Thursday, May 12, 2016

Can Stress Really Cause Hair Loss?

Photo by PR Photos

It has no doubt been a turbulent few weeks for Kelly Ripa. With all the drama surrounding her morning show, the star is no doubt under a lot of stress. What could all this stress mean for her luscious locks?

The old saying has always been that stress will make you go gray, but can stress really make your hair fall out? The short answer is yes, but thankfully, there is more to it than that, or else no one would have any hair. 
Stress alone doesn’t cause permanent hair loss, but it can lead to temporary hair loss in both men and women. But when we are talking about stress and hair loss, it is important to understand that we’re not talking about everyday stress. Stress-related hair loss is brought on by extreme stress and is most commonly associated with life-altering events, such as death, serious illness, and according to some studies, even divorce. However it can be extremely difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of our hair loss, because the stressors can come from a variety of sources.

When stress sends your body into a state of shock, your hair can be forced into a resting state prematurely, which is what causes the sudden hair loss. As we all know, some shedding (100-200 strands/day) is normal because hair follicles cycle on and off naturally over time. New hair production pushes out the old resting hairs as follicles switch from 'resting' to 'growing' phase. 

Odds are, Kelly's hair will be fine, she seems to be handling the stress like a pro. But, for those who experience any sudden, unusual, or excessive shedding, don’t ignore it, or simply assume it is the result of stress. Hair loss caused by stress, whether emotional or physical, is particularly difficult to self-diagnose, because it doesn’t happen immediately following the stressful period or triggering event, it often happens weeks, or even months afterwards. To properly diagnose the cause of your hair loss, it is important to be evaluated by a board-certified hair restoration physician, who can help determine if your hair loss is in fact due to stress, or if it is a symptom of a more serious underlying health condition.

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