Hair Loss

Stress and Hair Loss: What you Need to Know


As we deal with the reality of a global pandemic, our way of life has shifted dramatically while we #StayHome to curb the spread of COVID-19. With such a drastic change of the American lifestyle, stress levels are at an all-time high. Whether it’s dealing with the compromised health of a loved one, home-schooling kids while working from home, financial struggles, or continuing to work on the frontlines of the crisis, nearly everyone is dealing with stress in some way, shape or form.

The disruption of our routines and the uncertainty of what’s to come is undoubtedly stressful, and for some, spiked stress levels can disrupt the hair’s natural growth cycle, which may lead to excessive shedding and hair loss.

“Stress causes a rise in the hormone cortisol that our hair follicles recognize, which can signal the follicle to transition into the resting phase of the hair growth cycle,” says Dr. Angela Phipps, D.O., A.B.H.R.S and Medical Advisor to HairClub. “Stress changes the internal homeostatic hormonal balance in the body and the delicate hair follicle cells recognize this hormonal shift and respond by signaling the hair to stop growing and shed. It's a built-in protective mechanism that the hair follicle will activate because it feels it needs to protect itself from the altered hormone balance that it perceives as a harmful environment.”

Temporary hair loss may be the cause of a condition known as Telogen Effuvium (TE), which occurs when significant stress or a shock to the body pushes large numbers of hair follicles into the resting phase of growth. Within a few months of the stressful or shocking event, the impacted hairs may fall out suddenly when simply combing or washing your hair.

This means you may not realize the effect that stress is currently having on your hair health until months later, when the damage is already done. That’s why now more than ever, it’s important to listen to your body and actively pursue ways to combat stress and build healthy hair.

“If people are experiencing a significant amount of stress, HairClub's Low-Level Laser* Light Therapy (LLLT) and EXT® program can work to stimulate the hair follicle cells,” Dr. Phipps explains.

According to Dr. Phipps, nutrition is key in stressful times: “When people are stressed it usually affects other areas of life - especially nutrition. Poor nutrition will only negatively impact the hair growth cycle which will in turn result in slower growth and possibly more shedding.”

According to Dr. Phipps, a hair-healthy diet is also important. Foods like spinach, sweet potatoes, Greek yogurt, salmon, poultry, eggs, and cinnamon are nutritious and vitamin-rich foods that can contribute to building strong hair and combatting hair loss due to stress. You should also care for your hair with sulfate and paraben-free cleansers and conditioners while you are waiting for your locks to recover.

While the world navigates the COVID-19 pandemic and the stresses that come with it, Dr. Phipps recommends healthy lifestyle practices to help prevent or offset any negative effects such as hair loss.

“It is especially important to try and get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Try to find at least a small amount of time for relaxation with meditation, prayer, exercise, or yoga to calm the mind and de-stress the body,” Dr. Phipps adds.

To learn about your hair health, you can also schedule a free, live consultation and meet face-to-face with a hair health expert from the comfort and safety of your own home. No matter the cause of your hair loss, HairClub has proven solutions that can help.

*Laser Devices are indicated to treat androgenetic alopecia and promote hair growth in males who have Fitzpatrick Skin Types I to IV and Norwood Hamilton classifications of IIa to V and in females who have Fitzpatrick Skin Types I to IV and Ludwig (Savin) I-4, II-1, II-2 classifications, or frontal patterns of hair loss. The Laser Devices offered by Hair Club are FDA-cleared for men and women and cleared for distribution by Health Canada.

For informational purposes only. The information presented herein is general in nature and is not intended to substitute the advice of a physician or other health care professional.