It’s not uncommon that mental health is a significant side effect of hair loss. It can affect confidence and self-esteem, particularly for women and those experiencing hair loss at a younger age.
Why Does Hair Loss Effect Mental Health?
No one can prepare for that first moment of brushing your hair to find clumps of hair caught between the bristles. It’s daunting and can frighten someone for various reasons. It could be down to age, medical treatment, or it could be unexplained. Either way, it can rapidly affect your behaviour.
Unlike other medical conditions, the shredding of hair isn’t always something you can hide, which can make you feel vulnerable. But remember, while some people’s hair will regrow naturally, there are still options to help with hair restoration, such as having a hair transplant.
For those who don’t suffer from hair loss, it isn’t easy to understand how it affects someone, as it’s often perceived as cosmetic. But in reality, our hair defines our appearance and something we’re all obsessed over. We regularly visit hair salons, spend time styling it and to ensure it always looks good, and we often take our hair for granted.
It can be psychologically damaging to experience hair loss, and it can affect your day-to-day life, such as going to work, socialising with friends and family, and even popping to the supermarket. It emotionally affects everyone differently, and it’s something that should be taken seriously.
Naturally, it’s more distressing for those who experience severe hair loss, as it significantly changes the way you look. Sadly, while hair loss affects confidence, it can also cause depression, anxiety, paranoia, and social phobia.
So, it’s essential that if you feel your hair loss is impacting your mental health to seek professional advice and speak to your family and friends who will provide a support network. And remember, you’re not alone.
Does Mental Health Cause Hair Loss?
Unfortunately, there is a link between mental health and hair loss. Various mental health attributes can lead to hair shedding, such as stress and anxiety. Telogen Effluvium, Trichotillomania and Alopecia Areata are the three most common conditions.
Telogen Effluvium is generally temporary and a result of a period of stress that sends hair follicles into a resting phase, halting the reproduction of hair.
Trichotillomania is more psychological and associated with negative emotions and OCD. People who suffer from this condition are known to pull their hair out, but not just from their scalp, but other areas of the body, including their eyelashes.
Alopecia Areata is probably the most recognisable form of hair loss and stress, whereby the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles. This causes your hair to thin and sometimes bald patches.
Please note, while stress is a common cause, it’s only severe levels of anxiety that leads to hair loss.
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Depression can lead to dry and fragile hair, and low mood levels can reduce your hair follicles from reproducing, thus resulting in hair loss. Some prescribed anti-depressants have a hair loss side-effect, but this can be temporary, so it’s worth speaking to your GP if this is a concern.
There are other factors to consider with hair loss, such as poor diets, heavy alcohol intake, ageing, medical treatment, pregnancy and even the amount of sleep you have. There are ways to treat it too.
If you’re suffering from hair loss, whether it’s mental health-related or for other reasons and looking for a permanent solution, book a consultation with Dr Shahmalak today who will discuss the most suitable hair transplant option for you.
If you are suffering from an underlying mental health condition, you must speak to a medical professional such as your GP and call a helpline. There are many charities to contact who can offer support, such as MIND. The NHS also has a mental health service available.