Anxiety is the body’s reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar situations. Though everyone feels anxious occasionally, those who suffer from anxiety disorders suffer such distress that it interferes with their ability to lead a normal life.
The effects of anxiety are both mental and physical. Some of the physical symptoms can include sweating, headaches, nausea, trembling, and rashes. Anxiety and hair loss is one physical side effect that is not so commonly mentioned. Most people don’t think anxiety affects the hair because it doesn’t affect everyone. However, anxiety can have an effect on your hair and when it does, it can be very distressing for those dealing with sudden hair loss.
How Stress and Anxiety are Linked to Hair Loss
Hair loss itself is not directly caused by anxiety, but rather the stress brought on by everyday difficulties for those suffering from anxiety. Anxiety and stress are similar conditions, but anxiety itself can be a lifelong struggle. Studies have shown that stress and anxiety-induced stress can contribute to specific hair loss conditions.
Alopecia Areata. Large clumps of hair may suddenly fall out for no apparent reason, causing patches of hair loss. Some people may experience hair loss in other parts of the body. Although the hair will grow back, continued anxiety and stress can cause the hair loss to continue leading to different patches of hair and baldness.
Telogen Effluvium (TE). This is the second most common form of hair loss. In essence, it occurs when there is a change in the number of hair follicles growing hair. The number of hair follicles producing hair will drop, which means an increase in dormant hair follicles, with the end result being hair loss. TE can appear as thinning hair with the hair on the top of the scalp thinning more than the sides or back of the scalp.
Another reason anxiety and stress may cause hair loss is due to the reduction of key nutrients required for hair growth. Stress and anxiety can increase muscle tension, skin sebum production, and an increase in hormones processed in the body. As the body works to combat these issues, the supplies needed for hair growth can be diminished. Sebum can also clog the pores in the scalp, thus hindering hair growth.
Anxiety Relating to Hair Loss
Unfortunately, anxiety hair loss can cause even more stress and anxiety. Though there is no direct link to hair loss and depression, some individuals suffering from hair loss may begin to feel symptoms of depression as the physical symptoms of their anxiety and stress become pronounced.
How to Fight Back
First and foremost, take active steps to reduce your anxiety levels. If you are not currently undergoing anxiety treatment, the professionals at Destination Hope can help you understand the root of your anxiety and provide treatment options so you can live a healthy life.
With your anxiety and stress reduced after receiving treatment, your hair may begin to grow back on its own. A healthy diet and exercise can help also provide the nutrients needed for hair growth. Hair growth is a long process and your hair may not come back for months, so it’s important to be patient and continue working on monitoring your anxiety.