The short answer is yes, stress can cause hair loss.
The good news is that while both physical and mental stress can cause hair loss, it will probably be temporary unless you have underlying androgenetic alopecia (AGA) also known as male pattern hair loss. There are other triggers of hair loss such as thyroid insufficiency, but for most men, and some women, patterned hair loss is genetic.
Although stress can contribute to speeding up your hair loss from AGA, hair loss caused surgery, emotional trauma or illness is often temporary, and will regrow when the stress is resolved. Unfortunately, if you are genetically predisposed to permanent hair loss from male pattern baldness or AGA, stress can cause that to happen even sooner.
However, if you have AGA that was accelerated due to stress, you have options.
There are 2 medications that are FDA approved for the treatment of hair loss, meaning they have undergone double blind placebo controlled studies to prove they work. These are topical Minoxidil (known by the brand name Rogaine and available as generic in many hair growth products), and oral Finasteride, brand name Propecia. While both of these medications can work to keep your hair, they are less effective at restoring hair that has been gone for a while. Regrowth of hair that has recently shed can occur, as well as strengthening among weakened hairs which can improve the appearance of density. So these medications can help during times of stress to keep your hair.
Minoxidil is an over the counter medication that is applied topically. It acts, in part, by keeping hair in the growth phase of the hair growth cycle. Keep in mind that it only works while you use it, and should be applied twice daily for men and once daily for women. Not everyone responds to topical minoxidil ad it must be used consistently for at least 3 months to see a decrease in hairloss.
Finasteride is an oral medication that helps block the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and DHT is what triggers hair loss when you have AGA. According to Dr. Sharon Keene, hair restoration surgeon, “When Finasteride works for you, which it does in over 90% of men, it basically places the genetically affected hairs on hold so they are not lost. If you take it for 10 years and decide to stop using it for any reason, hair loss will resume at the same rate it occurred prior to taking it. You won’t suddenly revert to the pattern you would have had, if you had never taken it.”
If you have permanent hair loss that won’t regrow from medication, you still have the option to restore your youthful hair line, or fill in hair anywhere you are experiencing hair loss. That option is hair restoration surgery, or hair transplants. In the hands of an aesthetically skilled and experienced hair restoration surgeon like Dr. Keene, American Board of Surgery Certified, hair restoration surgery can restore your lost hair to areas of baldness with results so natural patients may tell family and friends nature did it! (Nature with a little help from Dr. Keene’s experienced hands) Your own permanent hair is redistributed surgically from the area in the back and sides of your head where it is permanent, and replaced into the areas where you have hair loss in follicular unit grafts containing 1 to 4 hairs—the same groupings as occur in nature.
Dr. Keene advises that “If you had hair loss originally caused by stress that didn’t regrow when the stress was gone, it may be due to genetic hair loss or AGA. Because of medical and surgical advances, you don’t have to let nature take its course!”For more information about the advanced surgical and medical therapy techniques Dr. Keene employs, refer to her website at HairRestore.com.
Dr. Keene, MD, is a member of the executive committee of the International Society of Hair Restoration surgeons, the most respected medical society for hair restoration surgery, and has specialized in and taught hair restoration surgery to her peers for the past 15 years. She is currently the president of Physician’s Hair Institute in Tucson and Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Hair Restoration surgery is more affordable than ever. So what’s stopping you from having the hair you want? To schedule an individualized hair restoration consultation, call 520-290-5555 or 1-800-840-9761.