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Why Does Stress Cause Hair Loss?

POSTED: 26 September 2019

You’ve heard the saying ‘pulling your hair out’ or phrases such as ‘I’m not going to have any hair left’ when stress levels increase. But, have you ever wondered if it’s true? Can stress cause hair loss or is it one of those myths you were told as a child – ‘carrots make you see in the dark’ or ‘eat the crusts, it will make your hair go curly’?  

Unfortunately, stress and hair loss isn’t a myth.


Is Stress a Leading Cause of Hair Loss?


Stress is linked to several conditions that cause hair loss. The most common three conditions include Telogen Effluvium, Trichotillomania and Alopecia Areata.


What is Telogen Effluvium? 

Telogen Effluvium is a common cause of temporary hair loss. This hair loss condition is caused by a period of stress that drives hair follicles into a resting phase and no longer produces hair. If your hair follicles decrease during this phase, it can cause shedding and hair loss.   

Unfortunately, as we get older, hair tends to fall out more. However, nutrition is an important factor to maintain healthy hair growth, and a poor diet can have a detrimental effect on your scalp.


What is Trichotillomania? 

Trichotillomania is another common stress-related hair loss. Trichotillomania is a psychological condition for those dealing with a wave of negative emotions and linked with OCD (Obsession Compulsive Disorder). But, it’s not just the pulling of hair from your scalp. Some people who suffer from this medical condition have the urge to pull hair from other areas of the body, including their eyelashes. 

While ‘pulling your hair out’ is just an expression to some people, for others, it’s a medical condition that needs to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, for those who have experienced what it’s like to pull your hair out due to stress or because they have an irresistible urge, it can be a dilemma and cause more, unwanted anxiety. 


What is Alopecia Areata? 

Another common and probably the most recognised form of stress and hair loss is Alopecia Areata.  

When suffering from Alopecia Areata, the body’s immune system attacks the follicles, resulting in severe hair loss. In most cases, Alopecia Areata will cause hair to thin while in other cases it may cause patches of bald spots on your scalp. The hair will regrow over time, but it will also fall out again, creating a vicious hair loss cycle that can cause anxiety and lack of confidence. Alopecia Areata can happen at any age too. 

Currently, there isn’t a defined answer as to how Alopecia Areata begins, but it is widely thought that it could be caused by genetics.  


Stress and hair loss is common, and it can cause confidence and mental health problems. There are several ways to combat hair loss and take control of it, one of which is a hair transplant.  

Crown Clinic’s Dr Shahmalak is one of the most respected and recognised hair transplant surgeons not just in the UK, but in the world. His wealth of experience and medical knowledge in this area has influenced and revolutionised hair transplant procedures. A consultation with Dr Shahmalak will answer any questions or concerns that you have about your hair loss and provide you with the most effective plan while helping to rebuild any loss in confidence. 
To find out more about hair loss, visit our latest articles or contact our team today to arrange a consultation. 

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