Hair loss is not something anyone chooses. It is an unfortunate affliction with many causes, one of them being physiological conditions, such as Trichotillomania. Fortunately, there are behaviour changes one can make, as well hair loss solutions such as wigs, hair prosthetics and Trichology treatments that will help conceal the bald patches and stimulate hair growth.
What is Trichotillomania?
Trichotillomania is a Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviour disorder characterized by repetitive hair pulling. Trichotillimania can begin in late childhood and can be a chronic condition throughout one’s lifetime. People suffering from trichotillomania experience chronic urges to pull out the hair on their head, facial hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, and/or other hair on their body. Bare patches can appear where the hair was plucked, and over time, permanent scarring and scalp damage may occur, causing temporary or permanent hair loss. It’s important to remember you’re not alone and there are support system and solutions out there.
Symptoms and Treatment
Trichotillomania is often difficult to diagnose due to the fact that many people are ashamed of their hair pulling and try to hide it. Because it is an obsessive-compulsive behaviour, the best treatment for Trichotillomania is counselling that aims to address the underlying psychological or emotional factors that are manifesting themselves in this form of self-harm. In most cases, once the behaviour of pulling out one’s hair is stopped, hair will grow back. People suffering from Trichotillomina may explore hair replacement solutions to cover up their patches of hair loss and to help them feel more confident with a full head of hair.
How Does Stress Cause Hair Loss?
Stress has major physiologic impacts on our body. Emotional stress can result from a significant life change and crisis. Injury, surgery and illness can also cause physical stress. When our body is stressed (also known as the stress response), it produces and releases toxins that are dangerous when released in excess. In this stress response, sometimes the blood supply to hair follicles is compromised, which results in hair falling out because, without adequate blood supply, hair growth cannot be sustained.
There are two types of stress-induced hair loss. Telogen Effluvium, also referred to as reactional or stress hair loss, is a disruption to hair’s natural growth cycle. The hair simply stops growing and stays in a “resting” phase, and falls out after a couple of months, then growth back between 7 and 9 months later. Alopecia Areata is the second, more severe and less common type of stress hair loss. It involves the body’s white blood cells attacking the hair follicles, which are essential to hair growth. Patches of hair fall out within weeks, and often spread to the entire scalp and other body areas.
How Can Stress Be Treated?
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to cut down significantly on stress levels and simultaneously improve your overall health:
- Physical activity will reduce the production of stress hormones and increase the production of endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that bring a feeling of well-being to our minds and bodies.
- Meditation consists of emptying the mind of stressful thoughts. Frequent mediation will lead to an emotional, physical and psychological balance. It’s easy to do in any quiet spot and you don’t need any equipment.
- Balanced nutrition is another key to reducing stress levels. If your diet is rich in nutrients and vitamins, you will be less tired, more focused, and thus more capable of coping with stress.
Both Trichotillomania and Telogen Effluvium can be treated with the methods suggested above. However, hair will not grow back overnight. In the meantime, while you are working on changing behaviours that have negative physiological consequences, you may want to explore short term hair solutions that will help you feel and look your best. At Truly You, we offer a wide selection of hair replacement alternatives for varying forms of hair loss.
Book a free consultation today to learn more about the custom solutions available for your hair and scalp profile.
Be Truly You Again!