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How Does Stress Effect Hair Loss?

The Cleveland Clinic recently interviewed dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal, MD, about the effects of stress on hair loss. They are often directly related.

Stress and anxiety result in high levels of cortisol. When cortisol is elevated for extended periods of time, it affects hair growth. The science is not concrete, but it is known that having high levels of this “stress hormone” can result in inflammation, thyroid issues, and changes in other hormones; all of which can affect the hair growth cycle.

Dr. Khetarpal explained that “At any given time, about 90% of our hair is growing, about 5% is resting, and 5% is shedding. But, when you have a major stress event or shock, up to 50% of hairs can be pushed into the shedding phase.”

Think about this. While it is normal to lose some hair every day, stress can induce significant changes in the amount of hair that falls out. Hair loss from a single stressful event might not manifest for months. When it does, it can last up to six months. Unfortunately, the stress of excessive hair shedding can compound the problem. It is a cycle that can be difficult to break.

What Kind of Stress Can Increase Hair Loss?

Stress is stress. Anxiety is Anxiety. The root of the problem does not necessarily matter. We all have stress of some kind; economic woes, family strife, job deadlines to meet, and medical issues, to name a few. Anything that makes you feel stressed can raise your level of cortisol, affecting hair loss and even your general health. When you have multiple stressors in your life at once, the risk of hair loss can increase.

In 2020, we have experienced pandemic-induced stress that is unlike anything we have encountered in our lifetimes. Dr. Khetarpal stated that doctors are seeing “an increase in visits to dermatologists for stress-related hair loss. While the hair loss isn’t a direct result of having COVID-19, the stress of, well, everything about this pandemic is contributing to the increase.”

Hair loss might seem like a minor problem compared to everything else going on in the world, but thinning hair can profoundly affect the mental health of the woman or man experiencing it. Society places a high cultural value on hair; it is part of what defines us. Thinning hair can be extraordinarily distressing, especially when you are already dealing with stress and anxiety.

Easing Stress is Crucial to Maintaining Healthy Hair

It is essential that you find ways to de-stress during these difficult times. It might seem impossible to do, but try to find things to help you find some joy in each day. Mindfulness practice, healthy eating, exercising, and avoiding alcohol are things to consider to ease your stress levels and maintain good health.

Don’t hesitate to address your hair loss with a doctor or other professional. If your hair is thinning due to stress, chances are it will return to its former glory. In the meantime, you can consider hair replacement options to make you feel and look your best.

Selecting the right hair replacement option can help ease some of the stress you are experiencing that might be compounding your hair loss. You can feel like yourself again by calling Riviera Hair Replacement for a free consultation.

Call Riviera Hair Replacement When You Are Experiencing Stress-Related Hair Loss

At Riviera Hair Replacement, our discreet, compassionate professionals can design and create the hair replacement option to make you feel and look like your confident self. Whether your hair loss is stress-related, from chemotherapy, or pattern baldness, we have a solution for you.

Call Riviera Hair Replacement today at 516-364-0110 to schedule your free hair replacement consultation. The sooner you call, the sooner we can find the right hair replacement solution that will leave you feeling refreshed and confident.


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