What is the reason?
The clinical name for hair loss is known as Alopecia. One of the major reasons for hair is related to the branch of psychosomatics. This means that there is a link between your mental health and the hair fall issues that you might be facing. Hair loss can be the physical expression of your stress. Excessive amounts of stress push the hair follicles into a “resting” phase. This phase makes the hair follicles dormant and prevents the growth of new strands of hair. Due to this hair starts falling out in copious quantities even at the slightest touch or actions like combing, washing etc. .
Different forms of stress-related hair loss
The primary forms of stress-related hair loss are as follows:
1. Alopecia areata
Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune disorder. It occurs when the immune system of the body attacks hair follicles and its onset is due to severe stress and tension. This results in hair loss. Hair fall happens in round patches on few parts, or all across the scalp. The hair may fall out and grow simultaneously in a cycle over a period of time. In a more extreme form of AA known as Alopecia Universalis, hair is lost from all parts of the body. Although there is no well-known cure for AA, FUE hair transplant can be applied in selected cases of Alopecia Areata and can provide excellent results..
2. Telogen effluvium
It is a form of hair loss that occurs because of stress, shock or any drastic event. It is one of the most common hair related disorders. It causes a change in the number of hair follicles growing hair. It can cause thinning and shedding of hair. Our environment, medications, hormones or diets are some of the major causes of Telogen effluvium. Environmental causes may include intense trauma to the body such as an accident, surgery, severe blood loss etc which may trigger TE. Subjections to different contaminants may also cause this type of TE. If you receive proper treatment and you are kept in a stabilised and secure environment then this type of TE can be dealt with quickly and your hair will return to normal within six to seven months. Fluctuations in hormone levels can cause TE-related to hair loss. Similar to the environmental factors sudden hormonal changes can cause the hair follicles to go into a temporary resting phase. If it occurs during pregnancy then the hair growth will be normalised within six months. Few antidepressants and other medications like retinoids, oral contraceptives and different surgical and other medical treatments like vaccinations can cause a shock to your system that affects your hair follicles and causes irregular growth of hair. It can also be the result of a vitamin or nutrient deficiency. The deficiency of Iron, Zinc, Vitamin B-6 etc can also cause hair loss. Crash diets must be strictly avoided..
It is also known as a hair-pulling disorder. It is characterised by a frequent, irresistible desire to pull out hair from your scalp and other parts of your body. It is a disorder that can be self diagnosable. It causes bald patches in the scalp and hair loss. It can be genetic in nature but becomes worse with stress. It is usually seen in pre-teens and can last throughout the individuals’ life. .
Is stress-related hair loss permanent?
This kind of hair loss usually doesn't have long term effects and is temporary. If the reason for your hair loss is stress or anxiety then as soon as you have your stress levels under control there is every chance that your hair will grow back. Use different management techniques in order to reduce your stress levels as well as improving your health. .
How can excessive stress make your hair fall out?
When a person is feeling extremely stressed or anxious constantly, our body starts preparing something known as ‘fight or flight response’. This occurs when the body produces extra hormones to get ready for a possible threat. This alteration in your hormone levels can have unwanted results on your body. It can affect the growth pattern of your hair follicles..
Stress management techniques
Below are techniques to overcome Stress
1. Get adequate sleep:-
An unhealthy sleeping pattern can cause mental and physical stress in our body. Especially if this cycle has been continuing for long periods of time. This can have drastic effects on many aspects of your life such as your general moods, personal relationships and the quality of work produced by you in your work environment, which can, in turn, lead to stress-related hair loss. Try to get your sleep cycle back on track by going to bed and waking up at a fixed time. Your goal should be to achieve 7 to 8 hours of sleep. .
2. Follow a balanced diet:-
Eating a healthy and nutritious diet gives your body strength, enabling it to handle stress more effectively. It also makes your hair stronger making it less likely to fall out. Have three meals per day and try not to skip them especially breakfast as it can have a negative effect on your body metabolism. Having regular meals also decreases your craving for junk food and other processed, sugary foods. Intake of certain vitamins and minerals like vitamins B, A, C, E also Zinc and Magnesium etc helps in hair growth and overall body health..
3. Exercise regularly:-
Exercise can be a huge help in reducing stress. As you exercise your body releases endorphins - also known as happy hormones-which helps you de-stress effectively. You can try different physical activities like yoga, dance classes, cycling, gym or rock climbing etc anything that makes you happy and helps get your heart rate up. Meditation also can be an effective stress-buster if practised properly..
4. Seek help from a mental health professional:-
Emotional trauma and stress can build up over a period of time especially if you do not express yourself and communicate about your feelings to others. Thus seeing a therapist in order to guide you through your problems can be really effective. If you are not comfortable about seeking external help then you can talk to an understanding family member or a friend. This may help you realise that you are not alone and have a strong support system around you.