stress and hair loss Hair Sciences Center
by James Harris, MD October 28, 2016

Stress and hair loss—is there really a connection?

hair loss myths and facts

“I was pulling my hair out from worry!”

We’ve all heard idioms about stress and hair loss. And while pulling one’s own hair out, a psychological obsessive-compulsive disorder called trichotillomania, can result in baldness, is there an actual connection between stress and hair falling out?

Let’s look at stress that will certainly NOT make your hair fall out.

  • Normal stress, such as being stuck in traffic or being late for work, may cause you to bite your nails, but it will not make your hair fall out.
  • Psychologically distressing events, such as job loss, financial worries, a lawsuit, or divorce can be personally devastating, but they will not affect your hair.

But that’s not the whole story.

At any given time, a normal person sheds about 100 hairs a day. Since the average person with a full head of hair has approximately 100,000 hairs on their head, this is not a noticeable loss. The hairs are replaced at the same rate of loss (except in case of male pattern baldness and other real causes of hair loss). But sometimes a traumatic physiological event can cause a disproportionate number of follicles to go into a “resting” phase. A few months later these hairs are shed, and the result can be a significant amount of hair loss.

Let’s examine events that can make your hair fall out via this “resting phase” scenario.

  • Major surgery, anesthesia
  • Lower estrogen levels after childbirth
  • Going on and off oral contraception
  • An extremely low calorie diet
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Severe illness or infection
  • Thyroid disease
  • Chronic insomnia/sleep deprivation
  • Medication that you have a reaction to

So is there any connection between emotional stress and hair loss?

If you are going through an extremely stressful emotional time, you may be getting very little sleep and you may be losing weight. So while you cannot lose your hair due to a lawsuit or divorce, you can experience hair loss because of the physiological stress and imbalance in your system associated with stressful behaviors.

The good news is that this type of hair loss is temporary. Once the stress factors subside new hair will regrow.

Contact my clinic for a consultation or ask me a question about your unique situation and how we might treat it. 

 


Dr. James A. Harris is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, inventor of patented follicular unit excision technology, published author in the field of hair restoration and an advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Harris or read rave reviews from his patients.

 

Get a quick quote. It’s easy.

Give us a minute, we’ll give you the world.

Which picture most closely resembles your hair loss?

Class
Hairline
Options
Maximum upload size: 4MB
AcceptedTerms *
By submitting this online form, you hereby expressly authorize and consent to Dr. James Harris, the Hair Sciences Center of Colorado, its management company, marketing consultants and any affiliates contacting you via auto- matic telephone dialing system, artificial or prerecorded voice message, text message or by email communication with promotional/marketing information and updates. I hereby confirm my willingness to receive messages to the phone number and/or email address that I provided. You are not required to grant this consent as a condition of your receiving services or purchasing anything from Dr. James Harris, the Hair Sciences Center of Colorado, its management company, marketing consultants and any affiliates. Please review – Privacy Policy.
← Previous Post
What is the Norwood Scale?
Next Post →
Can a hair transplant restore receding temples?