Stress related hair loss is known as telogen effluvium. Major causes of stress related hair loss include emotional disorders, fever, pregnancy termination, childbirth, birth control pills, chronic illnesses, crash diets, surgery and certain drugs.
Physiological and psychological stress interrupts the natural cycle of hair growth. It causes the hair follicles to stop growing and enter into the telogen or resting phase. This premature resting phase lasts for some months and afterwards a significant amount of hair starts shedding leading to hair thinning. There are few things that need to be understood regarding hair fall, thinning hair and stress.
− Thinning hair and stress work in such a manner that hair loss often occurs after the person has recovered from the stressful event.
− Stress related hair thinning and hair loss is mostly temporary and natural growth starts again.
− Thinning hair and stress can sometimes lead to a situation where hair loss may continue in some cases until the underlying cause is removed.
− Women are more prone to experience telogen effluvium as the most common precipitating cause of thinning hair and stress is related to pregnancy.
Hair thinning and loss after childbirth or termination of pregnancy is due to the disturbance in the levels of estrogen and progesterone, which disrupts natural hair growth. In both cases, the initial increase in levels of these hormones causes extra hair growth and afterwards hair start shedding due to the consequent decrease in hormonal levels.
Similarly, birth control pills too disturb the natural hair growth process and cause telogen effluvium. Some birth control pills contain male hormones and the introduction of androgens in the body may lead to hair thinning similar to androgenetic alopecia or male-pattern baldness. On discontinuation of birth control pills, there is a drop in hormone levels and hair loss occurs in the same manner as in after childbirth.
Thinning hair and stress can work in various ways. Stress emanating from surgery can also cause hair thinning in some people. Drugs used for blood thinning, treating gout, lowering cholesterol levels and chemotherapeutic drugs have side effects that include hair thinning and hair loss. Among illnesses, the most common causes of telogen effluvium include thyroid disorders, diabetes, anemia and emotional disorders.
In most cases telogen effluvium is temporary. While emotional stress caused by life events can be avoided by attaining a positive frame of mind, hair loss due to physiological stress and illnesses may be difficult to avoid at times. The better course is to care for your hair. It is also a known fact that the earlier you begin caring for your hair naturally, the better it is. In this regard, natural therapies can lend a helping hand to ensure the health of hair follicles to sustain natural hair growth.
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