Is Depression Causing Your Hair Loss?
Dealing with depression is difficult. It can take over your whole life and weigh on you both mentally and physically. When it comes to depression and hair loss, there has been some discussion of a link between the two, as it’s not uncommon to find some excess hair falling out while you’re going through distress. Female hair loss and depression are especially concerning, as hair is such an important part of our identity. But before you reach for hair loss treatments, hair growth products and hair growth supplements, let’s take a closer look at the link between depression and hair loss—as well as anti-depression medication and hair loss—and the likelihood of hair loss due to stress and depression.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a medical condition that many people experience in a variety of ways. It affects your mood and often manifests as a form of sadness. However, there is more to depression than just feeling sad. Those who are depressed may feel any number of symptoms, including feeling withdrawn or tired or not like themselves. According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression symptoms include:
- Feeling sad or depressed
- A disinterest in things you used to like
- Drastic weight fluctuations due to appetite changes
- Changed sleeping patterns, either too much or too little
- Feeling worthless
- Struggling to concentrate
- Suicidal thoughts
Symptoms of depression should be mentioned to your doctor so you can work together on a treatment plan.
How Depression Affects Your Hair
Not only does depression affect your mood but it can affect you physically as well. Depression and hair loss have been linked, though the research is minimal.
Studies have drawn a connection between depression and hair loss, but it’s hard to say that depression directly causes hair loss. That being said, hair loss due to stress and depression is possible. The link largely comes down to how stress can affect your hair. Some people who experience depression are also stressed, whether as a result of the depression or as part of the depressed state. Stress can cause your hair follicles to move into a resting state from the growing phase, which is then proceeded with the hair phase where strands fall out. This, on top of the natural changes that happen to hair as you age—like follicles shrinking and your scalp drying out, leading to breakage—means you can experience hair loss in conjunction with feeling depressed. This is where you can draw the connection between female hair loss and depression.
Does Anti-Depression Medication Cause Hair Loss?
It is very possible that antidepressants can cause hair loss. Studies have linked common anti-depressant medication to hair loss over the course of several years.
A 2018 study of over 1 million subjects examined the effects of using SSRIs, SNRIs and bupropion and found that those taking the bupropion (commonly known as Wellbutrin or Aplenzin) experienced the most hair loss, whereas those taking paroxetine (commonly known as Paxil and Pexeva) had the least trouble with hair loss.
Further studies have linked Zoloft, which is the most prescribed anti-depression medication, to hair loss as well. If you’re currently taking any of these medications and have wondered, does anti-depression medication cause hair loss, the answer is yes.
Hair Products that Can Help Your Hair
If you’re feeling depressed and struggling with your mental health and hair loss, it can be hard to take care of your hair, but there are hair products that make healthy hair easy, like hair serums and vitamins. Our Power Within Skin & Scalp Collagen Gummies can improve scalp health and prevent further damage to your follicles. Adding these vitamins into your daily routine could improve your hair’s vibrancy and thickness. You could also try our Significant Other Hair, Skin & Nails Supplement + Retinol Boost, which are hair supplements that support stronger roots and healthy hair. They are packed with hair- and skin-boosting ingredients including biotin, folic acid and vitamins A, B, C, D and E.
You also want to always reach for the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair, like a shampoo for volume, strength and thickness and a matching conditioner. Our Second Chance Repairing Shampoo for Dry or Damaged Hair can help repair damaged hair from stress and our Wake Up Call Volumizing Shampoo can add fullness to thin hair while reducing breakage by 95%. Either of these could work as a shampoo for healthier, thicker-looking hair.
How Holistic Healing Can Help Your Hair
Because stress is a large factor in hair loss, when it comes to your emotional state, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to slow down. It’s usually easier said than done, but taking time to relax can help rejuvenate your hair. We know that dealing with mental health and hair loss can be hard, though. But if you use relaxation time to do a little pampering, like with a hair loss treatment such as a fortifying hair and scalp serum, accompanied by a stimulating scalp massage, you’re doing yourself even more of a favor in managing your depression and hair loss. And of course, always remember the important role food plays for healthy hair growth—this includes eating a rainbow of nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables as well as foods with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, zinc and iron.
Mental Health Resources
Most importantly, if you’re struggling with depression or intrusive thoughts, it’s important to seek help. Talk with your doctor for help or reach out to any of the following support groups:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Tell Us: What techniques have you tried to lower stress and boost your mood? Share in the comments below.
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