Anxiety and hair loss go hand in hand for some people. Anxiety is a form of stress that produces a range of physical symptoms from lack of sleep to palpitations. It also starts to form a vicious circle as the sufferer’s anxiety levels increase as a direct result of losing hair, causing even more hair loss.
There are three main clinically recognised forms of anxiety related hair loss:
1. Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is probably the most common form of hair loss as a result of stress. It’s caused by the body’s immune system turning on itself and attacking healthy hair follicles. It can be triggered by a range of environmental factors, not just stress and the generally results in patchy hair loss although it can end in complete baldness for some people.
Trichotillomania is an impulse-control disorder where a person feels compelled to pull their own hair out. It’s a psychological condition and can be a direct result of being exposed to stress and anxiety. Like other hair loss conditions it can become self-fuelling as the loss of hair becomes a source of great stress in itself.
3. Telogen Effluvium
TE often occurs as a result of sudden great stress. The hair loss usually happens up to three months after the stressful event has affected the individual because the initial response is for the hair to go into a dormant stage and stop growing. The shedding come later, possibly after recovery from the stressful situation.
The last thing someone suffering from stress or anxiety needs is the added burden of sudden or protracted hair loss. If there’s any doubt at all that you’re suffering from anxiety or any of the related conditions above then we’d recommend you make an appointment to see your GP or visit a hair loss clinic to see what can be done to tackle the root cause of the problem