While you may have never considered it, stress, anxiety, depression, and hair loss can go hand in hand. At HRC – Hair Restoration of California we understand the connection between mental health and hair loss, and we can help. Changes in your hair and its appearance – from hair loss to thinning to a change in the look and feel – can signal health issues. Let’s explore what your hair may be telling you about your health and find the solutions if your hair issues are related to stress, anxiety, or depression.
Normal Hair Loss
Before discussing the hair loss – depression connection, it is important to know that some hair loss is normal. As you hair goes through its regular growth cycle of growing, shedding, and resting, you lose between 50 and 150 hairs daily as your hair follicles shed. Each hair follicle is unique, with an independent growth cycle, thus keeping you from shedding all your hair at the same time. When your hair shedding is above normal, hair thinning and loss occur, a result of the disruption of your hair growth cycle. Stress, anxiety, and depression can cause hair loss, but getting help for those issues can allow your hair to grow back normally.
Hair Loss and Stress
While there is a confirmed connection between hair loss and stress, in most cases stress-related hair loss is temporary. Mental and physical stress can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle, even causing it to stop functioning completely. Stress, essentially, forces hair follicles to rest, stopping growth, and resulting in excess shedding. When stress is relieved, the hair growth cycle can return to normal. Stress plays a significant role in depression and anxiety, as well as other mental health issues.
Hair Loss and Depression
Depression is a common mental health issues around the world. Hair loss has been linked with depression and can result in not only a change in hair texture (dry, brittle) but also breakage. The various states of depression can also disrupt the hair’s growth cycle and cause hair loss. In addition, certain medications prescribed in the treatment of depression can have side effects including hair loss.
Hair Loss and Anxiety
Anxiety is also common and severe anxiety had been linked with hair loss. While anxiety and stress are separate condition, they often coincide, resulting in hair loss. Anxiety or stress can cause trichotillomania, a condition in which the individual’s condition results in hair pulling. This condition is classified as an impulse control disorder and manifests by an ongoing inclination to pull hair from the scalp, eyebrows, and elsewhere on the body.
Other Related Hair Loss Conditions
In addition to trichotillomania, the hair loss most closely related to anxiety, there are other conditions linked to stress and depression. Telogen Effluvium is less severe and is the most common condition. High stress levels force the hair cycle into the resting phase, after which the hair falls out, growing back in the months that follow if the stress is relieved. Alopecia Areata is less common and occurs as an immune system response which causes the white blood cells to attack the hair follicles. In this condition, hair loss is not limited to the scalp, but can occur all over the body. With alopecia areata, treatment may be required to encourage hair regrowth.
If You Are Experiencing Unusual Hair Loss…
If you are experiencing unusual hair loss that you feel may be related to medication for a mental health issue, call on your physician for alternatives. If you believe stress is the underlying cause of your hair loss and related mental health issues, begin by seeking ways to get your stress under control. Once you are on the path to stress reduction, call on the team at HRC-Hair Restoration of California. We offer FREE consultations to help you find solutions to keep your hair and scalp healthy, while preserving or restoring your hair. Contact us today and schedule your FREE consultation.