-By Hair Team Manager Katlyn Richardson, RN
There are many causes linked to hair loss in men and women, some of which are reversible and able to be repaired, allowing the return of healthier hair growth and sustainability. One reversible cause of hair loss in particular is stress. This condition is also known as Telogen Effluvium. With this condition, you may start to see an increase in shedding of the hair 3 months after a stressful event. Stressful events on the body may include, but are not limited to:
- Emotional Stress
- Significant weight loss
- Inadequate sleep
- Inadequate dietary intake
When you begin to notice stress-induced hair loss, it is important to identify what the cause may be. Once you identify the root cause, you can work towards a solution.
Solutions to Stress-Induced Hair Loss
Possible solutions may include:
- Eating a healthy diet – the best way to do this is to track the foods you eat on a regular basis to determine what you may be lacking. To prevent further hair loss, it is important to focus on whole food and a well-balanced diet (fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein).
- Over the counter supplements – stress-induced hair loss can be caused by nutritional deficiencies. A health care provider can assist with blood work to see if you are lacking any of these nutrients (Ferritin, Vitamin D, Zinc, Vitamin B12), and can recommend the addition of supplements into your daily routine if necessary.
- Managing your stress – learning to manage the stress that you are currently experiencing is not only beneficial in the short-term, but can also help you cope with stressful situations that may arise in the future. There are many ways you can practice stress management at home, including:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Reading for enjoyment
- Spending time outdoors
- Less screen time
- Consistent sleep routines
- Counseling or therapy
For most individuals, the effects of stress-induced hair loss can be temporary and reversible. The sooner you can identify the cause, the sooner you can work toward a solution. While working toward managing your stress, it is important to keep in mind that it can take 1-3 months for the shedding to stop and up to a year for any hair that was lost to fully regrow after the stressor is adequately managed.