You might think that hair loss being a sign of stress is a bit of an old wives’ tale, like if you swallow chewing gum it will stay in your stomach for seven years, but actually, it’s totally true (about the stress, not the gum). In fact, hair loss in women is one of the common symptoms of stress.
You know that feeling when you’ve just had to pay a big unexpected bill, or you’ve just bought a new house/car/expensive something-or-other and you need to reduce your luxury spending for a little while? Maybe you go to the movies less frequently or stop going altogether for a bit… Well your body feels the same about hair. It’s a bit of a luxury so if there is any strain on resources, it will drop off the priority list. Stress can be one of those drains.
Big life events like the loss of a loved one, a divorce, money problems and work pressure can all cause an amount of stress significant enough to cause hair loss. Your body does zillions of things every day to keep you alive and functioning and when you get stressed, it needs to divert resources from non-essential functions and send them over to your work problem/divorce/whatever has got your worried to make sure you survive your rough time. Like taking that money that you would’ve spent at the movies and paying your rent with it.
Unlike the diversion of movie funds towards your rent, the effects of stress on your hair won’t actually become apparent until around three months after your stressful period due to your hair’s growth cycles. Annoyingly, this means that by the time you’re dealing with hair loss as a result of stress, you’re probably no longer stressed about whether your important presentation will be enough to save you from the next round of retrenchments.
Stress does not cause hair loss in everyone. Nor will it always cause hair loss in those who are susceptible to stress induced hair loss. You may go through a tough budget period and decide you’ll still go to the movies, but you won’t order take away for a while. You may get stressed and get headaches but keep your hair. It’s all a bit unpredictable. The one predictable thing is, however, that stress is no good for your body and making time in your life to keep yourself zen as much as you can is of massive, long-term benefit for both your well-being and your hair.