What Causes Stress Hair Loss? (And How to Prevent It)

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Stress is related to many physical symptoms including feeling exhausted and headache among others. But the issue of stress and hair loss has gained prominence over the last few years as more studies prove that stress can cause hair loss.

Stress related hair loss could occur on one or many areas of your head, or even on your entire head. The occurrence of hair loss depends on individual cases and can occur frequently, rarely or even persist indefinitely. It is also necessary to note that stress related hair loss might accompany, precede or even occur after an escalation of other stress symptoms or in some occasions occur by itself.

The intensity of stress related hair loss can range from mild to moderate and severe conditions, or even change from moment to moment. Some of the symptoms that you might notice when suffering from stress related hair loss include:

  • Thinning hair
  • Bald spots
  • Hair falling out in clumps
  • Going bald
  • More hair in your comb, brush and shower

There are three common types of stress related hair loss conditions:

  1. Telogen effluvium
  2. Trichotillomania
  3. Alopecia areata

However, it is important to note that with proper treatment, stress induced hair loss can be reversed.

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What is Telogen Effluvium?

Telogen Effluvium is a hair loss condition that occurs when there is a significant drop in the number of hair follicles, resulting in hair shedding.

People suffering from this condition do not lose all their scrap hair, but their hair is usually noticeably thin in extreme cases.​

Telogen Effluvium

The condition occurs as an uneven thinning of hair on the scalp with some areas being more severe than others.

Telogen Effluvium (TE) condition usually develops in three basic ways that include abrupt, slowly and through truncated growth cycles.

When something that shocks the growing hair follicles happens abruptly, it causes the hair follicles to go into a resting state, resulting in an increased hair shedding and diffuse thinning of hair on your scalp.

Hair shedding that occurs as a result of an abrupt trigger is usually not permanent and the state of your hair can be restored by dealing with the trigger.

Telogen effluvium that develops slowly does not immediately cause hair loss. Instead, it affects the growing cycle of hair by prolonging the period hair stays in a resting state resulting in gradual accrual of hair follicles in the telogen state, which leaves fewer hair follicles growing.

Stress is the major cause of TE among other factors such as poor diet and thus, the most effective treatment method is the elimination of stress trigger factors.

What is Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia areata (AA) is a stress-related hair loss condition that occurs when the immune system is inappropriately activated to attack hair follicles thinking they are the threat. It is not possible to tell why this occurs, but the condition is common among women, men and children.

Alopecia Areata

In fact, children that develop this condition before puberty are more likely to experience extensive and persistent hair loss in future. The condition causes inflammation on the roots of your hair follicles resulting in a sudden hair loss.

The condition does not destroy the hair follicles completely and thus, they can re-grow if you eliminate the inflammation. However, most individuals suffering from this condition experience extensive hair loss with recurring cycles of hair loss and re-growth.

What is Trichotillomania?

Trichotillomania is a stress related hair-pulling mental disorder that is characterized by:

  • Repeatedly pulling of hair
  • Increased sense of tension when resisting the urge to pull hair
  • A sense of satisfaction after pulling hair.

As a result of repeatedly pulling hair, the condition causes noticeable hair loss, thinning of hair and even balding.


People suffering from Trichotillomania usually pull their hair in two ways that include intentionally to relieve the existing tension or automatically without realizing they are actually pulling their hair when reading, bored or watching TV.

The condition is diagnosed by identifying physical and mental issues that may likely cause hair pulling.

Prevention & Treatment of Stress Related Hair Loss

The best way you can prevent stress caused hair loss is to avoid and manage your stress. You should observe activities that help reduce the likelihood of being stressed like exercise as well as eat a healthy diet to support hair growth.

Treatment of stress related hair loss varies depending on your age and health, as well as the type of hair loss you’re suffering from.

However, it is important to note that all stress-related conditions occur because you are stressed and thus, the first remedy should be to seek stress treatment. That said, some of the common treatments for stress-related hair loss include:

1. Therapy

Therapy is helpful in dealing with stress. Therapy treatment is also highly beneficial to individuals suffering from trichotillomania hair pulling condition. Through therapy, you’ll undergo habit reversal training to help recognize the triggers that can cause you to pull your hair, and substitute hair pulling with other behaviors.

Therapy also helps identify distorted beliefs that relate to hair pulling and rectifying them.

2. Medications

The right type of medication will depend on an individual case and a doctor can recommend various types of medications to treat the condition or symptoms.

For example, when treating trichotillomania a doctor can recommend antidepressant medications as well as medications that will help change your mood. The doctor can also recommend a direct hair growth stimulator in the case of telogen effluvium or systemic corticosteroids in the case of extensive alopecia areata.

Furthermore, in the treatment of extensive alopecia areata, the doctor can recommend the application of contact sensitizing chemicals to the skin. However, care should be exercised when using medications as they can cause serious side effects.

3. Natural Remedies

The essence of natural remedies is to support natural growth of hair. Not all stress related conditions require medical treatments.

Some stress induced hair loss such as mild hair loss caused by trichotillomania and alopecia areata can be restored naturally. However, to support the natural restoration of hair follicles, you should eat a well-balanced diet. You should also consider taking supplements with various hair related essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B complex for people suffering from alopecia areata.

You should also consider stress supplements that would help reduce inflammation and stress as well as avoid toxins.

Best Products For Stress Hair Loss

Before you resort to prescription medication that can lead to horrible side effects, try out these natural remedies for stress hair loss.

Biotin Hair, Skin and Nails Restoration With Coconut Oil

sports research biotin


  • Non-GMOand gluten free
  • High potency biotin
  • Small and easy to swallow capsules

Art Naturals Argan Oil Shampoo for Hair Regrowth

Art Naturals Argan Oil Shampoo for Hair Regrowth


  • Reduces hair thinning and shedding
  • 100% all-natural ingredients
  • Stimulates hair growth

PURA D’OR Anti-Hair Loss Premium Organic Argan Oil Shampoo

PURA D'OR Anti-Hair Loss Premium Organic Argan Oil Shampoo


  • Essential nutrients to nourish hair follicles
  • Blend of biotin, pumpkin sees and black cumin seed oil

Last but definitely not least, you can look into the Hair Loss Miracle. It’s a system that has helped a ton of people suffering from stress induced hair loss to restore their hair growth naturally, and with quick results. Check it out here.


Stress from hair loss is extremely frustrating and embarrassing. However, there are plenty of remedies available so never feel like you have to live with it. Try the products above to get rid of stress hair loss once and for all.







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About the author

I'm an avid reader and love anything to do with mindfulness and mental health!

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