Ask an Expert: Does Stress Really Cause Hair Loss?

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We often associate hair loss with men, but women are actually at risk too. “It’s extremely common,” says West Hollywood, CA, hair restoration specialist Dr. Craig L. Ziering. “In the U.S. alone, there are 40 million women who suffer from hair loss.” But it turns out that the causes of hair loss for women are different from the causes for men, and stress is a major factor.

“Hair loss stems from a number of different causes ranging from genetics and hormonal changes to stress and crash diets,” says Miami dermatologist Dr. Janice Lima-Maribona. What’s more, “female hair loss and thinning is primarily due to genetics, but there are other causes such as hormonal changes, trauma and traction, sudden changes in diet, medical conditions such as thyroid problems, general anesthesia and stress,” says Dr. Ziering.

Basically, both emotional and physical stress on the body can result in hair loss and thinning. So how do you fix it? “A medical exam, scalp biopsy and blood lab work may be required for the proper diagnosis of female hair loss,” says Dr. Ziering.

While hair loss is often the result of aging, there are treatments that have shown promise to restore it. Dr. Lima-Maribona suggests taking hair, skin and nail vitamins, using good products, and getting a weekly massage and oil treatment to stimulate scalp circulation.

Looking for an in-office treatment for hair loss? Check out which ones doctors think are the most effective here.

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