Does Stress Cause Hair Loss and Weight Gain?

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Stress is not only about emotional problem because it may cause some physical problems, too. Does it also cause hair loss and weight gain? The answer may vary. But in general, ‘yes’ there is a chance for this mental problem to cause these symptoms.

The link between stress and hair loss

Did you know that most of people can shed about 50 -100 of hairs per day – and this is perfectly normal, according to to the American Academy of Dermatology?! Thankfully, losing this amount is not noticeable if compared to the total amount of hairs on your scalp, about 100,000 hairs or probably more.

But a number of factors can increase the number of your hair loss, making the problem more noticeable. Age is one of common risk factors. In general, your risk of hair loss increases with age.

How about the role of stress? Is there a link between the two conditions?

Yap… stress can affect your hair life cycle, provoking hair loss. Telogen effluvium, a common hair loss problem, is often associated with stress.

Fortunately, telogen effluvium is usually mild and will improve with lifestyle measures. Once the cause of the problem was fixed, your hair will grow back normally. The improvement is likely to appear in the next 4-7 months.

Another type of hair loss triggered by stress is alopecia areata. If compared with telogen effluvium, it may be more severe condition. But it’s also treatable, depending on what causes the problem!

Stress is likely to cause hair loss if you have also have the following factors and conditions:

  1. If you’re on certain medications, such as some medications for hypertension, depression, heart problems, arthritis, and cancer.
  2. Certain health conditions that affect the strength of hair such as scalp infection, alopecia areta, or problems of thyroid. Lupus and lichen planus may also factor into hair loss.
  3. Having a family history of hair loss problem, which could be one of the most significant risk factors.
  4. Hormonal changes. For instance, post pregnancy hair loss.
  5. A physical shock such as a high fever or a sudden weight change.

The way of how you maintain the health of your hair would also play a role. If you have a bad habit of pulling your hair or combing your hair improperly, your risk to have hair loss increases.

Does stress cause weight gain?

During stressful period, you are likely to lose control on what you eat. Sometimes you may also experience appetite loss or — vice versa, elevated cravings. With this scenario, your stress can cause weight gain.

Your stress management plays a key role. The following are some helpful ideas to cope with stress and weight gain:

  1. First, get to know early signs of your stress and its trigger factors so thus you can prepare yourself to deal with it.
  2. Always remember to control your cravings, including when your stress flares up.
  3. If the urge of eating something when you are not hungry or beyond of your regular meals ‘breakfast, lunch, and dinner’, find a distraction to cope the problem!
  4. Eat your meals regularly, never skin your breakfast! Skipping breakfast can put you at greater chance of eating a very large meal at lunch. Moreover, this is also bad for your insulin sensitivity (insulin is crucial hormone to help maintain your blood sugar).
  5. If necessary, write down your eating habits so thus you can analyze the patterns!
  6. Consider some therapies (if possible) to help control your stress and appetite. These may include cognitive behavioral therapy, massage, meditation, or yoga!
  7. Keep moving – get plenty of physical activities most of weeks with regular exercises! See also the correlation between exercise and stress on this section!
  8. Build a good relationship with others!
  9. And maintain your sleep cycle. Lack of sleep is a nightmare for your stress and weight control.

If these home remedies are not enough to improve your weight gain problem, consider seeing a doctor or having a psychotherapy session (talk therapy) for more guidance.

  1. Becky Harralson
    June 7, 2013 | Reply
  2. Sam Price
    April 8, 2020 | Reply
    • Endi Prayi, B.S
      May 21, 2020 | Reply

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