What effect does stress have on your hair?

POSTED: 29 April 2015

One of the questions Crown Clinic's hair transplant surgeon Asim Shahmalak is often asked is:  how does stress and your general lifestyle can affect your hair? 

Can stress make you hair go grey? And can it also make your hair fall out?

You only have to look at the hairlines of some of the politicians currently fighting the general election to see that there might be some truth in this.

Prime Minister David Cameron's hair has been thinning since he took over at 10 Downing Street five years ago. You can see that his crown is noticeably thinning.

He would clearly benefit from a hair transplant to repair the damage. Cameron has also started to show the first few flecks of grey - unsurprising in a man of 48.

The Labour leader Ed Miliband, 45, has a full head of hair but he is starting to go grey and has a large truft of greying hair on top of his scalp.

The UKIP leader Nigel Farage, 51, is showing the early signs of male pattern baldness around his temples and he would be benefit from a procedure - either an FUT or FUE transplant. He hair is greying, too.

So has the stress of fighting an election contributed to our political leaders greying hair or hair loss?

The simple answer is - yes and no.

In terms of accelerating greyness, the answer is no. 

Even though you sometimes feel like tearing your hair out because of personal, economic, and work-related stress, stress isn't likely to be the direct cause of hair turning grey. Some studies have shown that unavoidable damage to the DNA in cells that produce the pigment responsible for hair color is most likely the culprit. 

But can stress accelerate baldness?

Stress because you're late at work or you've got a heavy workload is not going to cause you to lose hair. However, something that causes you to lose sleep or changes your appetite and raises the level of stress hormones could be a factor.

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