Does depression cause hair loss?


As mentioned in previous articles, alopecia can be caused by multiple factors and one of them is a person’s emotional side. In today’s blog we address how depression influences hair loss.

Depression the 21st Century Illness

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines depression as the twenty-first century ailment. According to the institution`s data, about 300 million human beings currently suffer from depression which is a worrisome increase of almost 20% when compared to the incidence between 2005 and 2015. In addition, documented evidence shows that the disorder is the fifth major cause of work disability. 

Psychologist and Psychotherapist Lucrecia Villanueva reports that people who suffer from depression have a continual and prolonged state of melancholy. Among other symptoms they may experience increased irritability and stress, constant tiredness and changes in sleep habits, weight gain or loss and lesser energy and appetite. They may feel inadequate, resentful or guilty and they may no longer enjoy activities they previously found fulfilling. 

How does depression influence hair loss?  

While it hasn’t been proven that depression directly causes hair loss, since it is a stressful condition it can cause psychosomatic symptoms such as hives, alopecia or tics.

So in the face of adversity like work or family problems or the loss of loved ones, a hair disorder called telogen effluvium may arise. This is an alteration in hair`s life cycle, which causes the hair-bearing follicles in the anagen or growth phase to immediately enter into the telogen or falling out phase.

Similarly, anxiety-depressive disorder generates a series of organic changes including lessened serotonin separation and increased corticosteroid production. These hormonal changes stimulate the sebaceous glands which gives rise to an overproduction of sebum or fat as well as to a reduction in intrafollicular oxygen. As a consequence, hair is weakened and eventually falls out. 

Hair loss  linked to anxiety-depressive disorder does have a solution

Hair loss associated with anxiety-depressive disorder is temporary in most cases and it can be controlled when depression is effectively treated. Nevertheless, we do recommend a hair strengthening treatment. 

From our Kaloni clinics we advise our readers to see a hair specialist to get a diagnosis for an appropriate hair loss treatment including mesotherapy to preserve, thicken and strengthen their hair. 

We thank Psychologist Lucretia Villanueva for the information she provided for making this article possible. 


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