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How can stress affect my hair?

Stress has a profound effect on hair. A traumatic emotional or physical event can screw up your hair’s growth cycle, which means that about three months after the major stress, you might pull out clumps of hair while brushing or washing. Most people grow the hair back once the trauma has passed, but it can take months. Stress can also cause hair to turn gray. The tendency to go gray is mostly genetic, but if you have chronic stress in your life, it sure isn't helping.

Hormonal changes from acute stress can cause hair follicles to go into a period of shedding called telogen effluvium. This type of shedding is a normal process and often follows acute events such as delivering a baby, when hormones are changing. An acute stressful event can also trigger this change.

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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.