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  • Writer's pictureDr. Ni Li, ND MSc

Can stress make your hair fall out?

stress makes hair fall out

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Can stress make your hair fall out?

Yes. High stress is associated with more hair falling out. Physical or psychological stress can push large numbers of hair follicles into resting, so they stop growing and eventually fall out more quickly. Normal hair shedding happens every day. However, the amount is usually less than 100 strands daily. Hair loss from stress can be as much as 200 strands per day.

Symptoms of hair loss due to stress

There are three types of hair loss associated with stress. Symptoms can vary depending on the type.

One type is called telogen effluvium. It is one of the most common causes of hair loss and happens when a large quantity of hair follicles enter the resting phase due to stress. It can happen 2-3 months after a stressor or a change to the body, such as illness, trauma, childbirth, emotional stress, starting or stopping some medication, etc. You may suddenly find more hair falling out when combing or washing your hair. The most apparent symptom is hair thinning, usually around the top of your head. It may look like female- or male-pattern alopecia, which happens more gradually and is due to hormones, genetics, and aging.

The other two types are trichotillomania (irresistible urge to pull out hair) and alopecia areata (patchy hair loss due to an autoimmune attack on hair follicles). I won’t talk about them in detail here. But if you are interested, let me know by commenting below.

Does hair loss from stress grow back?

The good news is many people recover over time, and hair starts to grow back after three to six months. There are also natural treatments and medications to help hair growth. However, if stress remains or there are untreated underlying conditions, hair loss may become chronic.

What to do about hair loss from stress?

If you suspect you have hair loss from stress, it’s better to talk to your doctor and do some further investigation. As I mentioned, some underlying conditions can also cause hair loss, such as anemia, iron or other nutritional deficiencies, and thyroid issues. Risk factors for these conditions include:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding;

  • Vegetarian or vegan diet;

  • Lack of protein;

  • Chronic stress; or

  • Personal or family history of these conditions.

The other thing you can do, of course, is stress management. You can start with a few simple techniques, such as the ones in our free guide “Five Quick Ways to Reduce Stress” If you are interested in natural treatments for hair loss from stress or underlying conditions, you can book a discovery call with us and see if we are a good match.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for educational/informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Learn more.


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