Can Stress Affect my Hair?
If you’re among the millions of people finding more strands of hair in your hairbrush, you’re not alone. Extreme or prolonged stress has an effect on the entire body, including the hair. The good news is that it’s typically not permanent. Eliminating or at least controlling the factors that are causing the stress may slow the loss.
Everyone undergoes periods of stress and hair loss, but an increasing number of people are noticing more hair in their combs and hairbrushes since the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic. Emotional, physical, and financial stress is taking a toll. People are demonstrating the symptoms of temporary hair loss known as Telogen effluvium that typically occurs two to three months after an initial stressor appears.
Telogen effluvium isn’t limited to the pandemic. This type of shedding and hair loss can occur any time an individual is under an unusual amount of stress. The key to limiting the loss of locks is finding ways to control and relieve the stress.
Another form of hair loss, alopecia areata, is thought to worsen with stress. With alopecia areata, the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Individuals with a compromised immune system are at an increased risk of developing hair loss due to alopecia areata when they’re under increased amounts of stress.
It’s important to remember that a certain amount of shedding and loss is normal. A single hair typically has a lifespan of about 4.5 years and when one falls out, a new hair replaces it within six months.
Any type of stress that’s long in duration or an individual considers excessive can trigger hair loss. Some people handle stress better than others and they may not lose as much hair as someone else. To aid in reducing loss, it can be helpful to limit the amount of styling and blow drying that’s being done.
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