By Kate-Madonna Hindes
I had just been let go from my full-time job, was barely making ends meet, and to top it all off, was having constant arguments with my boyfriend. I was dealing with some extreme stress, to say the least.
While I knew that stress could cause things like moodiness, headaches and low energy, I had no idea that stress could also cause hair loss.
As my stress continued to get worse, I slowly noticed things like hair strands on my pillow after sleepless nights and bunches of hair building up in my hair brush. I usually have a full head of lush hair, so when I noticed this thinning, it definitely caused concern.
So, I decided to turn to Google and do some research of my own. I soon discovered that when stress is not treated and becomes worse, it can lead to hair loss.
I found myself in a cycle of stress leading to my hair loss, and my hair loss leading to even more stress. Pretty ironic, right?
The science behind stress and female hair loss.
To understand how stress causes hair loss, it’s important to look at how anxiety and stress affect your body as a whole. The American Psychological Association says that stress affects your muscles, which when not relieved, builds up to affect the entire body.
From heart to lungs, from blood vessels to hair, nails and skin, long-term stress can have a dramatic effect on every aspect of our health. A good indicator as to whether or not stress is a major concern is how it’s affecting your eating and sleeping patterns. When I was dealing with stress, I seemed to lose my apetite and tossed and turned the whole night.
If stress is not resolved, it can lead to a few types of hair loss, including alopecia areata, telogen effluvium, and trichotillomania.
With alopecia areata, you may notice circular or spotty parts that have lost hair in one or multiple areas of your scalp. Telogen effluvium can occur after a dramatic weight loss or surgery. Trichotillomania is considered to be similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder, where someone attempts to deal with stress by pulling out their hair.
Stress may not be a permanent condition. It may be a symptom of something else.
As can be the case with sudden hair loss, stress may not be a permanent condition. It may indeed be a symptom, indicative of something else happening within the body or mind. Learning to manage stress, or discussing options on managing stress with your care team, can help alleviate symptoms and place you on a path to wellness.
If your hair loss is sudden, or you feel it’s unexplained, it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor or care team. This is because hair loss that appears to start suddenly can be a symptom of another medical condition.
Most of the time, before a doctor treats hair loss, they want to be sure that the underlying factor is resolved first. If you’re experiencing more stress than usual, like I was, consider taking up a healthy activity such as yoga, sports or meditation.
I turned to yoga and it was a great outlet for stress relief. Soon after starting a class, I noticed myself becoming happier and less stressed.
Finding treatment for female hair loss.
If you’re experiencing hair loss due to stress that isn’t improving, there are treatment options available. While researching treatment options for my hair loss, I discovered NeoGraft.
NeoGraft gently removes individual hair follicles and transplants them in areas where you have hair loss or thinning. One thing that stood out to me was that the hair transplant procedure is minimally invasive, giving you a quick recovery time and very little discomfort.
Find a physician near you to discuss your symptoms and options.