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Stress causes hair loss, scalp irritation

Pressure and constant worry can alter your hormones, which affects the scalp

Scalp health is often overlooked or neglected when it comes to hair care as many people are unaware of how much it actually affects overall hair health and hair growth.

Scalp problems can come about due to multiple reasons, with the impact of excessive stress a leading root cause.

Being under pressure or constantly worrying can lead to a change in the production of certain hormones, which ends up taking a toll on different parts of your body, including the scalp.

With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, local trichology specialist Leonica Kei of trichology centre Leonica K Trichology at Hilton Shopping Gallery has noticed more customers complaining about heavy hair loss and scalp irritation, which could have been caused by stress and anxiety.

How is the pandemic and its related stressors affecting hair loss?

One of our clients, whom we have not seen since the circuit breaker in April last year, came back for her treatment recently.

She mentioned that her hair fall had been heavy and that her hair density had thinned.

She felt that the accumulated stress from the circuit breaker and the on-and-off heightened alert had taken a toll as her stress level had become high, and it eventually led to more severe hair thinning.

Another client told us in September last year that she had recovered from Covid-19 and her hair felt much thinner than before. She attributed it to the virus infection.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 vaccines may have some short-term side effects on the body, but there is no known link to any hair loss conditions.

When out in the sun, we use sunscreen on our face and body. But do we need to protect the scalp too?

The scalp is a much neglected part of the skin and can get sunburnt. We have seen more people seeking treatments for scalp irritation and inflammation due to prolonged exposure to the sun.

More people are resorting to outdoor exercises, including cycling and trekking, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The long hours of exposure without protection will result in a mild sun-damaged scalp, causing it to develop inflammation and irritation.

We highly recommend people to wear a hat or cap when outdoors to minimise the damage.

Some people feel they have tried all the treatments but still experience hair loss. Are the causes more than skin-deep then?

There are many types of hair loss and the treatment pathways are different. Overall, hair is a reflection of our health.

Any deficiencies may cause hair to thin and fall out in large quantities. The most common of which affect hair quality - ferritin (a blood protein that contains iron), vitamin B12, vitamin D and zinc. These deficiencies are easily treatable.

There are other known medical conditions - such as thyroid disorders and diabetes - and medication that will lead to heavy hair fall and hair thinning.

Blood tests are an efficient way to understand and eliminate the root cause of hair loss. This is why we adopt a holistic approach when treating hair loss problems.