If stress caused hair loss, then we would all be bald!
I have received many questions over the years about whether emotional stress causes hair loss. Many people, including physicians, attribute stress as a common cause of losing hair. Very often, stress is blamed by many medical professionals for hair thinning because they often do not dive deeply enough into the patient’s family history as the most common cause of thinning hair, which is genetic hair loss or androgenetic alopecia.
I often tell patients that, in the society in which we all live with a great deal of stress on all of us, if it caused hair loss, then we all would be bald!
Hair loss due to a surgical procedure, general anesthesia, childbirth, or even a high fever is not uncommon. However, it is a temporary shedding due to physiologic stress. This condition is called telogen effluvium and it is a short-term problem in most cases. It typically resolves on its own anywhere from 4 to 8 months after the “insult” occurred.
There are situations after severe emotional stress such as a tragic death of a family member or of close friend, a work disaster, a horrific divorce, etc. that will precipitate an episode of shedding. However, this is a great minority of all hair loss causes. If it does occur, it, too, is usually a temporary situation.
The treatment of this type of hair loss is the tincture of time—again, over about 4 to 8 months. Sometimes, people with this do not want to wait for all this time to provide positive results. For these individuals, the use of the CapillusRx laser device and/or Rogaine Foam will help to make things better sooner.
Dr. Robert Leonard – Founder of Leonard Hair Transplant Associates