Yes, stress and hair loss are co-related and sometimes stress play a role of real culprit in making you go bald. However, there is nothing to worry about as it is a temporary hair loss and once you are stress free, you might embrace your hair again.

Why Stress Leads to Hair Loss And How to Control It?

November 29, 2019 by Dr. Sandeep Bhasin

Yes, stress and hair loss are co-related, and sometimes stress plays a role as a real culprit in making you go bald. In today’s article, Dr. Sandeep Bhasin is going to tell you why hair falls due to stress and how to control it. However, there is nothing to worry about as it is a temporary hair loss, and once you are stress-free, you might embrace your hair again. It is thought that people who have a constant fear of losing their hair may become a cause of their hair loss by placing themselves under so much stress that their hair may fall out.

The stress-related mechanism of hair loss is such that in stress, your body stops functioning properly, your mind loses its alertness, your energy level drops, poor blood circulation and pent-up tension over muscle tissues all collectively signalize your scalp to shed out more than normal hair and impede your hair growth as a result of inactivity of the internal system. While stress can cause clumps of hair to fall out, stress sometimes actually plays tricks with the brain to make your hair appear or feel like it’s falling out more than usual.

All the more, many people start to feel stressed out because of their increasing hair loss. In a way, hair loss is their stress trigger, and they experience higher levels of stress because they are so anxious about losing their hair. Thus, stress increases, hair loss triggers, and vice versa.

3 kinds of hair loss that can be associated with high-stress levels are:

  • Alopecia areata: Several factors are assumed to cause alopecia areata, possibly including severe stress. With intense stress, the body’s immune system starts to get weak, attacks the hair follicles, and thus causes hair loss, leading to alopecia areata.
  • Telogen effluvium: In telogen effluvium, a considerable amount of stress and anxiety forces huge numbers of hair follicles into a resting phase. Within a few weeks, affected hair might shed suddenly when simply brushing or shampooing your hair.
  • Trichotillomania: Trichotillomania is the irresistible urge of the person to pull out hair from their head, eyebrows, eyelashes, or other parts of their body. Hair-pulling practice can be a way of handling anxious and negative feelings, such as distress, isolation, anger, tension, mental pressure, boredom, inferiority complex, or frustration.

Stress-associated hair loss does not have to be permanent. If you are successful in keeping your stress under control, your hair might grow back. If stress or anxiety are the real causes of hair loss, it frequently grows back on its own. The major focal point of treatment should be reducing and removing that stress.

How do you stop stress-related hair loss?

  • Scrutinizing and minimizing the emotional, psychological, social, and professional demands that are laid upon you, as well as the expectations you make from others, can help you manage stress.
  • Yoga and meditation are proven ways to cut down on stress, increase blood flow to the scalp region, and boost and rejuvenate hair follicles, thus arresting hair loss and promoting hair growth.
  • Getting a scalp massage or even a full body massage relieves muscle tension, enhances blood flow throughout the body, strengthens muscles, and helps diminish mental and emotional stress.
  • See your doctor. There are varieties of medications available that can trigger hair loss, thereby making stress-associated hair loss even worse.
  • The most common medications to trigger hair loss include blood pressure tablets (beta-blockers) and blood thinners. Other medications that might affect hair conditions include lithium (for bi-polar disorder), anti-inflammatory drugs, methotrexate (for rheumatic conditions), and some non-steroidal. Check with your meds to switch to another medicine or alter the dosage.
  • Avoid staying away from low-calorie diets. Low-calorie diets usually deplete your body of certain healthy fats, vitamins, proteins, and nutrients it requires to function healthily and sustain healthy hair growth.
  • Quick and sudden weight loss (as an outcome of adopting a low-calorie diet) can cause massive physical stress to the body, draining essential nutrients and energy from the body, which may accelerate hair loss.
  • A healthy and nutritional diet is of utmost importance, as it supplies your body with all the fodder it requires to function properly. If you still desire to lose weight, you should move forward with a nutritious and healthier diet chart and also exercise regularly.
  • Aim to shed weight slowly instead of just rushing up using the starvation strategy. An acceptable and safe weight loss goal must be 1-2 pounds a week to avoid hair loss.
  • Have enough protein, as hair is made mostly of protein, so having enough in your diet is good for healthy hair. Lack of protein hampers other body functions that build up stress and obesity over time, thus affecting hair health.
  • Increase intake of B vitamins, as they are not only necessary for healthy hair growth but also reduce the erratic anxiety conditions being built under their deficiency. So if you do not have sufficient of them as part of your diet, your hair becomes the victim. Eat starchy vegetables, lean meat, fish, and non-citrus to cut back on hair loss.
  • Instead of blurting out anger vocally and tensing your brain, maintain a diary to express annoyance or resentment through writing. This will release nervous tension and relieve stress.

People start to suffer from hair loss even at an early age due to many stresses, hampered social life, non-working relationships, finances, work pressure, kids or family management, etc. Because of the fears, you simply see more hair loss where it doesn’t exist. Have a bit of patience, as the hair growth cycle takes time, and it can be some months before you see a significant improvement.

According to a study on hair loss in mice, when loud noises stressed out the mice, it pushed the hair into catagen early. Similarly, “Stress does impact the human hair follicle too, and it is assumed that the same transition occurs in humans as what we see in the mouse.


In conclusion, stress can indeed contribute to hair loss through various mechanisms, like alopecia areata, telogen effluvium, and trichotillomania. Managing stress through techniques like yoga, meditation, and a balanced diet can help mitigate its effects on hair health. Patience and holistic approaches are key in combating stress-related hair loss.


  1. Shapiro J, et al. Evaluation and diagnosis of hair loss. Accessed May 12, 2021.
  2. Do you have hair loss or hair shedding? American Academy of Dermatology Association. Accessed May 12, 2021.
  3. KyungHwa Park K, et al. Skin picking (excoriation) disorder and related disorders. Accessed May 12, 2021.
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Dr. Sandeep Bhasin

Dr. Sandeep Bhasin is a highly skilled cosmetic surgeon and the owner of Care Well Medical Centre in Delhi. With extensive expertise in cosmetic and plastic surgery, he is dedicated to providing exceptional care and transformative results to his patients. Dr. Sandeep Bhasin obtained his MBBS and MS in General Surgery from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and served as a consultant at Bhaktshreshtha Kamalakarpant Laxman Walawalkar Hospital, Diagnostic & Research Centre. Specializing in various procedures such as face-lifts, rhinoplasty, liposuction, breast augmentation, hair transplant and many others, Dr. Sandeep Bhasin is committed to enhancing his patients' natural beauty and self-confidence.

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