Mental health and hair loss

Hair loss is something that can affect everyone at some point in their life, there are a number of different causes and factors in hair loss. Something that is often overlooked is your health, in particular, your mental health. Today the Harley Street Hair Clinic are looking into mental health and letting you know how exactly it can impact your hair loss.

What causes hair loss?

There are a number of different causes and factors in hair loss and the reason behind your hair loss could be completely different to someone else. Hair loss is a complex subject and because of this, it can become quite difficult to find out the cause of your hair loss. It is important to visit a GP or a hair loss specialist to diagnose the cause of your hair loss.

Hair loss can happen due to many different reasons including, hormones, age, genes and even your mental health.

Can your mental health cause hair loss?

Although there are a few main factors when it comes to hair loss, there are certain aspects of your life that can have an impact on your hair. Just as some lifestyle factors such as your diet, if you’re a smoker and exercise, can lead to hair loss different aspects of your mental health can too.

Stress and hair loss

Something many people would have heard about is stress causing hair loss, and it’s true both mental and physical stress to the body can over time cause hair loss. The good news is, stress related hair loss is not permanent.

If the body is put through stress the growth phase of the hair growth cycle can stop and this can push the hair follicles into the resting phase. The prolonged resting phase can stop the hair growth phase and the hair follicles can then lie dormant for around three months before shedding. This means you could experience a lot of hair shedding a few months after a stressful event. One the stress stops; the hair growth cycle will return to normal and hair loss will stop.

Stress is an effect of many different mental illnesses including depression, anxiety and sleep disorders.

Depression and hair loss

Depression is one of the most recognised mental health problems worldwide, with 3 people per 100 in the UK alone suffering from depression. One thing most people do not realise is that depression can have an impact on your hair and can cause hair loss.

Those suffering from depression can notice that hair becomes dry, brittle and is prone to damage. The physiological states of depression such as low mood, discouragement and feeling drained can all be factors in reducing the hair growth phase. However, it is also important to note that some anti-depressants including Prozac can have side effects causing hair loss. You can visit your GP if you feel that your medication is causing hair loss as other medications may work better for you.

Anxiety and hair loss

In the UK, the number of people with anxiety is at an all-time high, with 5.9 people per 100 suffering, making it the most common mental health issue in the UK. Hair loss related to anxiety can happen, however, it is very rare and in most cases only occurs for those with severe anxiety.

Although anxiety and stress are two different conditions, they overlap and the key issue with anxiety and hair loss is stress. Anxiety is a persistent stress which can affect your hair growth cycle and over time cause hair loss.

Anxiety can also cause trichotillomania, a habitual condition that causes a person to pull hair out without even realising when feeling anxious. This can over time lead to large quantities of hair being pulled out and can result in hair loss.

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Mental health and hair loss

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