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Physical Stress

REGAINE® should only be used for the treatment of hereditary hair loss. Do not use REGAINE® to treat hair loss that has been caused purely by physical stress. Remember to always seek advice from a healthcare professional first, before treating any hair loss.

Physical Stress

Does physical stress cause hair loss?

If you’ve experienced some kind of traumatic event in the last 3-6 months, you might notice an increased amount of shedding for a while. If you’re seeing more hair on your pillow or in the shower drain after a surgery, an accident or some kind of serious illness, you could be seeing hair loss caused by physical stress to your body. 

Why does this happen?

Your hair basically has a life cycle that involves three growth phases: growth, rest and shedding. If you’ve experienced some kind of physical trauma that puts your body under stress, your follicles can be forced into the shedding phase a little earlier than usual, making it appear that you’re losing much more hair than you usually would. 

Can physical stress trigger hereditary hair loss?

Physical stress alone can’t single-handedly trigger hereditary hair loss. This type of hair loss is dictated by age, hormones and genetics, and may be slightly affected by factors like diet and lifestyle. If you’ve got the hair loss gene encoded into your very DNA, it’s unlikely that a one-off traumatic event will be enough to trigger hair thinning consistent with hereditary hair loss.

However, physical stress can temporarily make your existing hereditary hair loss appear much worse. Major physical stress to the body can cause telogen effluvium – a temporary form of hair loss that forces follicles into the resting phase of the hair cycle prematurely. If you’re already suffering from hereditary hair loss and seeing some thinning, the extra shedding caused by a previous surgery, accident or serious illness can be very stressful, and can have an impact on your self-esteem. 

What can I do?

Hair loss triggered by physical stress will usually resolve itself over time. Once the body settles and recovers from the trauma it’s been through, the hair that you’ve lost should return.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a miracle cure for the hereditary hair loss you may already be suffering from, however there are treatments that can help slow down the progression of this hair loss and aid with regrowth.


As always, if you’re suffering from some form of hair loss and you’re unsure as to the root cause, see a health care professional and get their verdict before you embark on any kind of treatment.