3 Ways Stress Zaps Your Hair

Researchers have detailed three specific types of hair loss associated with hair loss.

1. Telogen effluvium

Your hair goes through phases of growth and rest. When your hair is in a resting phase, the natural shedding that your hair goes through doesn’t get replenished. This in turn can make shedding appear to be more dramatic, and can make hair loss and balding more apparent.

In telogen effluvium, your hair’s cycles change and your scalp pushes more hair follicles than normal into a resting phase. This means you see more and more shedding out of your scalp when you’re shampooing or when you’re combing or brushing your hair.

2. Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is a stress-related itch or urge to scratch and pull at your hair. This might affect your eyebrows, your body hair or the hair on your head. It’s a nervous tick, not unlike tapping your foot or experiencing muscle twitches.

People with this type of external representation of internal stress will often pick at their hair without thinking, and all of a sudden have a big bald patch. And it’s not always strictly due to stress. Experts have noted that it can happen when you’re angry, bored or lonely.

3. Alopecia areata

When you experience this type of hair loss, your body is under incredible stress and this provokes an immune system reaction. When your system revs into high gear, your immune system starts to attack your own body. In fact, your white blood cells might ravage your scalp’s skin cells and hair follicles. If this continues, those hair follicles might die and your hair falls out and doesn’t grow back.

The good news is that in most cases, these types of stress-related hair loss can be stopped and in some cases actually reversed if the stress is dealt with quickly. However, it does pinpoint that sometimes what we see outside of us is an internal reflection of what we’re dealing with inside.