Stress and hair loss are closely related and sometimes it is the hair that indicates that stress is taking a toll on our body of which we are not even aware. Excessive physical or emotional stress causes the hair to stop growing and to enter a period of dormancy which is followed three to four months later by the hair falling out. As soon as the individuals finds better ways to deal with stress and calmness is restored, hair will begin to grow again, which usually takes 6-9 months. Stressors can vary from divorce, death, loss or change of work, trauma, infection, surgery , a strict low-calorie diet, weight loss, severe illness and many others. Chronic stress is a serious condition not only for hair loss that is prolonged but also for the whole body.
Cortisol is the stress hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that gives the body its response to stressful situations. When stress is prolonged, cortisol levels stay elevated and the body enters a state of chronic stress.
Typically, there are three types of hair loss associated with high and constant stress levels : telogen effluvium (hair follicles are pushed into a resting phase so affected hairs fall out unexpectedly while combing), trichotillomania (an urge to pull hair from scalp and other areas of the body as a way of dealing with negative feelings) and alopecia areata (body’s immune system attacks hair follicles, a condition for which it is considered that stress is the most common trigger).
With various stress management techniques to relax the body and mind, and some changes in lifestyle to minimize the stress, the hair will grow back.