Stress can cause many conditions that lead to hair loss. These include: Alopecia Areata – Sudden loss of large clumps of hair in areas around your scalp or gradual hair loss that builds over time. Telogen Effluvium – This is a condition where more hairs than normal prepare to fall out.

Stress Effect on Hair Loss

Stress, according to scientific research, affects our body in more ways than one. It affects our nervous, endocrine (hormonal) and also immune systems. When stress disturbs balance or harmony in any of the systems, they do not function at their best. This can have profound health consequences – from hair loss to a host of other illnesses.
Stress-triggered hair loss is generally short-term, or temporary. It is profound when the stressor exists, or is continually present. Chronic, or extreme, stress for long periods can cause substantial damage to your hair, sometimes leading to permanent baldness.
Once the stress factor is reduced, there is often re-growth, although the process can take up to six months, or more – provided there is no other stress factor waiting to ‘detonate.’

Signs and Symptoms

  • Feel irritable
  • Anxious
  • Low self-esteem
  • Mood changes; low mood
  • Have racing thoughts
  • Worry constantly
  • Imagine that something worse is going to happen
  • Lose your temper easily
  • Drink more; smoke more
  • Talk fast, or go out often
  • Change in your eating habits
  • Isolate yourself; not socialise
  • Are forgetful or awkward
  • Are impetuous; act hastily
  • Have difficulty to concentrate or focus


Chronic, or prolonged periods of stress like illness, divorce, death of a loved one, job loss, surgical stress, or accidents can trigger temporary hair loss. It can stop hair from growing. After a few months, the hair falls out and is not replaced.
Why does this happen? Severe stress can cause the growing hair follicles to prematurely move into the regression phase and, thereafter, the resting phase, during which the hair fall out uneventfully.
The shedding may not be apparent for the first few weeks; but, when it occurs suddenly, it becomes obvious. This may occur as a delayed response, so it is often a ‘hairy’ catch-22 situation for the person suffering from the condition.
What compounds the problem is the stressful event per se is often forgotten. It is also seldom connected with the ‘new’ dilemma – hair loss. The end result is a scalp showing hair loss.

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