A form of hair loss known as telogen effluvium is directly linked to stressful events. Here why it happens, and how to deal with it.

On average, people shed between 50 and 100 hairs per day. This might sound like a lot but is, in fact, completely normal. However, after having gone through distress  – like a pandemic  – you might be noticing more hair loss than usual. This condition is known as telogen effluvium. And while it might be stressful and embarrassing it is, fortunately, reversible.

Why does stress cause hair loss?

Trauma affects everyone differently, and for some, this might mean going through a phase of shedding more strands than usual. This is called telogen effluvium, and it is something that can affect those who have experienced physiological or psychological distress. Many patients recovering from COVID-19, and even mother’s after the birth of a baby, can experience this condition. During periods of high stress, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol which can affect the hair structures.


How long does it last?

This type of hair loss usually starts around three months after the onset of the traumatic period or event, but generally clears up after about six months. By this time, new hair will have grown to fill in any gaps and give some much-needed volume. This, however, will depend on your individual growth cycle.


Can stress-induced hair loss be prevented or treated?

Because we generally aren’t capable of predicting times of stress, there is no real way to prevent an onset of telogen effluvium. But making sure that you eat a balanced diet rich in protein, iron, and minerals will ensure good overall hair health. As for treatment, generally, none is required but you will need a good dose of patience! Hair loss will come to an end and start to grow again once the trigger has been removed. Try to look after yourself – mentally and physically – and soon you will look and feel like your old, hairy self again.