If you’ve noticed more hair shedding than usual in 2020, you’re not alone.
According to the New York Times, “doctors are seeing a huge increase in patients who have been shedding abnormal amounts of hair, and they believe it is related to stress associated with the coronavirus.” A study published by the American Psychological Association also shows that eight in ten adults say the pandemic has been a significant source of stress in their lives. How does the heightened stress and anxiety of 2020 manifest as hair thinning?
“When the body feels stress, it will pull resources internally for survival,” explains Dr. Sophia Kogan, MD, co-founder and chief medical advisor at Nutrafol. “Hair is important to us, but it’s not the number one organ to the body. As stress rises, the hormone cortisol signals the hair follicle to stop growing and prematurely shed. Additionally, the body diverts nutrients away from the hair follicle to other key areas of the body during stress, depriving hair from the essential vitamins and nutrients it needs.”
The tricky thing about stress as a root cause of hair thinning is that we all have stress in our lives, and it can build slowly over time, making it harder to recognize and address. To learn more about stress, hair thinning, and how to spot the signs and take control, we spoke with Dr. Rana Mays, a dual-board-certified dermatologist who specializes in hair loss and restoration.