Is Stress at the Root of Your Hair Loss?

Is Stress at the Root of Your Hair Loss?
Photo by CC user bykst on Pixabay

There are lots of reasons why people start to notice their hair thinning, or bald patches appearing. The most common cause of hair loss is male pattern baldness, and to a lesser extent female pattern baldness. These are both typified by uniform hair loss in certain areas or a receding hairline, and are usually hereditary. Hair thinning or loss that doesn’t fit that kind of profile can be caused by a number of health factors, including hormonal changes (especially in pregnant women), skin conditions, medication, and vitamin deficiencies.

However, one common cause that many people are not aware of, is stress. Here, we look at stress and trauma and their connection toss, and other ways stress can leave you with thinner hair.

Trauma and Hair Loss

When stress comes in the form of one major event that causes intense emotional or physical stress, hair loss can be one of the results. If you are in an accident or undergo surgery, or have a serious illness, the strain on your body may cause hair to fall out as a result of physical stress. Equally, if you undergo intense emotional stress due to an event, such as the loss of a loved one, losing a job, or ending a relationship, you may see similar effects. This is completely normal, and as you begin to recover, you will find your hair does too. You can use a thinning hair solution to help it on its way to returning to its normal thickness, but really all you need in this situation is time to cure the problem.

Long Term Stress and Hair Loss

If, rather than a one off event, your stress is more a long term thing, because your lifestyle is very demanding or you have a stressful job, you may also experience hair loss. However, in this instance, it is not so easy to resolve, because to stop it you are going to need to change either the circumstances that are causing you stress, or how you cope with the stress in your life. Hair products can help, but it is likely that hair loss will not be the only effect a lot of long term stress is having on your body, so it is important to talk to someone like a doctor or counselor, and look for ways to address the underlying problem.


As well as stress sometimes causing hair to drop out, there is also a psychological disorder called tricholotomania that causes people to compulsively pull out hair – often when anxious or stressed. If you have this compulsion or habit, it is important to see a psychiatrist about it, who will help you get to the bottom of why you developed it, and help you stop doing it.

Stress can have a lot of profound effects on our minds and bodies, and hair is one highly visible way it can show itself. As well as addressing your hair loss, you should also consider it a warning sign that you need to do something about the stress you are experiencing.