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How to tell if the wear-and-tear on your hair is due to stress

by , 15 January 2018
How to tell if the wear-and-tear on your hair is due to stress
Has your hair been falling out faster than usual lately? How about looking a little lacklustre? If you answered, ‘yes!' and ‘yes!' we hate to break it to you, but these are probably signs that you're under too much stress.

When your stress levels get really high, it can cause all types of unexpected physical symptoms, including damage to your hair. Keep reading to learn about three common effects that very high stress levels can have on your locks.

Three effects that stress can have on your hair

#1: Your hair is falling out extremely fast
Telogen effluvium is the medical term for a reversible condition in which hair falls out after a stressful experience, such as a bout of the flu, giving birth or switching jobs. Because everyone goes through the occasional shedding stage, it can be tricky to know when you’re losing too much air. If you feeling like you’re shedding twice as much as usual for two weeks or longer, stress might be the culprit, says Lindsey Bordone, MD, a dermatologist at ColumbiaDoctors in the United States.

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#2: Your hair is taking forever to grow
It’s a well-known fact that stress can lead to emotional eating – think tucking into large pizza or a tub of ice-cream after a rough day. What you might not know is that ongoing emotional eating can drastically slow down your hair growth. Dr Bordone explains: “Poor nutrition causes your body to go into survival mode, which leads to energy being shifted away from hair growth.”
 
#3: You’re literally pulling your hair out
Lastly, stress and anxiety can cause trichotillomania, a disorder that causes you to pull out your own hair. While it’s a relatively rare condition that only affects around 1% of people, if you suspect you might have it, Dr Bordone recommends scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist or psychiatrist as soon as possible.
 
Did any of these effects that stress can have on your hair surprise you?

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