If you’ve noticed your hair seems thinner than before and are wondering if stress could be the culprit, it’s no wonder. From traffic jams to issues at work to relationships with family and friends, in today’s world, there are stressors everywhere.
At Honest Hair Restoration with offices in Bradenton and Tampa, Florida, Martin Maag, MD and the rest of our hair restoration care team specialize in diagnosing and treating many types of hair loss with our selection of hair restoration treatments — including hair loss with stress-related causes.
Our practice is also committed to helping patients in the Tampa, Sarasota, and Ft. Myers areas understand hair loss and how different factors influence it. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about the connection between stress and hair loss.
Is stress causing my hair loss?
Maybe… You may be attached to your locks, from a biological perspective, hair isn’t necessary to survival. As a result, when you experience stress, growing more hair is one of the first things your body stops.
It’s generally easier to understand why physical stress, like having a major illness or injury, giving birth, going through physical changes, like menopause, and having surgery affect your body. But emotional and mental stress also take a physical toll, causing issues such as:
- Sleep disturbances
- Iron deficiency
- Malnutrition (vitamin and mineral deficiencies and imbalances)
- Poor digestion and digestive troubles
- Sexual dysfunction
- Lack of energy
- Chronic headaches
- Frequent viral infections
Research shows us that stress and the physical issues it causes can release specific hormones called corticosterone, which can inhibit hair growth. The more stress you experience, the more of this hormone you produce. Everyone is different, but in some people this may trigger or exacerbate hair loss.
What kinds of hair loss does stress cause?
It depends… Hair grows in cycles over three phases: the growth phase, the transition phase, and the resting phase, which includes shedding. Stress can impact different phases of the hair cycle, triggering thinning hair and even balding.
Telogen effluvium (TE)
Telogen effluvium hair loss occurs during the growth phase of your hair cycle and can be stress-related if your body keeps your hair in the resting phase as a protective measure. In other words, TE hair loss results when you stop growing new hair and causes the hair you have to shed more easily.
Significant or ongoing physical, mental, and emotional stress can trigger TE. You might have TE hair loss if you have:
- Sudden onset of hair loss
- Diffuse hair loss (all over your head rather than in one location)
- Hair loss that comes and goes
Alopecia areata (AA)
Stress may also cause alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that causes your white blood cells to attack your hair follicles. You may have AA hair loss if you notice:
- Your hair coming out in clumps
- Hair loss in round or oval patches
- Hair loss in other areas of your body
It’s important to note that alopecia areata hair loss can come on abruptly or take place gradually.
Other stress-related hair loss
Sometimes stress can cause other types of hair loss, including trichotillomania, a strong and desperate urge to pull out your hair, and androgenic alopecia, which results from heightened sensitivity to male hormones.
Is there help for stress-related hair loss?
Yes! One of the best ways to learn the ins and outs of your personal hair loss is by scheduling a hair loss consultation with an expert, like the team at Honest Hair Restoration. As a board-certified physician, Dr. Maag approaches your hair loss from a medical standpoint and doesn’t try to “sell” you unnecessary services.
During your consultation, Dr. Maag and our care team review your personal medical history and family history, then examine your scalp and discuss any other factors relevant to your hair loss. Depending on your needs, he may also order additional tests, like bloodwork, to uncover the root cause of your hair loss.
With a diagnosis in hand, our team creates a personalized hair restoration treatment plan. Though everyone’s results differ, many of our patients with stress-related TE and AA hair loss find success with one or more hair restoration procedure, such as:
- Custom-blended, prescription-strength medications
- Noninvasive, low-level laser cap therapy
- Hair transplantation with follicular unit extraction (FUE)
- Exosomal injections with mesenchymal stem cells
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
Dr. Maag offers continued support and takes time to address any questions or concerns you have from the day of your consultation, during your treatment, and after your hair restoration therapy — including questions about managing stress to minimize future hair loss.
Have more questions about stress and hair loss? Don’t wait to contact the hair loss experts at Honest Hair Restoration. You can schedule your consultation by calling 941-739-9001, or use our online tool to book an appointment now.