What Does Stress Do To My Hair?


One thing most people know about stress is that it can affect the body in various ways. It’s been associated with insomnia, depression, and even your skin. But can it affect your hair? And, if so, how? In this article, we’ll answer those questions in detail. By the end, you’ll better understand the relationship between stress and hair. 

Stress Does Affect the Hair

Without further adieu, it’s crucial to know that stress does affect the hair. And it does so in several different ways. Here’s a quick look at the most common ways stress can manifest in your strands: 

Hair Loss 

When you’re under severe or prolonged stress, your body produces cortisol, a hormone that can throw off your normal hair growth cycle. When this happens, you could experience extreme hair loss due to a condition known as telogen effluvium. It’s when stress causes as many as 50% of your hair follicles to go into the resting phase. It’s in this phase that the hairs are more vulnerable to shedding. And as a result, you may see more hair in your brush, bald patches, or thinning. 

Scalp Oiliness

Stress can also cause a problem that can be more annoying than anything - excessive hair oiliness. It’s a well-known fact that the cortisol produced when the body is under stress can make your scalp produce more oil. You may notice that your scalp is a little shinier than usual, your hair appears greasy, or you’re finding it harder to volumize your hair. 

This excess oiliness can lead to fungal growth and dandruff, marked by scalp flaking and itchiness. Once this happens, you may need dandruff shampoo, special hair treatments, or a visit to your dermatologist to fix the issue. 

Are You at Risk?

After reading about these issues, you might wonder whether you might be at risk of experiencing them. There’s no way to tell for sure, but if you’re not under severe or long-term stress, your chances are low. Fleeting stress, like the kind you’d experience while taking an exam or planning a party, will probably not be an issue. If you believe you might be chronically overstressed, your risk of stress-related hair loss will be higher.

What to Do if Stress is Affecting Your Hair

If you are stressed out and seeing its effects in your hair, you’re not powerless. The first thing to do is try to reduce your stress levels. Reducing stress can be difficult, but you can do it. It will take some planning, effort, and internal work to find out what works for you. Here are some ways to keep stress in check: 

  • Connect with your inner circle. 

  • Get into some form of physical activity. 

  • Reduce the tasks and obligations on your plate. 

  • Practice yoga or meditation. 

  • Listen to relaxing music. 

  • Go outside in the sun. 

  • Incorporate stress-relieving items and tactics (stress balls, deep breathing, counting backward). 

  • Chew gum. 

So, there you have it - stress can do a number on your hair. But if you work at keeping your stress levels in check and reach out for medical assistance as needed, you’ll be just fine. We hope you found all the information you were looking for, and we wish you the best as you give your hair the best possible care. 




Author: Andrea Reyes

Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of NaturallyTextured.com, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.


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