Can Stress Make Your Hair Fall Out?

Can stress make your hair fall out? The answer, unfortunately, is yes. Stress has a deep and far-reaching impact on your health. There are many signs of too much stress, and your hair falling out is just one of those signs.

Hair Loss

Let’s take a look at how stress can impact hair loss, including some different types of hair loss.

Basic Stress and Hair Loss

Everyone loses a little bit of hair every day. In fact, it’s not uncommon to lose up to 100 strands a day, especially if you have a lot of hair. When you’re under stress – and we’re talking about stress related to a life change like a move, the loss of a job, a divorce or an illness – then you can lose more hair. It’s a normal and natural response to stress. In fact, there’s a name for it. It’s called telogen effluvium.

Your body undergoes some essential fight or flight changes during stress. This means that it shuts down some systems and focuses on supporting your survival. If you’re being chased by a bear, this makes sense. If you’re dealing with the stress of a new job, not so much. But that’s how it works. So you can imagine that supporting healthy hair isn’t really all that important if you’re being chased by a bear.

The good news is that by reducing your stress, you can change the hair-loss pattern. But this is only one way that stress can cause your hair to fall out. There are some other, more significant, results as well. Here are a couple of them:

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is a common form of hair loss. It’s an immune response where your body actually attacks your hair follicles. It can be triggered by stress. The symptoms of alopecia areata are different than basic increased hair loss from stress. You’ll experience a sudden loss of hair and it often falls out in clumps. Go to the physician if you experience this. There are remedies.

Alopecia Areata


This is a nervous condition that can be caused by stress and anxiety. People that suffer from this condition actually pull out their hair without realizing it. You’ll notice small bald patches on their scalp. It can also spread to eyelashes, eyebrows and other areas where there is hair on the body. It’s an impulse disorder and can be treated by a therapist.


As you can see, there are several ways that stress can impact your hair and hair loss. Even everyday stress can change the texture of your hair. Integrate stress reduction techniques into your daily self-care routine and pay attention to your hair. If you notice that you’re losing more than normal, consider a visit to the doctor. You may be able to reverse the hair loss.

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    • Helen
    • March 15, 2017

    I lost a lot of hair from going on a very low callorie diet. 500 calories a day.

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