Advertisement

Can major stress cause hair loss?

Stress can cause sudden hair loss by literally flipping the switch on the hair follicle’s growth stage from an active to a resting phase. Once the follicle enters this resting phase prematurely, it stays there for about three months, after which time a large amount of hair will be shed. Usually by then the person has recovered from the stressful event so she will regain a new head of hair.

Women who go through pregnancy and experience sudden hair loss about three months after childbirth can blame their hormones for that loss. Between 20 and 45 percent of mothers lose hair after giving birth as their estrogen and progesterone levels drop, and hair follicles are thrust into the inactive phase. Luckily, most mothers will regain their head of hair nine to twelve months after the child’s birth (assuming they get a good handle on their stress levels caused by a baby).

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

Continue Learning about Hair Loss

I Shed a Lot—Is That Normal?
I Shed a Lot—Is That Normal?
Some shedding is perfectly normal. In fact, most people lose around 50 to 100 hairs every day. But nobody wants to lose more hair than that, and seein...
Read More
Can hair loss be a sign of illness?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Hair loss isn't just an appearance issue; it can be a sign that something wacky is going on elsewher...
More Answers
Can hair loss happen in kids, too?
Iris Rodriguez-Johnson, MDIris Rodriguez-Johnson, MD
Hair loss or alopecia can happen in children. There are several causes of this condition. It is impo...
More Answers
How Can Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy Help with Hair Loss?
How Can Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy Help with Hair Loss?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.