Modern life leads to us running all over the place with huge quantities of work and being connected everywhere at all times. This has its pros but also its cons. To keep up with this rhythm, we often eat poorly, drink excessive amounts of coffee, and have bad posture. One problem that frequently happens, especially to people who work long hours or have a lot of pressure on their shoulders, is developing stress problems. That can become a hair health issue called stress alopecia. Cortisol levels are higher, thus increasing a nervous state that ends up affecting hair follicles. This means they weaken, and hair loss occurs.
What is stress alopecia?
Stress alopecia is a disease where hair from the head is lost due to high levels of stress, which leads to hair falling out. In most cases, it is often temporary. While there is no consensus on the mechanisms that explain how stress causes hair to fall out, experts are sure of the existence of a causal relationship. They assure us that neither men nor women are exempt from seeing greater hair loss during the most difficult moments of everyday life. Hair loss can actually be a way the body responds to psychological stress when faced with various changes: health, diet, and/or drug use.
Factors that can increase stress alopecia
Some factors besides stress that increase hair loss levels include:
- Restrictive diet. This is due to the lack of certain vitamins that are necessary for the proper functioning of our bodies and which have a significant relationship with hair health, such as vitamins B5, B6, and B8.
- Decreased oestrogen levels after childbirth.
- Infections can also be another risk factor for alopecia.
3 types of alopecia caused by stress
Stress and hair loss have a relationship that can be observed in 3 different types of circumstances.
The first refers to stress alopecia. This happens when there is some alteration that causes the hair follicles to enter the resting phase and the resulting massive hair loss.
The second is trichotillomania, which is a psychological disorder caused by high anxiety that causes the person to pull out their own hair. It can also be triggered by feelings of extreme loneliness or sadness.
And third is alopecia areata, where the immune system reacts to stress by attacking hair follicles and preventing their growth. The reasons behind this have not yet been determined.
Solutions to stress alopecia
There are situations where hair loss ends once stress levels get under control. Then, there are situations where this does not happen, and hair loss extends beyond what is considered normal (the latter usually occurs because other factors come into play).
The first thing you should do if you are in very stressful situations and are suffering from hair loss is to seek the help of a professional who can evaluate you. This way, it will be possible to determine if you suffer from stress alopecia or another type of problem. If it is stress alopecia, you should have the help of a psychologist to be able to control these states of anxiety. In some cases, this will be enough. But if the situation does not improve, you should use a special product to this end or follow your hair doctor’s nutritional and health advice.The Insparya hair clinic has the largest medical team specialising in hair worldwide; as professionals with more than 10 years of experience, we can help you with any hair problem. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to request a free consultation.