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Chronic Stress: Leading Causes of Hair Loss

April 04, 2022 3 min read


A head full of beautiful and healthy hair is a beautiful sight to behold. But as with everything beautiful some factors work against it. There are lots of factors that affect and influence hair growth; genetics, age, sex, nutrition, stress, etc. In this article, we’re going to focus on stress, how it affects hair growth, and what you can do to reduce and handle your stress so you can have healthy beautiful hair.

According to research, stress is one of the main factors that negatively affects hair growth. This is something to seriously look into because we are subjected to physically and emotionally stressful conditions every day now more than ever. There’s no better time than now to understand how stress affects the health of your hair and how to handle stress as it pertains to your hair.

Relationship Between Stress and Hair Loss

There are thousands of hair follicles on the adult scalp and they go through three cyclical stages of growth. There is anagen (the growth stage), catagen, and telogen (the rest phase) after which the hair is shed. Significant emotional or physical stress can disrupt this cycle and lead to hair loss.

Three Types of Hair Loss Can Be Linked to Stress:

Telogen Effluvium

This type of hair loss is linked to significant emotional stress, like the loss of a loved one or divorce. Hair is suddenly shifted to the telogen phase (the resting phase) and there is a premature shedding of hair. In this case, simple actions like combing or brushing can cause hair to fall off.


This is more psychological than physiological. Unpleasant feelings like stress, boredom, and loneliness cause some people to have an irresistible urge to pull on their hair

Alopecia Areata

This type of hair loss involves the immune system attacking hair follicles and thereby inducing hair loss. 

Clump of Hair

Tips For Managing Stress

Stress indeed affects hair growth, but the effects can be reversed if stress is managed and brought under control. Here are some tips and practices that can help reduce stress and consequently improve the health of your hair.

Pay Attention To Your Emotional Health 

Learn and practice relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, etc. They are effective ways to handle stressful daily activities that can’t be avoided and install habits that will keep you calm and relaxed.

Exercise Consistently 

Exercising is a great way to reduce stress and keep your body healthy. The key here is being consistent with it.

Consistently Eat a Balanced Diet 

You can help support your hair health by eating food high in protein and vitamins. Protein is great for your hair because hair is made of keratin, which is a protein.

Spend Time With Your Loved Ones

Spending time with the people who make you happy is a great way to avoid and manage stress. Try not to isolate yourself as this will only make your stress worse.

Take Great Care When Washing and Styling Your Hair

Make sure to use products that you’re sure are great for your hair as using the wrong products or products with harsh chemicals can stress your hair and scalp and trigger hair loss. The Red Yao Tribe in Southern China is known for its dramatically long and healthy hair. Apart from their special hair care recipes they also live very close to nature, in a relaxed environment free of the stressors present in cities and urban areas. Try as much as possible to reduce your exposure to situations that can cause emotional or physical stress and your hair will thank you for it.

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