Hair Loss, Hair Thinning, Balding – Anxiety Symptoms
Anxiety and Hair Loss, Thinning, Balding, Bald Spots:
Common anxiety related hair loss descriptions:
- You notice your hair is thinning
- You notice your hair is falling out in clumps
- You notice you are getting some bald spots
- It seems your hair is falling out and/or thinning more than normal
- It seems you are going bald
- It looks like you are losing hair on your head and/or other spots on the body
- You notice there is more hair in your comb, brush, or in the tub or shower
- You fear you are going bald because of your anxiety
- You also notice an increase in the amount of hair coming out when you comb or brush your hair, when washing or rubbing your skin, or that you are pulling out clumps of hair at a time
You can experience hair loss on one area of the head only, many areas of the head, and the entire head. You can experience hair loss on any other part of the body, as well.
Hair loss can come and go rarely, occur frequently, or persist indefinitely. For example, you may experience hair loss, thinning, and balding once and a while and not that often, experience it off and on, or experience hair loss all the time.
Hair loss may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by itself.
Hair loss can precede, accompany, or follow an episode of nervousness, anxiety, fear, and elevated stress, or occur ‘out of the blue’ and for no apparent reason.
Hair loss can range in intensity from slight, to moderate, to severe. For example, hair loss can be mildly, moderately, or greatly noticeable.
Hair loss can change from day to day, and/or from moment to moment.
All of the above combinations and variations are common.
Why can anxiety cause hair loss, thinning, balding?
Because there are many medical conditions that can cause anxiety and anxiety-like sensations and symptoms, including hair loss, we recommend that all new, changing, persistent, and returning symptoms be discussed with your doctor. If your doctor concludes that your sensations and symptoms are solely stress related (including anxiety-caused stress), you can be confident that there isn't another medical reason for them. Generally, most doctors can easily tell the difference between stress- and anxiety-caused sensations and symptoms from those caused by other medical conditions.
If you are uncertain about your doctor’s diagnosis, however, you may want to seek a second and even third opinion. But if all three opinions concur, you can be assured that stress (including the stress that being overly anxious can cause) is the cause of your sensations and symptoms and not some other medical or biological problem.
If your doctor said your hair loss is from anxiety and/or stress, yes, stress, including the stress caused by being overly anxious, can cause hair loss, thinning, and balding. Being stressed and anxious (worried, apprehensive, fretful, fearful) causes the body to produce the stress response. The stress response secretes stress hormones into the bloodstream where they travel to targeted spots to bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that enhance the body’s ability to deal with a threat—to either fight with or flee from it—which is the reason the stress response is often referred to as the fight or flight response.
Because the stress response is supposed to elicit a dramatic change so that we are better equipped to deal with an adversary, stress hormones are powerful. But just as stress hormones are powerful, hormones, in general, are powerful, too. They control many of the body's functions, such as growth, fertility, energy, how the body develops, the body's biological clock, and so on. A change in hormone levels can have a profound affect on the body and how it functions.
And hormones can affect each other. When certain hormone levels are elevated, they can cause an increase and/or decrease in the levels of other hormones, which can cause all sorts of bodily function changes and anomalies.
For example, androgenic hormones (such as testosterone and its related hormone DHT) can affect hair growth. The presence of androgens can cause some hair follicles to regress and die. In women, hormones with androgenic activity cause hair loss as well. The adrenal glands produce androgenic hormones, as well as the hormones responsible for the stress response. An over stimulation of the adrenals can cause an increase in androgenic hormones, thereby indirectly causing hair loss.
Many people notice hair loss, thinning, and balding as a result of behaving overly apprehensively.
How to stop and reverse anxiety related hair loss, thinning, balding?
Stress caused hair loss can be stopped and reversed by reducing stress. When you reduce stress sufficiently and for sufficient time for the body to recover from being overly stressed, you should see this hair loss symptom subside.
When behaving apprehensively is the main source of your body’s stress, dealing with your anxiety issues and learning to contain can reduce the stress load on your body.
Approximately one third of those who struggle with anxiety unwellness experience hair loss, thinning, and balding. Most see this reversed when they’ve reduced their stress, dealt with their anxiety issues, and given their bodies sufficient time to recover.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any quick solutions to stress- and anxiety-caused hair loss, thinning, and balding. But you can reverse it when you deal with your stress and anxiety issues.
Since there can be other factors involved with hair loss, thinning, and balding, again, it’s best to talk with your doctor prior to assuming your hair loss is solely stress- and anxiety-related.
Play the clip below for Jim Folk's commentary about the hair loss anxiety symptoms. Jim Folk is the president of anxietycentre.com.
A little more than one third of anxious people experience hair loss due to their anxiety and the stress it causes. Jim Folk experienced hair loss during his 12 year struggle with anxiety disorder.
Some anxious personalities become anxious about their hair loss. It’s important to recognize that being anxious about hair loss will cause anxiety symptoms to persist, including hair loss. So it’s best to deal with your anxiety issues so that your body can recover and eliminate the hair loss symptom.
If you are having difficulty dealing with your anxiety issues, you may want to connect with one of our recommended anxiety therapists, coaches, and counsellors. Working with an anxiety therapist/coach is the most effective way to overcome anxiety unwellness.
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - we call these core causes the underlying factors of anxiety - a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.
For more information about our Anxiety Therapy, Coaching, Counseling option; our Available Anxiety Therapists; to Book An Appointment with one of our anxiety therapists; common Symptoms of Anxiety; Anxiety Attack Symptoms; anxiety Recovery Support area; common Anxiety Myths; and our Anxiety 101 section; or click on the appropriate graphic below:
Return to our anxiety symptoms page.
Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated June 27, 2017.