110322-D-XH843-010        Russian soldiers march during a welcoming ceremony for Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow, Russia, on March 22, 2011.  DoD photo by Cherie Cullen.  (Released)

Hair loss has been linked to a wide range of causes, but up until recently, bad news wasn’t one of them. According to Russian man, Roman Maslennikov, the sheer amount of negative news stories presented via Yandex News, Russia’s version of Google, has caused his hair to start falling out. He’s now taken the case to court, hoping to sue the company for 1 million rubles, around £10,000 GBP.

Together with Vladimir Zhiganov, his lawyer, Maslennikov is hoping to make Yandex more aware of the stories it publishes. So can bad news really cause hair loss?

Stress and hair loss – what you need to know

Hair loss is a known side effect of stress. Therefore, if Maslennikov’s stress levels were frequently spiked due to seeing a lot of bad news, it is possible it could have contributed to his hair loss.

A little stress is normal and some people even thrive on it. However, it is when the stress levels are consistently high, or when something significantly stressful occurs, that hair loss can become a problem. At the very least it can cause the hair to turn grey. So why is this?

The life cycle of hair

It’s all to do with the natural hair cycle. There are three stages including growth, resting and shedding. Around 90% of the hair on your head is in its growth phase. A small portion are in the resting stage, while you lose around 100 hairs per day.

What happens when you experience significant stress, is the hormonal imbalance can cause more hair to go into the resting phase, meaning you will experience larger levels of shedding.

Stress can also cause changes in the diet and in your sleeping pattern. These physiological changes can also lead to hair loss. If you experience a trauma of some sort, or you are unusually stressed, it is the physiological changes that spark hair loss or premature greying.

It is worth pointing out that everyday stress such as being late for work, is not going to cause stress-related hair loss. In fact, there’s been very few studies that can support that stress has a direct effect on your hair. The problem is, hair loss has many potential causes so it’s important to go to your doctor to establish what has caused your hair to start shedding.

Overall stress and hair loss are related, but unless you’re losing sleep and are experiencing lifestyle changes because of it, you are unlikely to start losing your hair. If you are concerned, seek advice from your doctor.

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By Ian Watson

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