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How Can Stress Impact Your Hair and Skin?

November 08, 2019

Whether you’re in the midst of college finals or it’s nearing the end of the quarter at your workplace, sometimes stress seems unavoidable. And while you may think you just don’t have enough time in the day to practice a little self-care, you may want to reconsider. The truth is, stress can not only cause you to feel on-edge, but it can also lead to common hair and skin care concerns. Today, we’re talking about the relationship between stress and hair loss and stress breakouts—yikes! Read on to get the 4-1-1 on stress and how it can impact your beauty look.


Who doesn’t want their hair to look luscious and healthy? Unfortunately, stress can take a toll on your strands. More specifically, there are two common hair concerns that can result from stress.

 1. Hair loss. Can stress cause hair loss? The facts point to yes. Stress-induced hair loss is a common concern for people, though it’s also commonly mislabeled. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), hair loss occurs when something stops the hair from growing. The loss of hair caused by stress is actually known as hair shedding. While it’s normal to shed between 50 to 100 hairs a day, the AAD states it’s common to experience excessive hair shedding due to stressors such as caring for a loved one who is sick, going through a divorce, or losing a job. Luckily, within six to nine months of the stressful event, hair tends to regain its normal fullness, per the AAD.

 2. Grey hair. Have you ever found yourself wondering, “Does stress cause grey hair?” The truth of the matter is, stress won’t cause you to go grey overnight. That being said, researchers have found free radicals—damaging chemicals caused by stress and other factors—in gray hair, per the Cleveland Clinic. These free radicals have been proposed to be responsible for destroying pigment-producing melanocyte stem cells. However, more research needs to be done on the matter to support this connection.


Stress can also have an impact on your skin. Below, learn about four common stress-induced skin concerns.

 1. Acne. Does stress cause acne? Research has spoken, and stress acne is a thing. According to the Mayo Clinic, uncontrolled stress can cause skin sensitivity and trigger acne breakouts. No thanks! The AAD explains that our bodies produce more androgens—a type of hormone—in response to stress. These hormones stimulate your skin’s oil glands and hair follicles, which can result in unwanted acne and breakouts.

 2. Eczema. Stress can also be a trigger of eczema. According to National Eczema Association, stress can cause a person’s atopic dermatitis to flare or worsen. Furthermore, the AAD states that research has shown that effectively managing stress can reduce eczema flares.

 3. Psoriasis. Eczema isn’t the only skin condition that can flare up due to stress. The AAD states that some skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis, appear for the first time when a person feels really stressed. The AAD recommends deep breathing, meditation, or practicing yoga as a way to manage your stress.

 4. Rosacea. Rosacea can also be a result of stress. There are many factors that can cause rosacea to flare, per the AAD, one of which is stress. Let it be noted that the cause of rosacea flare-ups is not a one-size-fits-all ordeal.


We touched on a few, but we’re sure you’d like to know more ways to manage your stress. Below, find three ways to help reduce stress, as recommended by the Mayo Clinic.

Tip #1: Indulge in self-care. A little self-care can go a long way. Take some time out of your busy schedule to get a massage, dance, watch your favorite show, or enjoy a bubble bath. Relax and treat yourself to some you-time!

Tip #2: Practice a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep are all important factors for reducing stress.

Tip #3: Log off. Unplug and unwind by spending less time in front of your screen—whether that be your TV, tablet, computer, or phone.

Next: 10 Yoga Poses to De-Stress with This Weekend

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