Hair changes in texture and thickness with age. Although hair loss (alopecia) can be a normal reaction to stress, it can also occur from a number of factors – from age, heredity, and vitamin deficiencies, to a wide range of diseases to include diabetes, lupus, cancer, and thyroid disease. Environmental factors also play a role; for example, heavy metal poisoning from thallium or arsenic can result in hair loss. Medications can factor in, as well, as can nervous habits (e.g., pulling at one’s hair).
Types of Stress-related Hair Loss
High levels of stress can result in:
- Temporary Hair Loss or Telogen Effluvium: Significant stress levels can push large numbers of hair follicles into a resting or dormant phase. Within a few months, affected hairs may fall out suddenly with combing or washing. Hair usually grows back within a few months.
- Hair Pulling: Also known as trichotillomania, hair pulling is an irresistible urge to pull out hair from the scalp, eyebrows, or other parts of the body. This is a coping mechanism against negative or uncomfortable feelings – stress, tension, loneliness, boredom, or frustration, caused by stress and anxiety.
Reduced Stress and Hair Re-growth
If stress is contributing to your hair loss, the reduction of that stress may help your hair to regrow. Stress can be reduced by:
- Exercise, to get that heart pumping and blood flowing!
- Lifestyle changes, such as a new job or avoidance of “toxic” relationships and situations.
- Stress management techniques, to include deep breathing, counseling, and yoga.
The key is to make these and other stress-reducing habits a regular part of your daily routine even if you are convinced that you can handle the stress. These habits help create resilience, a greater ability to withstand stress.
For more information on alopecia, treatment options, or how concierge medicine can factor into a total wellness plan, call Rockville Concierge Doctors today at 301-545-1811 or get started online.