Hair loss can happen for a number of reasons, and stress is one of them. Just like the stress can affect any person, men and women, young and old, stress-related hair loss can happen to anyone.
Stress and hair loss
Hair growth is a complex process. It works in cycles or periods. There is a growth period, when the hair grows actively for about two years. The rest period follows, during which the hair does not grow and the cells which produce hair are resting. The fall period is the period in which the hairs fall from the scalp.
Stress has a negative effect on the body and on many functions, including hair cycles. It may interfere by making the hair pass very quickly through the phases, taking only a few months for periods that should last over a year. When the hair goes from growth to rest phase quickly and then enters the fall phase, a person starts losing significant amounts of hair. This problem is known as telogen effluvium.
Hair loss usually starts before it can even be noticed, since most people have more hair than they think. It rarely leads to complete baldness, and certainly not at once, but it does cause changes to the appearance of the scalp.
Treatment of stress-related hair loss
Any considerable or suspicious hair loss should be reported to a dermatologist. He or she will ask questions and do tests to determine the cause of hair loss. If the cause turn out to be stress, they will most likely recommend seeing a therapist or a counselor who will help address the underlying problem and deal with the stress. Dermatologists usually recommend taking multivitamin and multimineral supplements, as well as omega-3 fatty acid in order to improve overall health. Hair growth depends highly on a healthy body so it is important to work on that aspect as well.
In most cases, the hair will restore its normal cycles of growth and return to normal. The hair that is lost will grow out again. However, in some cases, although rarely, hair loss may be long-term or permanent, depending on health and genetic factors.
It is hard to say whether stress-related hair loss can be prevented on not, mostly because it is almost impossible to say when the stress-inducing situations will occur. There is no controlling big, life-changing situations like loss of a loved one, accidents, illnesses, job loss, divorce, childbirth. It is, however, possible to improve one’s response to stress situations. Also, it is important to learn ways of coping with stress when it occurs.
The extent of damage to the hair caused by stress can be controlled by leading a healthy life style, being active, eating healthy and using a mild shampoo.