View Full Version : Hair loss due to stress and diet

03-10-2015, 04:16 PM
Has anyone experienced significant hair loss due to stress or diet?
Over the past 6 to 8 months I have experienced off and on stressful events. I would categorize the stress level as significant. During these stressful months, my diet has been poor, and my exercise routine stopped.
In the last 2 - 3 months, I have experienced significant hair thinning and shedding.
Does anyone have any comments or experience with this?

03-10-2015, 04:44 PM
I saw a derm about this. Basically she said 9/10 men that go to her beacuase of hair loss will be experiencing mpb. But if you have had significant stress and poor nutrition then hair that should have been shed to allow thicker newer hair through may just stay there thus leaving limp thinning hair. Now this is just the very basics I can remember her telling me, I could be wrong - I am not a professional.

Like I said, not going to pretend I know the whole process because I don't. I think much of it comes under 'seborrhoeic dermatitis'. But it would be all over your hair, not just the front and back mpb prone areas.

03-10-2015, 04:57 PM
The loss is only in the MPB area as far as I can tell. I visited two dermatologist who specialize in hair/hair transplants and my primary care physician. Both of the dermatologist told me that the source of the hair loss cannot be determined by the area of hair loss or from the hairs that are shedding. One dermatologist told me that the hair in the MPB area are just more prone to the stress and that's why there is significant shedding there. I already suffer from MPB, and I had been on propecia/generic finasteride for about 4 years. In the last 18 month, I had switched from name brand propecia to generic finasteride. My hair loss had seemed to be under control until these past 2-3 months. I am unclear weather the stress or generic drug is to blame.
I am optimistic that all of the thinning I have experienced will regrow. I'm still experiencing significant shedding, so I wont know how much hair I will regrow for a few months. This added stress of significant hair loss is not helping the matter.
Once I recognized my hair had severely thinned, I switched back to name brand propecia. Its been about 40 days since the switch. I'm seeing far less hair loss, but I cant determine weather its the propecia or if I have just lost all the hair that's going to fall out.

03-10-2015, 07:22 PM
I highly doubt stress and diet is the problem. Not saying it isn't possible, but most likely it is your MPB that is the issue. I would think that your diet would have to be really bad in order for it to effect your hair. Like you would literally have to be eating garbage.

03-10-2015, 07:59 PM
How many bald US Presidents have there been lately? Obama has a nearly perfect hairline. Hairloss due to stress is extremely uncommon... and it really depends on the type of stress. Physical stress such as severe trauma or burns are more commonly the trigger. Stress can in theory exacerbate losses from MPB possibly due to increased Cortical Androgens, but these are pretty negligible compared to that of the testes. Severe undernourishment can lead to hair loss, but if you're that malnourished, your hair is probably the least of your worries. Hyperthyroidism can lead to hairloss, but probably more diffusely and not in the MPB areas. So basically, if hair is being lost in MPB areas, it's most likely MPB. I was in denial about this for a long time. It cost me a lot of ground on my hair. I tried to attribute it to every little thing in my life. Keep seeing your dermatologist and follow their recommendations and let us know how it turns out.

03-11-2015, 04:42 AM
Thanks Notcoolanymore.
Do you have any experience or comments on generic propecia? As I mentioned, about 18 months ago I switched to generic propecia (sun pharma 1mg finasteride) which was prescribed by my doctor and obtained from my local US pharmacy. If not stress (which I had been attributing minor hair loss to), then it would have to be the generic drug causing my hair loss. Sun pharma is an FDA approved manufacturer of generic propcia, so I'm completely lost as to the cause.
Today I'm going back to my primary care physician to get some blood work done. I'm not sure what the test will tell me.

03-11-2015, 08:26 PM
It really depends on the situation and the amount of physiological stress it places on the body. For example, physical factors can definitely cause hair loss. A few months after pregnancy many experience rapid hair loss. I had knee surgery, and 4 months after, I was losing 300-400 hairs a day. It's called telogen effluvium. Essentially, your body is like, "We have a major injury to the body hair, why are we focusing our nutrients on damn hair follicles, we need to fix this sh*t!!"... Through signaling, your body sends a much larger amount of hair follicles into the telogen (resting) phase to divert the essential blood and nutrients elsewhere. I know these are physical, but I believe it absolutely can be applied to severe stress or depression... these are psychological factors, but they can take an immense physical toll on your body and your body might respond accordingly... IT IS A NIGHTMARE!! I've had telogen effluvium a few times and IT SUCKS!! Your derm can either do a scalp biopsy for conclusive results... but, if the majority of the hair you are losing has a white, keratinized bulb on the end, that's pretty much your answer. IF YOU HAVE MPB - Some of the hair lost will regrow, however, you can expect minimally regrowth in the areas that are generally effected my MPB. Those with MPB, like myself, have an expiration date on their follicles. They only have so many growth cycles before they are eternally destroyed by DHT.

03-11-2015, 08:50 PM
If your hair loss follows a typical AGA pattern, then I doubt your diet or your stress is what is causing it. I actually think for many of us, AGA is one the primary causes of our stress, which in turn causes us to over or undereat or just make poor dietary choices.

I remember watching a documentary on concentration camp survivors. All of them had been through hell and many of them had been starved to the point where they looked like flesh-covered skeletons by the time they were rescued. Strangely, many of them still had thick heads of hair. Go figure.

03-12-2015, 04:45 AM
Thank you all for the replies.
Significant stressful events started in July of 2014 and have continued through January 2015. In August of 2014 I have photos of my hair which show no signs of thinning. It wasn't until late December 2014 - early January 2015 that I noticed I had significant shedding and extreme hair thinning. The shedding continues until today March 12 2015.
I will keep everyone updated. I didn't really have my stress and anxiety under control until the last 30 days. I've submitted to the fact that I wont know how my hair will respond for several months.
Every doctor I have talked to tells me stress is absolutely to blame. In my mind, I believe my switch to generic propecia in July of 2013 is to blame. I switched back to name brand propecia in February of 2015. I fear that the source of the hair loss will never be fully understood. There are just to many variables to take into account.

03-12-2015, 12:46 PM
I lost 30-35 lbs in 50 days...I was on crash diet...2 months after started I had massive shedding....some recovery is expected for 6 months. It is called telogen effluvium. Never had hair issue, and I am 39... I didnt know that hair falls....Thinning all over....but mostly on top.....lost 50-60% of hairs.. no shedding more..

03-12-2015, 12:47 PM
I remember watching a documentary on concentration camp survivors. All of them had been through hell and many of them had been starved to the point where they looked like flesh-covered skeletons by the time they were rescued. Strangely, many of them still had thick heads of hair. Go figure.

I have hair like starvation prisoners....2 inches...but every second hair is missing...from distance it does not look awful, only trained eye can see it...

03-12-2015, 04:25 PM
thanks for the reply jame
Right now, I feel like I have lost about 50% of my hair in a diffused pattern.
The shedding has decreased a lot in the last week or so. I'm still losing above average amounts of hair. When the shedding was at its worst (about one month ago), I could do a hair pull test and literally pull all my hair right out of my scalp. mostly every single hair had a white bulb. As the shedding has slowed, most hairs don't have any bulb.
I tried to examine the hair to see if it was tapered near the bulb end. To the naked eye, my hair looked to be a uniform thickness.

04-17-2015, 05:04 AM
Quick update.
It's been a couple months since I identified the major shedding. Since then, I have greatly reduced stress triggers, started exercising, got on a good diet/supplement program, switch back to name brand Propecia, completely cut out alcohol consumption, started laser therapy, and started using topical minoxidil once daily.
As of today, my shedding has almost completely stopped. Previously I would have several hairs detaching when shampooing, applying minoxidil, or doing a hair pull test. Today, I have one or two hairs detaching at most.
Unfortunately it is impossible to pinpoint the exact cause of the hair loss. My impression is extreme stress led to the shedding. Poor diet and lack of exercise were side effects of the stress. I believe all three of these factors led to the shed. I did switch back to the name brand propecia. I had been on a generic finasteride for 18 months previous to the hair shedding. It is possible the generic was the cause.
I have noticed increased hair density as the shedding has stopped. I will continue to monitor the situation and post back.

04-17-2015, 06:26 AM
Male hair loss from stress is nearly a myth. Are you losing it *everywhere* or along the typical MPB lines? If it's stress, it's going to come out from the sides and back, too. It's just coming out of the crown and front hairline, you just have plain old MPB.

About 1/100 men will ever experience stress related hair loss. If you're not in such deep throws of anxiety, that you cannot sleep and you feel like you're about to throw up several times a day, you are not experiencing stress related hair loss.

04-17-2015, 06:34 AM
I had extreme weight loss...30 lbs basically in a month..at november... I lost 50% of chest hair also, I could pull at least half of chest hairs(waiting for chest hairs to regrow also..).. No more hairloss, it is now of better quality..seeing some sprouts, but hopefully main regrowth will come. Main regrowth is 6-8 months, after shedding stops.. no hairloss in my family..and I am 38..

I don't use anything..just some multivitamins....hope it will resolve naturally..2 and half months after shedding episode.. 4 months now after I realized that I was bald...

03-14-2016, 07:29 AM
Sometimes emotional or physical stress can lead to hair loss. But the kind of stress that causes you to lose your sleep. I don't think the kind of stress one faces coz of work load and coz of hectic routine can cause anyone to lose their hair but unless its long-term and some significant events that have been stressful, may show some effects in fact not just on hair but over all health. Also diet plays an important role which many just might ignore. However, to combat this issue simply follow an iron-rich diet, you can take supplements of vitamins essential for hair like biotin, vitamin B in case if your diet is become poor.

If not controlled in time & ignored the problem can worsen and lead to infections like telogen effluvium as jame states in fact there are other infections related to hair as well caused by stress. Which will then need a doctors consultation along with prolonged treatment.

03-14-2016, 03:49 PM
I really have doubts about stress doing anything for MPB. I still have my doubts about diet too, but I think there is some chance a diet could alter androgen levels to some amount so maybe it could have some minor effect. No good evidence for diet controlling MPB though that I am aware of
There are hobos, prisoners, and others that eat very little or eat poorly and have almost perfect hairlines at older ages. They would be lacking some of those very key ingredients people say is essential for hair growth yet there hair grows perfectly fine. Very hard for me to buy into the diet angle, but its possible. I think its just some malfunction or inhibitor like androgens or something deeper that stops hair growth verses nutrients you need to keep hair growing.

03-15-2016, 04:50 AM
With each type of hair loss, the exact link between the hair loss and stress is somewhat unclear.

-While stress will sometimes cause the hair loss directly, other times, the stress makes an existing condition worse. In some cases, the hair loss will cause the stress, rather than the other way around.
-Although most instances of hair loss will not require any significant medical attention, in some cases the hair loss is not the result of stress (as you might believe), but is in fact a symptom of a more serious underlying issue. Therefore, it important that you see your doctor rather than self-diagnosing.
-Some of the more serious conditions which can lead to hair loss include hypothyroidism, auto-immune diseases such as lupus and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). With hypothyroidism and PCOS there are treatment options available which can help hair to grow back. However, with auto-immune related hair loss, the loss is often permanent.

Diet is Important : Eat at least three, well-balanced meals a day. Never skip breakfast, as it gets your metabolism going in the morning and helps to prevent cravings for unhealthy snacks before lunch.