You’ve heard the phrase “tearing your hair out”, right? And you know that means someone is stressed. Unfortunately, many people can say this quite literally.
Stress, when you’re suffering with it, can be exasperating to describe. It’s an emotional pressure that can come from any quarter. When work doesn’t go well, you stress. If you’re not sleeping enough, you stress about it. And, if you’ve noticed huge amounts of hair on your brush or comb, then you’re seriously losing it from stress.
The problem with stress is that it’s one of the worst, most vicious catch-22 cycles you can imagine. When you’re stressed, your work suffers, and then you begin to stress about that. If your hair begins to thin, you stress… and then even more hair falls out.
And, yes, stress can cause or contribute to your hair loss.
Hair Loss Caused by Stress
There are a few definable stress-related reasons for hair loss. And they affect both men and women indiscriminately.
- Telegen effluvium – Don’t worry too much about how to pronounce this; you know you don’t need to stress about things like that. This is hair loss that’s attributable to extreme stress. Consider bankruptcy (or other serious financial difficulties), a death of someone close to you, a violent break-in, or the breakup of your relationship or family. This type of hair loss could become visible even if one of these triggers happened in your life months Very physical and consuming types of stress can force your hair into a resting phase. Months later, those hairs will suddenly fall out in the shower.
- Alopecia areata – You’re probably more familiar with the term “alopecia”, but you may not have heard of this type. This condition prompts your body to attack your hair follicles. No matter how much your mind says you want those hairs, your body doesn’t .. and then they fall out. There are many reasons for this variety of hair loss and stress is one of the most likely.
- Trichotillomania – This is the scientific term for “pulling your hair out”. Don’t laugh, this is a real condition. Although it has psychological roots, the physical self is affected as sufferers experience a need to rip their hairs from their bodies (it could be hair located anywhere on the body). Most often, this condition falls to individuals caught in desperate situations they have no control
Stress may also amplify or trigger other types of hair loss although it may not be the predominant cause in those cases.
The obvious answer is to stress less (even though we all know that is harder to do than say). And that will certainly help. But, once you cross a threshold you will need to seek additional treatment to reverse hair loss. These conditions are the physical ramifications of stress, not the stress itself. However, stressing less will ensure that you don’t exacerbate the situation.
That leads us to the best news. Not only are hair loss treatments available, but it’s a darn good excuse to treat yourself to that massage or to spend a few hours curled on the couch in front of the television. We also suggest a nice, long holiday on the beach somewhere – perhaps both before and after your hair loss treatments.
Image courtesy of depositphotos.com