The relationship between mental health and hair is a bit dicey and, in fact, can take two forms. The first is that hair loss can often lead to mental and vice versa. But in this article, we’ll want to look at how mental health can affect the hair, in men especially.
Mental health hair loss has received considerable attention in the medical field, and this has left us with tons of data to refer to. For instance, a study shows that one in every eight men in England experiences some sort of mental health. This number can be higher in developing countries most especially. But let’s save you all the details. Mental health study isn’t our concern here. We only want to show you how common this condition is.
This article will critically look at how mental health can affect our hair. Just what if your hair loss is not a case of MPB or an infection but due to mental health. You should find out.
Mental health issues are many and inexhaustible, and more discoveries are still made. But streamlining to the one relevant to this article, we have made the following list;
Note that stress is also a significant mental health issue. Stress, in itself, is not a mental health issue but can either lead or be caused by any of the above-named mental health issues. So, we included it on the list.
How and to what level do these mental health issues affect our hair? Can they cause hair loss? If yes, is the hair loss permanent or temporary? Let’s see to that.
Depression can induce physical symptoms such as tiredness, aches and pains, and digestive problems in addition to mental suffering. Although there has been no research to confirm or explain how depression causes hair loss, experts feel that depression may have a more indirect impact on hair loss. To make matters worse, a sudden or dramatic increase in hair loss can exacerbate an already depressed state. So, in any case, there is a clear association.
Depression is the most common mental health problem globally, and many people don’t realize that it might impact their hair. But with careful observation, sufferers of depression may discover that their hair is becoming dry and brittle and is more prone to breaking easily.
Physiological depressive emotions such as sadness, hopelessness, low self-esteem, and exhaustion can reduce the hair development and damage hair loss. Depression can be a cause of hair loss. Another thing to consider is the possibility of hair loss as a side effect of antidepressant medicines like Prozac.
Your doctor may be able to help you adjust your dosage if you’ve observed hair loss while taking medication for depression.
Anxiety is a reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unexpected conditions. Anxiety has both mental and physical side effects. The physical effect includes excessive sweating, shaking, rashes, etc. The mental effect is considered the most vicious because it can translate to anxiety disorder and interfere with their daily activities. Some people report that this form of anxiety can cause hallucinations.
Hair loss is one of the physical effects of anxiety but can also be exacerbated by the mental stress anxiety causes. But because it doesn’t affect everyone, most people don’t believe anxiety can impact their hair.
Anxiety does not cause hair loss in and of itself, but rather the stress that people with anxiety experience as a result of their daily ordeals does. Stress and anxiety are closely related, but anxiety is more difficult to manage and can last long. Stress and anxiety-induced stress, according to research, may have a role in certain types of hair loss.
Anxiety and stress can also cause hair loss because of a deficiency in vital nutrients. Stress and anxiety can increase muscular tension, skin sebum production, and the processing of hormones in the body, among other things. Sebum, for instance, can clog hair follicle pores, slowing down the rate at which the scalp regenerates hair.
OCD hair loss condition expresses itself through a condition known as Trichotillomania or, as popularly called, trich. Trichotillomania is a mental disorder in which victims are unable to control the urge to pull their hair. It is sometimes called hair pulling obsession, hence how it relates to OCD.
There is an overwhelming desire for people with trich to yank their hair out, and they feel an increasing sense of urgency until they do so and can only feel better after pulling it out. Trich becomes more active in stressful situations, in which such an individual may pull their hair without thinking.
Other than the scalp, some persons with trich remove hair from different parts of the body, such as their:
The simple answer is yes! Just like any other type of hair loss. There is a good chance that hair loss caused by mental health difficulties can be reversed. Stress is usually the root cause of hair loss in people mental health disorders. Most occurrences of stress-related hair loss are caused by a hair follicle ceasing to grow during a stressful period, resulting in hair shedding. The hair will stop growing if the stress persists.
However, if the stress subsides, your hair will return to its usual development phase, and new hair will begin to grow within a month or so. And, even if a drug’s side effects can’t be eliminated, your doctor may recommend a different medication with less health risk.
Finally, we’d like to emphasize that not all hair loss disorders are psychological in nature. As a result, if you’ve made steps to address the root cause of your mental health issues and your symptoms remain, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible. You could be dealing with a more severe problem.