Yes, stress (physical and emotional), anger (a type of emotional stress), and other stresses associated with lifestyle can cause hair loss. Short periods of stress do not cause permanent hair loss. But, if the stressful situation persists for long and there is appreciable thinning of hair then the hair loss may be permanent.
Response to stress is also affected by your age (response is more after 30 years of age), gender (males more affected than females) and by your family history (male pattern of baldness).
Hair loss due to stress is of two types. The first type is called telogen effluvium and is the temporary type of hair loss. In stressful situation, the hair stops growing and lies dormant. This hair falls off after 2 or 3 months. The hair root then re-grows into a new hair by 6 to 9 months.
The other type of hair loss is called alopecia areata. The hair fall out in patches or may involve the whole scalp. Though sometimes they grow back on their own, this type of hair loss usually requires treatment.
While stress is a known culprit for hair loss, the loss of hair can also be due to anemia, male pattern of hair loss (due to your age and hormonal and genetic factors) or due to a scalp condition such as dermatitis or dandruff. Sometimes low testosterone too causes hair loss. Hence, these conditions should be ruled out too.
If your thinning of hairs is mainly affecting the top of head and the temple area, then probably you have male pattern of baldness. Today this can be treated with medicines and other advanced techniques.
You must eat healthy, drink plenty of fluids, take up yoga, and do something to distress your self both on the work and personal front.
Please discuss with your doctor as well. Take care!
Is 2 years of a stressful relationship temporary or is it considered long? How can you tell if it is stress related?
Is a 2 year stressful relationship temporary or considered a long period? How can you tell if it is stress related? You mentioned hormonal, how does stress change that for a male and could it be permanent?
The only way to know whether it is stress related or not is to rule out other causes I mentioned. So you would need blood tests for anemia, clinical examination of scalp, maybe biopsy of scalp if need be, blood tests for thyroid hormones, diabetes, testosterone etc.
Also, whether the hair loss is permanent or not depends on the degree and stage of hair loss and its actual relation to stress (which is governed by your age, family history, ability to take stress, de-stressing factors in your life etc). So, for someone a two year period may be a long one and for another it may not have that bad an effect. I am sorry, but you will need to consult a skin specialist regarding this.