Is Stress Causing Your Hair Loss?


Too much stress on the body can result in hair loss, a condition known as telogen effluvium. Find out how to reduce stress to regain your healthier, fuller head of hair.

 

When you’re under stress, you may notice a lot of physical symptoms — feeling anxious or exhausted, having trouble concentrating, and even getting sick with a headache or upset stomach. Stress can also be a cause of hair loss. When stress has you “pulling out your hair,” as the expression goes, you could be literally doing just that.

Telogen Effluvium: Understanding This Cause of Hair Loss

Telogen effluvium is the term for hair loss that occurs temporarily as a result of some trauma, stress, or shock to your body. Telogen hairs are one type of hair, characterized by the end of the hair being shaped like a bulb, and effluvium means to flow out.

Some hair loss is normal, but telogen effluvium results in excessive hair loss due to a disruption in the natural growth and rest cycle of hair. Generally, between 80 and 90 percent of hair follicles on the scalp are actively growing, with the other 10 to 20 percent in the resting phase. Many events can disrupt this balance and result in temporary hair loss, typically seen as hair that falls out in clumps when you brush, wash, or style your locks.

Stress is known to be a trigger for telogen effluvium and risk factors that can cause this type of stress include:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • A significant physical injury
  • Getting vaccinations
  • Malnutrition from an unhealthy diet or excessive fad dieting
  • Antidepressants
  • A chronic illness
  • Acute illness with fever
  • Jetlag
  • Suddenly stopping the use of oral contraceptives
  • Chronic emotional stress
  • A surgical procedure

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