Does stress cause hair loss?
The physical effects of stress can be very severe and we now know that stress is a major contributing factor to male hair loss. High levels of stress can both cause hair loss and speed up the rate at which you lose it but, unlike male pattern hair loss, hair loss due to stress is temporary and will often reverse itself once the period of stress has passed. Telogen effluvium is the medical name for a sudden and dramatic loss of hair that can be caused by severe stress or emotional distress.
Physiologically speaking, stress will cause your adrenal glands to overproduce the hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol will lead to an excess testosterone and adrenaline in men, a decrease in bone density, and hair loss. More testosterone means more DHT, which we know to be the main cause of hair loss and lack of regrowth.
It’s important to be aware of your stress-levels and not to overexert yourself if you can help it. Stress can be helped by using mindfulness techniques or meditation, eating healthily and exercising regularly. If you are experiencing high levels of stress, speak to your GP to find out about talking treatments and counselling services like group therapy or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which should be available locally on the NHS.