Could stress be the cause of your bald patch?

General Hair Loss, Specific Conditions

StressA recent study has confirmed that lifestyle stress is linked to premature male hair loss. The delicate nature of cells and how they are affected by external stimuli seems to be at the heart of various research studies. Increasingly, male pattern baldness has been associated with something known as ‘oxidative stress’, particularly in young men.

Oxidative stress is when physiological or psychological stress is caused by physical, mental, emotional, internal or external stimuli which can disturb the functioning of the organism. The human body is under constant oxidative stress and many blame unhealthy lifestyle and environmental issues such as smoking, alcohol consumption and bad diets.

Recent Research Findings

At least two studies have investigated the link of oxidative stress and premature male hair loss in depth. One study looked at dermal papilla cells, which are located inside hair follicles. the cells were taken from both men who were genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness, and those who weren’t; the cells were then expressed in-vitro. The dermal papilla cells from men who were predisposed to male pattern baldness, appeared to be more sensitive to environmental stress than those who weren’t and aged faster.

Further examination found that dermal papilla cells from the lower half of the scalp were unaffected. Male pattern baldness only causes thinning and loss of hair around the upper half of the scalp, the dermal papilla cells here secrete higher levels of negative hair growth factor beta 1 and 2 in response to H202, but not in response to cell culture associated oxidative stress. These findings all suggest that oxidative stress could play a role in the pathogenesis of male pattern baldness, in both cell aging and also in the secretion of hair follicle inhibitory factors.

More oxidative stress in men with genetic hair loss

This study was later followed by further research which found that men, who have a family history of genetic hair loss, displayed an increase in levels of oxidative stress.

Although stress is a proven factor for hair loss, it is not the only reason for losing your hair. If you are suffering from hair excessive hair fall, or in doubt, see a hair loss specialist for a professional diagnosis and to develop an appropriate treatment plan.


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