Does Stress Cause Hair Loss?

Yes, stress can definitely cause a person to lose their hair! However, it is important to note that the type of stress we are referring to in this article is not the everyday stress experience that most of us go through. In terms of hair loss, the type of stress that causes this condition is the result of sudden emotional shock or a very disastrous physical accident.

This type of hair loss is known as �telogen effluvium�. When an extremely stressful incident occurs, what happens is that the hair follicles that are actively growing are suddenly shifted forward into the �regression phase�. Soon after, the follicles then begin the �resting phase� and when the growth cycle of a hair follicle reaches this resting place, it falls out rather easily.

How soon after a stressful event does person's hair begin to fall out?

When a person goes through a physiological or an emotional event, hair does not begin to fall out anywhere from a few weeks to a few months after the event. But once it has begun, hair loss continues at a fast pace.

And because it takes some time for their hair to start shedding after the stressful event, the person is usually not aware that it is related to that past experience. It never occurs to them that the hair loss they are experiencing is not because of a new �sickness� or anything of the sort, it is simply the aftermath side effect of the stress they went through a few weeks or a few months ago.

What are some examples of severe stressful situations that would cause hair loss?

As we stated earlier, �stress� in terms of hair loss does not mean the standard stress most people experience from work, financial, relationships, etc. Instead, occurrences such as going through the sudden death of a loved one would be an example of a stressful situation that could result in hair loss. Getting a divorce would be another example. Having to take care of someone close to you who has a terminal disease may also fall into this category.

And of course, physical experiences that cause a lot of damage to a person's body will also produce stress at such high levels that hair loss is an eventual side effect. For example,a heart attack or a major surgery may cause a person's hair to fall out. Sickness that keeps a person in a long period of deterioration, such as the flu or malaria, may cause hair loss. And also, accidents such as vehicle crashes or any other similar situation where the body undergoes sudden physical damage, may cause hair loss.