One common, although mistaken, belief is that hair loss can be caused by physical trauma or mental stress, including anguish or fear. Patients have told us that they didn’t start to lose hair until their daughter started dating or they began feeling the pressure of debts and finances or they were going through a nasty divorce. All of these situations, as well as stress, can speed up hair loss, but they are not the actual root cause.
From a psychological standpoint, what these people believe has caused their hair loss is actually a delayed reaction to a process that had already begun. In other words, their hair began to thin before the accident or before their daughter started dating. Only afterwards, in a state of heightened awareness from the trauma or stress, did these people start to focus on their thinning hair—and this is a typical psychological reaction.