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Extreme Stress Can Lead to Extreme Hair Loss

Stress can make anybody pull at their hair in frustration. But did you know that extreme physical or mental stress can actually make almost anybody lose their hair even without any pulling of the tresses? This is because extreme stress is equivalent to suffering from injury and illness or recovering from surgery sans the physical scars.

Types of Stress-Induced Hair Loss

In fact, there are two types of hair loss attributed to stress. You must consult with your doctor in order to determine in which category your hair condition belongs in to map out the best possible treatment regimen.

First, telogen effluvium is the more common but less severe type between the two stress-induced hair loss problems. Basically, your hair undergoes a series of hair dormancy, then hair loss and then hair regrowth akin to a seesaw. For example, your hair will just stop growing, fall out in significant quantities 2 to 3 months later and then grow back within 6 to 9 months.

Second, alopecia areata is almost like an autoimmune disease in that the white blood cells attack the hair follicles. Your hair will fall off in patches within the span of a few weeks although there are cases when the entire scalp and body hair fall off. Your hair can regrow on its own but you may also need to look into possible treatments.

Relationship between Hair Loss and Stress

So, how exactly can stress affect your hair? Think of your body as a well-oiled machine that, when subjected to stress, slowly diverts its attention and nutrients to other more important parts so as to ensure that normal operations still take place in areas that matter most for survival. Hair is definitely not one of the body parts necessary for survival of the individual and so off it goes, so to speak.

Stress can also lead to hair loss because of the hormonal imbalance resulting from it. Take note that menopause in men and women is characterized by hormonal imbalance, thus, these individuals are more likely to suffer from hair loss.

There are also the hair's growth phases, which are adversely affected by stress. There are 2 phases - one, the anagen or growth phase and, two, the telogen or resting phase. When you are under stress, the anagen phase is shortened and the telogen phase is lengthened.

This translates to losing more and more hair but without the replacement in normal growth. Even when your hair somehow continues to grow, it tends to become thinner and thinner with each growth. Either way, you end up with bald spots and even a bald head often in a sudden way. Indeed, stress may lead to hair pulling but you don't even need to pull on your hair to start baldness. Your own head is telling your body to go easy on the stress or else face hair loss.

Fortunately, you have many treatment options for stress-induced hair loss, many of which involve little costs as only lifestyle changes are recommended. You should practice management techniques like deep breathing, yoga and just generally taking it slow. So, your hair can regrow with the help of a healthy diet and herbal formulations.