Stress and Hair Loss: Experts Explain Exactly How Stress Can Affect Your Hair and Scalp
18th February 2021
Stress and the coronavirus pandemic have basically go hand and hand. We’re all trying to navigate working from home, staying safe and missing our loved ones. Then you have homeschooling, worrying about finances, weathering a heavy news cycle, and being unable to plan. If you’ve noticed that your hair is thinning and shedding more than normal, it’s because stress is the second biggest cause of hair loss.
“Trauma- or stress-induced hair loss is known as telogen effluvium. The changes in the hormone levels in the body sends the growth cycle into shock and forces the hair to go into a resting phase, so the hairs lie dormant before eventually falling out,” said Dr Bessam Farjo, hair loss expert and hair restoration surgeon based in London. Hair growth has four phases: anagen (active growth), catagen (transition), telogen (resting), and exogen (shedding). Telogen effluvium is part of the resting phase, and affects a large number of hair follicles all at the same time. In some cases, as many as 70 percent of hairs on the scalp. So it’s more noticeable when it falls out,” Dr Farjo said.The average person loses between 50 and 100 hairs a day. “This may sound like a lot, but when you consider that the majority of us have between 90,000 and 150,000 hairs on our head, it’s a negligible amount,” Dr Farjo said. In telogen effluvium, you can lose an average of 300 per day. However, due to the duration of the hair growth cycle, there is a delay between stressful events and your hair falling out, so Dr Farjo said don’t expect to have clumps of hair on your pillow after a traumatic day.