Is Stress Related Hair Loss Real?

There are many symptoms associated with stress: nail-biting, weight loss, irritability, and even in some of the most severe cases, hair loss. But what exactly is it about stress that leads to hair loss?

Telogen Effluvium

Usually, each of our 100,000 hair follicles are continually cycling between growth and rest, with the majority being in the growth phase. When the hair follicles transition to telogen, also known as the resting phase, the hair sheds.

When stress causes hair loss, it is called telogen effluvium, and it happens when significant stress pushes large numbers of hair follicles into a resting phase. After a few months, the affected hairs will fall out all of a sudden when combing or washing your hair. During telogen effluvium, a trigger (stress) suddenly causes an abnormal shift of the hair into the telogen phase all at once.

Hair Loss and Your Central Nervous System

We’re not saying that one stressful week at work will have your hair falling out in the shower. Telogen effluvium happens after a prolonged period of emotional stress. Emotional stress consists of significant stressful situations such as a divorce or the loss of a job.

Hair loss with telogen effluvium is abrupt, but it typically takes about three months after the stressful event for the hair loss to kick in. Once hair follicles prematurely enter the telogen phase, it takes around three months for the cycle to be complete and the hair to start shedding.

Hair loss that is patchy or occurs at the part line are also symptoms of telogen effluvium. If you suddenly notice more hairs on your pillowcase, in the shower, or a noticeably thinner ponytail, you may be experiencing stress-related hair loss.

Stress-Related Hair Loss:  Temporary or Long Term?

The bright side is that hair loss from telogen effluvium is temporary, and hair will likely return to its previous density, though it will get there rather slowly, as it takes about six months or less for the hair to stop shedding and then months or even years in order for the hair to grow back to its prior state. Though there is nothing to preventer stop telogen effluvium, it will resolve itself on its own time.

Solutions for Hair Loss & Thinning Hair

Whether you live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Huntsville, Alabama or anywhere in between, if you are experiencing the devastating effects of hair loss and would like to learn more about non-surgical hair replacement options available to you, we invite you to consider scheduling a free private, confidential consultation with an experienced hair loss professional near you.


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