The Effects of Stress on Your Hair and Body

Prolonged stress can affect your body and even your hair follicles. Hair loss is one of the ways your body responds to physiological stress. What is stressing you?

Stress is defined differently for each of us. The dictionary defines stress as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Emotional stress leads to physiological stress in your body. Common emotional stressors include life-changing events such as divorce, death of a loved one, negative work environment, bankruptcy or financial concerns, insomnia, imbalanced diet, oral contraceptives, and pregnancy. (Please be mindful that this list is not all inclusive). When your stress levels are consistently high over a period of time, you begin to feel run down, lack energy, and can possibly gain or lose an excessive amount of weight. Stress causes your blood vessels to constrict and deprive the hair follicles of the oxygen, minerals, and nutrients needed for healthy hair growth. Your hair follicles can’t get the nutrients needed because your stressed body burns more energy, and the oxygen, minerals, and nutrients are redirected to parts of the body that command it for survival. As an additional note, hair loss due to stress can occur three to six months after the stressful period in your life has occurred.


Please note that every person is different. How stress affects one person may not affect another in the same manner.

The good news is that the hair loss from these kinds of events is usually temporary, as long as the stressful event is temporary. Once the stressor is addressed, your hair grows back and your normal hair cycle resumes. If you check out my blog, I explain additional common types of hair losses that are temporary and non-stress related.

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