Hair Expert, Dr Shahid Shamsher….

How does stress affect hair?

It can affect it in 2 ways – one is a short term effect where the hair falls for sometime and then becomes ok on its own. This is seen in cases of acute but short lived stress, the most common example at this time being exams. Then there is a longer-term effect, where not only does one lose hair, but also there is increased graying of hair as well. It is as if the hair undergoes a process of premature ageing, where the hair ends up appearing much older than the body. This results from stress which continues over a long time period, often over a period of 3-4 years. This is what we had seen in the case of ex-President Obama. He had not started graying after he took office, but in fact had been graying more when he started the Presidential campaign, which is suggestive of long term stress. Of course, one must also not forget his age. While he is still young for a politician, he is well above the age where graying does start.

Are there other factors also which cause premature ageing of hair?

Frequent traveling, change of water from relocating, toxic effects to the hair, which could be either a systemic illness, like typhoid or jaundice or a scalp problem like exposure to chemicals as occurs during straightening, perming and use of  bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide, all these are known to cause the above type of damage to the hair.

Dr Shahid Shamsher is a leading Trichologist certified from UK, Australia & India. Practicing since 27 years in the field of Trichology, even today he consults every patient personally himself rather than leave it to assistants. He can be reached on 080 42067474 / 75.

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