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Depression and hair loss are often linked, as stress or emotional distress can lead to noticeable changes in our hair. In some cases, the change is so dramatic that it can be difficult to ignore. Fortunately, there are treatments available for those suffering from the effects of depression-related hair loss. This article will explore the relationship of depression hair loss and offer advice on how to treat it effectively. No more hair loss caused by depression!

The meaning of Hair Depression

Hair depression is characterized by a lack of hair maintenance, which can lead to mood swings, sporadic sobbing, worry, etc. Although there is no proof that depression causes hair loss directly, depression may play a more indirect effect in hair thinning, according to scientists. A sudden or large rise in hair loss can, of course, easily lead to a new source of stress or exacerbate an existing depressed mood.

Depression Open Talks will discuss the link between hair loss and depression below as well as look at some additional common hair loss causes and provide advice on where to turn for support.


The link between hair loss and depression

Depression and hair loss are correlated in both directions. This was the finding of a study that included more than 6 million participants and looked at the connection between a particular type of hair loss and depression.

The chance of having hair loss is 90% higher in people with serious depressive disorder, according to scientists. A major depressive disorder is also 34% more likely to occur in people who are experiencing hair loss.

Both men and women, but perhaps more women, exhibit signs of depression associated with hair loss, according to studies in 2020. A 2012 study investigated potential connections between hair loss and depressive symptoms in 157 women of various ages seeking care at a dermatology clinic

The researchers asked questions about:

  • hair types
  • hair colors
  • frequency of shampooing, brushing, and hair coloring
  • medications
  • underlying health issues
  • depression symptoms
  • personal relationships

54% of the women surveyed claimed to have hair loss. Although only 29% reported having two or more depressive symptoms, 38% losing their hair also experienced at least two of the following symptoms:

  • continuous melancholy or sadness
  • fatigue
  • less joy and passion in daily routines 

The authors of the study also noticed that women in their 20s and 30s were more likely to exhibit signs of depression and hair loss. Certain depression symptoms may be associated with hair loss, according to some evidence discovered by experts.

Stress and hair loss

Hair loss is a well-known result of stress. In reality, stress may contribute to one of three forms of hair loss:

  • hair-pulling disorder or trichotillomania
  • telogen effluvium
  • alopecia areata

Stress and depression are two distinct things, of course. Stress, though, clearly has an impact on depression. Sudden, unwelcome changes in your life and ongoing challenges may make you more stressed.

Divorce, losing a job, losing a loved one, work stress, marital or family issues, and chronic or serious health concerns are examples of triggers. If you are unable to control and cope with these situations, emotional anguish might worsen and possibly turn into depression.

The authors of the aforementioned study also found that women who reported hair loss were more likely to encounter relationship issues, which are typically a significant source of stress. Many women have increased hair loss for a few weeks or months after having a child. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that hair loss is pretty common after childbirth. 

Antidepressants and hair loss

Only a few researchers have looked into hair loss brought on by antidepressants. Specifically, a case study from 2013 mentioned that fluoxetine, sertraline, and paroxetine have all been linked to hair loss.

According to a 2015 case study, various antidepressant classes can rarely cause hair loss as a side effect. A 21-year-old male who used sertraline, an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), is the subject of the study. He lost hair gradually, but it stopped two weeks after the medicine was stopped.

Research from 2018 evaluated the likelihood of hair loss among various antidepressants from different classes. SSRI drugs and bupropion were among them. Bupropion had the highest risk while paroxetine, an SSRI, had the lowest risk of hair loss.

Birth control pills and hair loss

Depression symptoms have been reported by some women who use hormonal birth control. If you start to experience depressive symptoms while taking birth control, you might discuss quitting the medication with the doctor who prescribed it to lift your spirits. You can start experiencing more hair shedding or thinning as your body adjusts to the hormone change.

Even while it can be challenging to pinpoint the precise reason for hair loss, a hormonal imbalance is most likely to blame in this case. This kind of hair loss is typically transient.

Other causes of hair loss

Additional factors for hair loss include:

  • Heredity: Male pattern hair loss, also known as androgenic alopecia, is a hereditary disorder that can affect both sexes. It results from inheriting genes that stop growing and shrinking hair follicles.
  • Age: Hair growth slows down as we become older. This may cause hair thinning and hair color loss.
  • Childbirth, stress, and illness: After giving birth, when recovering from an illness, or after a stressful time, such as going through a divorce, a person may experience greater hair loss.
  • Cancer treatment: A person may lose all or most of their hair as a result of chemotherapy and radiation treatments for the head and neck.
  • Alopecia areata: This particular immunological condition targets the hair follicles. Along with other bodily components, the scalp’s hair may be impacted.
  • Scalp infection: This can result in a bald area.
  • Hair-pulling hairstyles: Hair loss can result from a hairstyle that requires continual pulling of the hair back.
  • Hair care: Chemicals in relaxers, perms, and other hair-related treatments can damage hair follicles and result in hair loss.
  • Hormone dysregulation: The development of cysts on a female’s ovary is a common symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome, a disorder that causes hair loss. Some birth control methods might also cause a hormonal imbalance that results in hair thinning.

🤯 You might also like: Can Depression Cause Headaches? Science Updates

Treatment for depression due to hair loss

Depression caused by hair loss can be treated in a manner similar to depression caused by other factors. Talk therapy is one form of treatment that might be used. This could come via speaking with people in a support group or having private chats with a therapist or other reliable sources. Benefits could consist of:

  • assist in addressing and overcoming emotional distress
  • teach effective coping mechanisms for depression
  • provide advice on self-care techniques that can reduce symptoms.

In some circumstances, your therapist could also assist you in recognizing and treating particular symptoms that might be connected to hair loss. When conversation therapy is ineffective at treating depression, antidepressants may be required. A person may want to ask their doctor to prescribe an antidepressant with a lower risk of hair loss. 

Changing lifestyle can also boost mood, such as:

  • setting sensible objectives
  • exercise on a regular basis
  • interacting with others

Depression hair: Key takeaways

Depression and hair loss are linked in more ways than one. For some people, hair loss may be an outward sign of depression, while for others it could be a side effect of the depression medications they are taking. Either way, it is important to understand the relationship between these two conditions and how to treat hair loss that may occur as a result of depression.


Washington, N. (2022, November 23). Hair and depression: What is the link? Medical News Today. Retrieved February 7, 2023, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/hair-loss-depression#treatment

Washington, N., Cobb, C., & Kubala, J. (n.d.). Can Depression Cause Hair Loss? Unpacking the Connection. Healthline. Retrieved February 7, 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/can-depression-cause-hair-loss#finding-support

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