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How Extreme Stress Causes Hair Loss

Can Stress Cause Hair Loss?

The answer is “Yes”. Studies suggest that stress does impact hair follicles, causing hair to fall out. Factors like physical and emotional stress, injury, and anxiety can trigger hair loss. Incidents like accidents, hospitalization, infection, financial burdens, debt, death of a loved one, work-related issues, etc., are significant contributors to stress.

stress and hair loss can be related. While your stress levels are high, and for some, that could mean less hair on your head. If you can manage your stress levels, you may be able to control this form of hair loss more easily, though it is usually easier said than done.

Stress-related symptoms may include:

  • Heart attack
  • Gain weight
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased muscle strength
  • Moodiness or depression
  • Hair loss

hair loss and stress


Types Of Stress-Related Hair Loss

Indeed, science supports the notion that significant emotional stress may be linked to these types of hair loss:

Telogen effluvium

In telogen effluvium (TEL-o-jun uh-FLOO-vee-um), significant stress pushes large numbers of hair follicles into a resting phase. Within a few months, affected hairs might fall out suddenly when simply combing or washing your hair.


Trichotillomania is an irresistible urge to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body. A number of factors may trigger it, like boredom, frustration, loneliness, or stress. In this case, you don’t just feel stressed, but you feel an irresistible urge to pull out your own hair because of your stress.

Alopecia areata (AA)

A variety of factors are thought to cause alopecia areata, possibly including severe stress. Alopecia areata can affect men and women of any age, affecting over six million people in the United States. With alopecia areata, the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles — causing hair loss. Hair may be lost in round patches on the scalp, or across the entire scalp. In a more severe form of AA known as alopecia universalis, hair is lost from the entire body.

stress hair loss


Does Stress Cause Hair Loss Permanently?

The hair growth cycle is driven by stem cells that reside in the hair follicle. During growth, stem cells divide to become new cells that regenerate hair. In the resting period, the stem cells are inactive. Until now, researchers hadn’t determined exactly how chronic stress impaired hair follicle stem cells.

There is a possibility of reviving your hair growth if you have lost it mainly due to stress. Hair loss from stress is not lasting. However, the rate of growth varies depending on the individual and their health status.

hair growth cycle


Your hair growth occurs in four main stages:

1.) Anagen:
This phase is when your hair grows and can last between 2 to 7 years.

2.) Catagen:
This phase sees your hair follicles shrinking and does not generally last beyond two short weeks.

3.) Telogen:
We call this the resting phase, and it lasts for approximately three months.

4.) Exogen:
Your hair follicles begin in new growth in this phase after shedding hair.

You can revert from hair loss to a healthy growth if stress is the only reason your hair loss began in the first place. 


How You Can Do

If you’ve been affected by hair loss from stress, there are some important steps you can take, such as diet and nutrition, supplement, and stress management. Popular ways to manage your stress are:

  • Exercise

  • Hobbies

  • Writing

  • Breathing and meditation

Stress and Hair Loss Treatment: LLLT Therapy

Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) is FDA-Cleared hair loss treatment and has been utilized by many medical devices for both men and women who are suffering from forms of alopecia and hair loss. Laser Cap is the most innovative laser hair device, which equipped with 80/272/280 premium laser diodes, to emit low red light into the scalp tissue.

When the LLLT penetrates the scalp tissue, it stimulates blood flow to the hair follicles. This allows the essential vitamins, minerals, and oxygen levels to reach the problematic (hair loss) areas of the scalp. As a result, the hair follicles begin to grow thicker and stronger than ever before. Here is How InStyle-Egg® laser caps work.

If you notice sudden or patchy hair loss or more than usual hair loss when combing or washing your hair, talk to your doctor and seek hair loss solutions. Sudden hair loss can signal an underlying medical condition that requires treatment. If needed, your doctor might also suggest treatment options for your hair loss.