Losing 40 to 80 hairs per day is entirely normal. Indeed, this loss is related to the natural progression of hair cycles, from growth to shedding. However, when we start losing more than 100 hairs per day, it is considered alopecia, a term given to abnormal hair loss. If this hair loss occurs suddenly and dramatically, it is called reactive hair loss: the hair falls out rapidly across the entire scalp. This leads us to wonder: what is the connection between hair loss and stress?
What is reactive hair loss?
Also known as telogen effluvium, reactive hair loss is the most common form of hair loss in women. It is described as a disruption of the hair cycle that lasts several months (generally two to four months) and results in abundant and non-localized hair loss. When analyzing the occurrence of hair loss and the personal context surrounding it, a delay of two to three months is observed after the triggering event.
In addition to intense stress, other factors should be considered in telogen effluvium alopecia:
- Childbirth, miscarriage, or abortion,
- Discontinuation of estrogen-based contraceptive pills,
- Surgical intervention requiring general anaesthesia,
- Major infectious diseases,
- Violent emotional shock, such as the death of a loved one,
- Drastic diet leading to significant deficiencies in vitamins or nutrients.
Generally, hair loss naturally decreases after a few weeks or months, and hair growth then resumes its normal course.
What is the relationship between stress and hair loss?
The relationship between hair loss and stress is very complex and multifactorial. For example, it is necessary to rule out a possible malfunction of the adrenal glands on a metabolic level, which are responsible for regulating blood sugar, heart rate, and stress management. It is easy to understand that when they malfunction, they can cause several problems, including hair loss.
When stressed, the adrenal glands release hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Elevated cortisol levels can disrupt the hair growth cycle, eventually leading to excessive hair loss. Chronic stress can also weaken the immune system, contributing to scalp problems and disrupting the natural hair growth cycle. Finally, stress can also affect our eating habits and digestion, sometimes causing a deficiency in essential nutrients for the health of our hair.
All these disturbances at the organism level are very different. However, they have in common the impact they induce at the cellular level and the effects they produce on the scalp and hair follicles. During this hair loss, the hair suddenly and prematurely enters the shedding phase before completing its growth phase.
What solutions are there for reactive hair loss?
This acute hair loss can be impressive and a significant source of concern for people witnessing their hair fall out in mass. Moreover, the psychological impact of hair loss can lead to an immense loss of self-confidence. However, it is essential to avoid entering a vicious circle where stress causes hair loss, which in turn causes stress. Here are our tips for getting through this period in the best possible way:
- Nutritional rebalancing: Nutritional rebalancing is important in the case of hair loss because hair is composed of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. A balanced diet will provide all the essential nutrients for promoting healthy hair growth. Even though dietary supplements can help, it is always better to obtain them directly from the plate.
- Microneedling: Micro-perforations are made at different levels of the scalp. These micro-perforations stimulate blood circulation in the hair dermis and accelerate hair regrowth from the second month. See the article: Hairneedling, The New Secret for Hair Growth
- Wearing a Malka London Crown: Since reactive hair loss is a short-lived phenomenon, lasting two to four months, undergoing expensive surgery is unnecessary. With the Malka London Crown, you can elegantly cover your bald patches. Its satin-lined bonnet does not affect the scalp or thin and fragile hair affected by hormonal shedding. Moreover, no more scattered hair everywhere; it will remain in your cap, which you can wear both day and night. Result: a renewed self-confidence and self-esteem, alopecia doesn't have to hold you back any longer.