Recently in September, a story emerged in the The Sun newspaper, about a twenty-two year old woman who claimed her stressful and toxic relationship had made her hair fall out. Although surprising and difficult to believe, stress and anxiety actually can lead to weakened hair follicles resulting in hair loss and reduced hair growth.
Alopecia, which is the medical term for hair loss, can be caused by a number of factors. However when hair loss is stress induced, the mechanisms for alopecia can be further classified into the following three conditions;
1. Telogen effluvium – the most common reason for hair fall
Stress hormones will signal to an abnormally high number of hair follicles to enter resting phase. This means that hair growth will stop, and eventually after several months, the hairs which are attached to the affected follicles will suddenly start to fall out. Telogen effluvium is the most common reason for stress related hair fall.
2. Alopecia areata
This is an autoimmune skin disease; it leads to the body’s immune system attacking the hair follicles which in turn can cause clumps of hair loss on the scalp, face and even on other parts of the body where hair exists. Although other factors can contribute to this condition, severe stress is suspected to play a role.
This condition can be described as an impulse control disorder, which represents a mental health disorder in the patient. Trichotillomania is when the patient feels compelled to pull their own hair from any part of their body; this includes hair on the scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes and other body hair. Patients will generally develop this condition as a means to develop with stress, anxiety and other negative emotions.
Regardless of which mechanism has caused the hair fall, alopecia is a condition which can lead to both men and women alike to feel self-conscious about their appearance.
Although some treatments are available, none of them offer immediate or guaranteed results.
Scalp micropigmentation involves medical tattooing on the scalp to give the appearance of real hair follicles or strands are an ideal solution for those who suffer from temporary hair loss.
The treatment will not damage hair follicles either, meaning that any future hair regrowth will not be affected. Usually, scalp micro-pigmentation treatments will be straightforward, painless and completed within one to two sessions.