Can Stress Play a Role In Hair Loss?

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Stress is a fact of life in this modern world we live in. Our daily lives are filled to the brim with work, children, and activities like never before. It seems the more we try to balance our lives, the more complicated they become. It is common knowledge that long term stress can cause a variety of health concerns so it shouldn't come as any surprise to find that stress can play a role in hair loss too. In many ways, our emotional health is written on our faces (and our heads). Have you ever noticed you can usually pick out people passing you by that are having a stressful day? Their faces say it all. The same is true with your hair.

Can stress play a role in hair loss? You bet it can! There's even a name for it, Telogen Effluvium. This is defined as hair loss caused by the sudden onset of stress. The odd thing about this condition is that you??re usually over the stressful event before the hair loss even starts. Sudden stress causes the hair follicles to stop growing and enter into the resting phase prematurely. The hair will remain in this resting phase for several months. At this time, an unusual amount of hair will be shed in a short period of time. For the most part, hair loss caused by stress is temporary.

Since stress can play a role in hair loss and we would like to keep our hair intact, just what can we do to prevent it? The obvious answer is to eliminate stress from our lives but that isn??t very realistic since not all stress is within our control. Some situations are stressful and there is nothing we can do to change that. What we can do is learn to deal with the stress in our lives in a more healthy way. This is not only good for our hair production, but for our overall well-being. First we must learn the art of dissociation. Simply put, forget about your problems for a while. The longer you can do this, the more time your body has to calm down. Go out and enjoy yourself. Fun is a great stress reducer. Pick a form of relaxation that works for you. If reading is a great way for you to wind down, set aside time each day to do it. If you enjoy movies, go see one. Rest in your hammock each day after dinner. Exercise can be a terrific way to release stress. I know that sounds like something people just say to get you to exercise but it's true. Pick something you like, whether it is a team sport or running with your earphones on. The point is, try to find some way that works for you to help you deal with the stress in your life. Not only will your hair grow back, but all aspects of your health will benefit.

Copyright 2005 Brendan Conroy

Brendan Conroy offers hair loss research and information at his website, Hair Transplant The site has been updated with new hair loss research for 2006. The website can be found at

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