The Detroit Free Press recently published an article reporting that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was experiencing significant hair loss as a result of the extreme stress she has endured over the past several months. Rallying interest in the issue, the article seeks out the wisdom of a prominent dermatologist to explain the links between stress and the loss of hair in women. While such events can occur in men, as well, reported instances of stress-related hair loss are more often brought to the fore by females.
The dermatologist notes that hair follicles in a normal, “growing” state can become shocked during highly stressful events, such as a death in the family or giving birth, causing the hair to fall out around three months later. In fact, the dermatologist notes that clients who report a sudden loss of a significant amount of hair are best addressed with the question as to what was happening in their life three months previous. While in most cases the hair is able to simply grow back, the personal care and beauty concern involved in thinning hair may lead more women to take on a greater responsibility to reduce stress in their lives.
As part of this effort, women may make a greater effort to seek the professional services afforded through psychotherapy, particularly during and after stressful events, whether it’s a new step in life or the ending of another, or even the resignation of a major political office. While personal concern over mental health and well-being on a day to day basis is of course likely to win more importance to women than cosmetic concerns, the benefit of a great and natural head of hair may nevertheless be one of therapy’s more intriguing and attention-getting benefits.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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