, when a person has a medical condition called alopecia areata (ar-ee-AH-tah), the hair falls out in round patches. The hair can fall out on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. Alopecia areata can cause different types of hair loss. Each of these types has a different name:
- Alopecia totalis (loss of all hair on the scalp)
- Alopecia universalis (loss of all hair on the body)
When your body is stressed out, it can cause your autoimmune system to become strained. As the stress builds up, if you're the kind of person who implodes rather than explodes, you may experience thinning hair, and in more severe cases balding. Types of alopecia linked to stress:
- Anagen effluvium – hair loss typically occurs three months after a stressful event, like a bereavement or severe emotional stress
- Alopecia areata – the hair falls out quite quickly and in a circular pattern
- Alopecia barbae – affects a man's beard
Hair regrowth treatment
While the disease is not medically serious, it can be psychologically and emotionally devastating. The good news is there are hair loss treatments or both women and men available. The type of treatment that may be right for you will depend on the type of alopecia you have. In the case of many temporary types of alopecia, your hair will likely grow back without treatment. For alopecia areata, medications may help reduce hair loss. It is important to mention that some men using Propecia to treat male hair loss have experienced a decreased sex drive or had trouble getting an erection.
Taking steps to manage your stress is not only good for your body; it can also be an option for minimizing hair loss due to stress. Try these techniques to reduce anxiety and anger. Practice deep breathing at the earliest signs of aggravation. Both meditation and yoga have been shown to be effective tools for managing stress. Go outside and enjoy nature, take short walks each day. Another healthy alternative is exercising at least three days a week for 20 minutes at a time. Exercise helps increases blood flow, which can be effective for helping your body reduce the effects of stress.
To learn about hair regrowth treatments options or to locate a Capillus specialist in your area click here or call Capillus for more information at (786) 888 6249 or Toll-Free at 1 (888) 272-9599.