The belief that stress can cause hair loss stems from the fact that many presidents, including President Barack Obama, were sworn in young and fresh only to leave the Office of the President with grey hair. So, can stress really cause hair loss?
In a few short words, that really depends on the kind of stress you’re experiencing. Emotional stress like breaking up with your boyfriend will not be enough to cause a significant amount of hair loss, however, if your stress is significant enough to disrupt your body’s physiological functions, it can cause a great proportion of your hair to go on a resting phase and then shed.
Changes to your diet, taking medicines and disruptive lifestyle changes can disrupt your body’s hair cycle. The good thing about it is that once you address the underlying cause (or it goes away on its own) your hair will grow back to normal.
What are some examples of stressors that can cause hair loss? They include inconsistent use of oral contraceptives, losing more than 15 pounds in weight, going a low calorie diet, low estrogen levels after giving birth, high fever, severe illnesses and infections, high fever and major surgery. Thyroid diseases and nutritional imbalances like Vitamin D deficiency and having too Vitamin A can also cause hair loss.
Know what caused your hair loss isn’t always easy because there’s usually a three-month to six-month lag between the stressor and the resulting hair loss. If you’re experiencing hair loss right now, you need to go back to the events from three to nine months before.
If you’re going through a bitter divorce, it could cause to lose a lot of weight or lose sleep, thus causing hair loss because of the resulting stress to your body. You do NOT lose hair just because you hate your husband.
Doctors who are specialists in hair loss actually think it’s “ridiculous” to blame stress for hair loss. Normal everyday stress does not cause stress. Only stress factors that cause you to lose sleep and raise your stress hormone levels to historic highs can do that. Hair loss could be also be caused by thirty types of diseases.
In order to understand hair loss, you need to understand how the process of hair growth works. People usually have 120,000-150,000 hair strands on their head. Around 90% of these strands of hair grow by half an inch every month for 2 or 3 three years before “resting” for three to four months, after which they fall off and get replaced by a new one. It’s normal to shed 100 strands of hair everyday.
If you’re experiencing severe hair loss right now, the first thing you really need to do is to consult a hair loss specialist. Don’t jump into conclusions on the cause, especially diseases, because there are perfectly normal people who still experience hair loss. Your hair doctor can help you pinpoint the cause and address it.