holiday stressWe all tend to ditch the diet in favor of rich holiday desserts and lavish dinners this time of year. That, combined with holiday stress, can create the perfect environment for your hair to thin or even fall out. If you start seeing more hair than usual on the shower floor or in your hair brush during the busy holiday months, it isn’t necessarily time to panic. It’s possible you’re just suffering from a temporary bout of hair loss brought on by one of the following stress-induced hair conditions.

Telogen effluvium

This is just the medical name for what happens when a large amount of stress forces your hair follicles into a sort of hibernation. Basically, they stop growing new hair. You naturally lose a little bit of hair every day, but your hair follicles work continuously to replenish what’s been pushed out. If they’re dormant and not producing more, you’ll see thinner hair and possibly even bald spots.

This type of shedding typically occurs on the top of the scalp rather than the sides or back. The good news is that the resulting hair loss is not absolutely permanent; it’s likely that the hair follicles will return from their own unexpected holiday vacation shortly after you get your stress under control.

Trichotillomania

This is a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder that manifests in the uncontrollable urge to pull hair from your scalp. Some people with the condition instead (or also) pull hair from their eyebrows, arms or other areas of the body. The condition is often brought on by stress and is used as a coping mechanism, but it can also occur due to feelings of depression, anxiety, boredom, or — you guessed it — stress.

Alopecia areata

In this condition, the body’s immune system is out of balance and targets its own hair follicles, which in turn causes hair loss. No one knows for sure what exactly causes this condition, and there are a variety of likely suspects. One of the big ones is severe stress. While this is unlikely to come about due to the usual holiday hustle and bustle, if you already have too much on your plate, the additional stress of the season could push an already weakened or irregular immune system into panic mode.

Regardless of what’s causing your hair loss, it’s important to see a hair loss specialist if you notice any sudden and significant changes in how much hair you’re losing, as this can be more than holiday stress and sometimes indicate an underlying medical condition that needs treatment. If your health checks out and stress relief tactics don’t work, give Embassy Studios a call to arrange a consultation and help you start off the new year right. To schedule a consultation call us at (312) 642-9800 or to contact us via email click here.

 

 

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Sources

Hall-Flavin, Daniel K. “Can stress make you lose your hair?” Mayo Clinic. July 23, 2016. Accessed November 08, 2017. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/expert-answers/stress-and-hair-loss/faq-20057820.

American Hair Loss Association – Types of Hair Loss / Effluviums. Accessed November 08, 2017. http://www.americanhairloss.org/types_of_hair_loss/effluviums.asp.

Bauman, Alan J. “”Stressed Tresses” Will Holiday Stress Lead to Hair Loss?” South Florida Health and Wellness Magazine. Accessed November 08, 2017. http://sflhealthandwellness.com/stressed-tresses-will-holiday-stress-lead-to-hair-loss/.