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Can Stress Lead to Hair Loss?

Stress, the silent assailant of our well-being, extends its reach beyond mental and emotional realms, often manifesting its effects on our physical health. One such tangible consequence is the link between stress and hair loss, a complex phenomenon that requires a trichological lens for a comprehensive understanding. 

Woman sitting on couch worrying


The Stress-Hair Loss Nexus: Unpacking the Mechanisms 

  • Telogen Effluvium: Telogen effluvium, a common stress-induced condition, disrupts the natural hair growth cycle. Stress prompts hair follicles to prematurely enter the resting (telogen) phase, leading to increased shedding. 

  • Hormonal Havoc: Stress triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone associated with the body's fight-or-flight response. Elevated cortisol levels can impact hair follicles, leading to imbalances in the hair growth cycle. 

  • Microvascular Changes: Chronic stress can influence microvascular changes in the scalp, affecting blood flow to hair follicles. Diminished circulation may compromise the delivery of essential nutrients, impacting hair health. 


Stress Types and Their Varied Impact on Hair Health 

Acute Stress vs. Chronic Stress: While acute stressors may trigger temporary hair shedding, chronic stress presents a more sustained challenge. Persistent stressors can contribute to prolonged disruptions in the hair growth cycle. 


Mitigating Stress-Induced Hair Loss: A Trichological Approach 

  • Holistic Stress Management: Holistic stress management techniques, including mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation exercises, are recommended to help mitigate the impact of stress on hair health. 

  • Nutritional Support: Nutrition plays a pivotal role in stress resilience. A well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is recommended to support overall health, including that of the hair. 

  • Topical Solutions: Some may be recommend targeted topical solutions to address stress-induced hair loss. These solutions aim to nourish the scalp and promote a healthy hair growth environment. 


Seeking Trichological Guidance: When to Consult a Specialist 

Individuals experiencing persistent or severe stress-related hair loss should seek the expertise of a trichologist. Trichological assessments help uncover the root causes and guide personalised interventions. 


For more information about how we can help, head to our Trichology services page 

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