Hair loss is a common problem around the world. But while the condition is typically associated with men, women can also suffer from hair loss. Whether due to genetic predisposition or environmental factors, millions of women receive treatment to restore their hair every year. However, dermatologists say that they are seeing more and more young women seeking these hair growth procedures due to a common culprit: stress.
According to a report from CBS Miami, a growing number of women in their early- to mid-20s are seeing their stressful lives and busy schedules result in hair loss. Patients typically notice that they are losing a significant amount of hair in the shower, or find thick clumps on their hairbrush. Others may even be able to see their hair thinning around their face, or the development of bald patches. And while family history and other factors may play a part, one doctor specializing in hair restoration estimates that 15 – 20% of women who report hair loss are probably experiencing one of the many side effects of stress.
This trend isn’t limited to Miami: hair loss in young women has been reported everywhere from the United States to the United Arab Emirates, where the desert lifestyle is believed to cause many people to lose their hair. But while genetic and environmental factors can be problematic, stress-related hair loss has a number of difficulties associated with it. In many cases, the stress of losing one’s hair can actually cause further anxiety and worsen the situation.
Typically, dermatologists recommend that patients experiencing stress-related hair loss first focus on reducing their stress levels, before improving their diet and getting more sleep. If these steps are not effective, there are a number of products and procedures that can be used: for example, continued use of the topical ointment minoxidil, commonly known as Rogaine, can help many patients regrow their missing hair. The FDA has also approved a number of laser procedures that can help stimulate inactive hair follicles and improve the condition of the scalp.
Once these lifestyle changes and treatments have been instituted, dermatologists estimate that patients can expect their hair to be fully restored to normal fullness in a year. However, the effects of reducing stress levels and improving daily habits will extend far beyond the patient’s hair.