It can creep up on you at a moment’s notice, doesn’t leave even when you want it to, and can cause a number of health problems, including hair loss. What is this terrible thing? Stress.
Statistically speaking, Americans are the most stressed out population in the world, and a huge uptick has been recorded since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Throw in the stress that seems ubiquitous during the holidays and it’s a recipe for a stressful time. Chronic stress, which is long-term stress, not only causes a number of health conditions if left untreated, such as high blood pressure, acid reflux, anxiety, depression, and insomnia, but it can also have a link to hair thinning and hair loss.
This may sound all doom and gloom, but if treated early, stress-related hair loss can be reversed! Even though we can’t avoid the stressors of daily life, we can make a few changes that can help restore our hair to its natural state.
Stress can stem from any number of factors in your life and can be physical, emotional, mental, or any combination of the three. Physical stress can come from illness, childbirth, surgery, and anything else that puts a significant amount of stress on the body. Emotional and mental stress can come from any number of things, from relationship and friendship issues to stress due to work.
If you find that you are experiencing hair loss due to stress, then you have what is known scientifically as Telogen effluvium (also called TE).
When you are under a significant amount of stress, especially for a prolonged period, your body may push a large amount of your hair into the resting phase, also known as the Telogen phase. If this happens, you may notice more hair than normal falling out when doing your usual hair routine, such as brushing or washing your hair. This kind of hair loss typically shows up as patches thinning out and usually doesn’t result in losing more hair than that, but it can still be very noticeable for the person who is experiencing it.
If you’re experiencing stress-related hair loss, it’s important to know that if treated early it is usually fully reversible. Unlike other scalp issues, Telogen effluvium almost never causes permanent damage to the hair follicles. That being said, hair doesn’t grow back overnight. The regrowth process once treated can take several months to a year before you can see noticeable signs of improvement. But here’s the good news - there are a few things you can do in the meantime to help your hair grow back healthier and fuller: