How Does Stress Affect Hair Loss?
Your hair has a way of telling you if your body is in balance. If you are healthy - physically as well as emotionally - your hair will be radiant and shining and your scalp pliant and moist.
If you are not well physically, or if you are upset emotionally, your hair becomes dull and lifeless - it will begin to fall out, and your hair will become waxy with the overproduction of your traumatised sebaceous glands.
If your hair is thinning or you are experiencing baldness and it seems abnormal either because you are young or female, it is more than likely that stress is the culprit of hair loss. Your hair is one of the first places your body shows distress. Illness, medication and imbalances in nutrition all show up in you hair and scalp.
Usually, it is not mild job or life stress that triggers hair loss, more likely it is extremely serious stress to the body that causes hair to stop growing and fall out. These types of stress can be initiated by some types of medications, diabetes, thyroid disorders and even extreme emotional stress, but also can be caused by commonplace life events like childbirth, miscarriage and surgery.
Any major change in our lives can be reflected in the condition of our hair, scalp and skin. We reflect our health and well-being in the condition of our hair and scalp.
But how does stress actually effect hair loss? Well hair grows in repeating cycles. The active growth phase lasts around two years and is followed by a resting phase that spans three months, after which the hair falls from the scalp. Normally, every strand of hair in your head is at a different point in this cycle, so the shedding is barely noticeable: a few strands in the shower drain, some more on your brush, a hair or two on your pillow. A normal head sheds at most 100 strands of hair a day.
However, when the body undergoes extreme stress, as much as 70 percent of your hair can prematurely enter the resting phase. Three months later, these hairs begin to fall out, causing noticeable hair loss.
The person will not become completely bald and the thinning will be fairly unnoticeable. However, it is this three month delay and the fact that the trigger seems so unrelated that causes confusion on the part of the patient concerned about hair loss.
Fortunately, in most cases hair will begin to grow back within six months. However, some people may face further periods of severe stress that may trigger the whole process to begin again and cause more hair loss resulting in a more long-term problem.