Does Stress Cause Hair Loss? | How to Reduce Hair Fall & Stress Naturally?

Updated on & Medically Reviewed by Dr Lalitha
Does Stress Cause Hair Loss? | How to Reduce Hair Fall & Stress Naturally?

In this modern world, every person is under stress which can be physical or emotional stress. Stress can be avoided, but we can change the way we react to it, in order to reduce the harm of stress on every organ of the body.

  • Stress has many harmful effects on the body, out of which hair fall is a very common one.
  • Hair fall may be a natural phenomenon but an increase in hair fall that occurs due to stress can be avoided.
  • Hair fall and hair thinning that occurs due to stress can be controlled if the stress can be managed properly.

Let us learn further by digging deeper and reading the rest of the information given below.

It is normal to lose around 100 hairs/day out of the approximate 1,00,000 that are on the scalp.

Did you know: The average life of a hair is around 4.5 years, after which the hair falls out and is replaced by a new hair within 6 months.

What Is Stress?

Stress is an uncomfortable feeling which is experienced either physically or emotionally in negative and adverse situations that usually threaten a person. It can occur due to any event, situation, or thought and can be perceived by the body, through any sensation like hearing, vision, smell, etc.

Stress occurs due to a load or a demand on you, to work upon or to escape. Long-term stress makes a person frustrated, anxious, or depressed and affects normal health and wellbeing. Stress causes various changes in the body, both short-term, and long-term.

Common Causes of Stress For Men

There are many stressful situations faced by both men and women in their life. Below are few causes for stress where it can start:

  • Family/ relationship issues
  • Financial problems
  • Stress at work
  • Unable to cope with responsibilities
  • Loneliness and constant worrying
  • Pregnancy in women
  • Chronic illness
  • Any injury
  • Poor nutrition
  • Post-surgery period
  • On medications like antidepressants

How Stress Causes Hair Fall?

  1. Stress can cause hair fall in both men and women. Usually, stress can push hair follicles to a resting period so that new hair growth is stopped.
  2. Hormonal changes experienced due to stress in men, also cause hair fall and hair thinning. Stress causes reduced levels of testosterone in men, which contributes to the male pattern of baldness.
  3. Stress usually leads to poor eating habits with the consumption of junk and comfort food, which also contributes to poor hair health and an increase in hair fall.
  4. Hair fall which may happen with no apparent physical cause may be related to stress. There are multiple ways in which stress affects the rest of the body due to increased levels of the stress hormone- Cortisol. Those effects can indirectly reduce Hair health.

How to Identify that Hair Loss Due to Stress

Losing hair from stress may be recognized with many symptoms and signs such as:

  • The sudden appearance of patchy hair loss over the scalp.
  • The sudden increase of hair fall with washing, combing or brushing hair.
  • Thinning and drying of hair cause hair fall.
  • A sudden increase in shedding of hair fibers after a shower in the washroom found on the pillows after sleep and around the house.
  • Sudden widening of the party line on the scalp.
  • Receding hairlines with visibility of scalp.

Different Types of Hair Fall Due to Stress

High levels of stress can lead to different types of hair fall and thinning, which usually are of 3 types.

  1. Telogen Effluvium: This is the usual type of hair fall seen due to stress where the stress pushes a large number of hair follicles to a resting phase, and over a period of time hair falls out suddenly even when simply combing or washing hair.
  2. Trichotillomania: Due to stress a person develops an unusual urge to pull hair from the scalp, eyebrows or other areas of the body while they face the uncomfortable effects of stress.
  3. Alopecia Areata: This condition usually occurs due to severe stress affecting the immune system and leading to a severe loss of hair on the scalp.

How to Reduce Hair Fall & Stress Naturally?

Following certain tips, one can reduce stress and hair fall such as:

  • Alter your stress response with a calmer mind. Yoga and meditation are the best relaxation techniques to combat stress.
  • Regular exercise and physical activity help keep hormonal balance.
  • A healthy diet with a good amount of nutrients and necessary dietary supplements.
  • Care of hair by keeping it clean and healthy.
  • Socializing with like-minded people may help reduce stress.
  • Proper counseling from medical professionals to overcome stress and its harmful effects.
  • The use of natural herbal extracts along with vitamins and minerals helps to de-stress and also stop hair fall and other effects of stress. Also, help to decrease abnormal levels of stress hormones.

How To Regain Hair that Lost Due to Stress?

Hair fall due to stress can be managed in natural ways which can give relief without suffering from any side effects and it is reversible.

  1. Wash hair regularly with mild shampoo containing natural compounds that do not irritate the hair follicles.
  2. Avoid excess combing, brushing hair, or shampooing as it can injure the hair follicles.
  3. Avoid or limit the use of bleach, relaxers, hair dyes, hair accessories, and styling products that can injure the soft hair preventing growth.
  4. Eat a healthy balanced diet which has proteins like soy, nuts, meat and fish, good amounts of vitamins like vitamin A, E and B complex, necessary amounts of minerals like Iron all provide good nutrition for general health and for hair health.
  5. Use of supplements / natural extracts from plants for stress relief.
  6. Use of essential oils from natural plants or herbs such as cedarwood, lavender, rosemary, tulsi, and almond are used in combination with basic oils such as coconut oil as aromatherapy which promotes hair growth.
  7. Exercise, regular physical activity, and yoga can de-stress you and restore hair growth.

As stress can affect hair growth and increase hair fall, which being a temporary effect, it is essential to lower the stress levels and promote hair health.

So caring for hair, handling hair gently, eating a healthy diet, reducing stress, are important in stopping hair fall and encouraging hair growth.

Many natural products from plants and herbs are available for use during stressful situations as they have no side effects and are helpful in promoting the growth of thick and healthy hair.

Always trust only experts and medical professionals for our health.  

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a healthcare professional.

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