Finding clumps of hair in our hands after brushing isn’t normal, nor should it be treated like it is. Based on our hair growth cycles, hair loss normally happens three months after a stressful event, and also causes the scalp to flare up if you’re prone to getting dandruff or any head condition.
Trichologist at Philip Kingsley, Anabel Kingsley, knows first-hand what it’s like to experience hair loss as a result of stress after losing her father, the world-renowned trichologist Philip Kingsley in late 2016.
She says, “Severe stress like a bereavement, breakup or divorce has a snowball effect, it changes hormones in the body and they can have a huge impact on the hair growth cycle.
“Adrenaline is released and this can be converted to testosterone, which shortens the hair growth cycle causing hair to enter the shedding phase too soon. Because hair isn’t essential tissue it can be the first thing the body sends into resting.
“There are different theories but it could be because the body is preparing to live under difficult circumstances for a while so it shuts energy production to tissue you don’t need. Stress for some people also means they eat less and absorb less nutrients. Hair cells are very hungry but they get last priority over what you eat, thus shortening their growth cycle.”
Advice for dealing with stress and your hair
- Tools such as hair straighteners further weaken the hair, so limit how much you use them.
- Twiddling hair in times of stress can sometimes mean pulling hair off the head so try a stress ball or worry beads.
- If you’re vitamin D or iron-deficient, a good supplement can help provide nutrients lost by a lack of food.