Dear Dr. Rassman
I am 33 and suffered from depression and anxiety attacks over a period of years and took numerous antidepressants including Zoloft and Surmontil. In addition I took sedatives such as Xanax and Temesta. During that time I did not notice any hairloss, even though I experienced a huge amount of stress. I am on the way to recovery now and stopped taking the antidepressants over 6 months ago and am weaning myself off the Xanax. For the last 6 months I have been experiencing mild hair loss, especially noticeable on the front hairline. Gaps are appearing in the hairline, which was normally full. I wash my hair about 4 times a week and comb my hair when washing it. In total I notice about 20-30 hairs on my hands and comb every time, which I never did before. I have no family history on either side of baldness. I have the following questions:
1) Is it possible that I could be experience temporary hair loss as a result of a history of using antidepressants and huge stress, and am having something of a delayed reaction? If so when can I expect hair to start growing back, if at all?
2) Does hair generally become thinner and recede in any case with age?
3) How can the loss of 50-100 hairs a day be normal? It seems like such a huge amount. Even given that new hairs are growing, that is around 30,000 hairs a year.
Thanks for any advice.
Stress and antidepressent medications can cause hair loss. In some people, the hair shafts become finer (rather than coarser) and develop less densities of the hairs themselves with age. Most people lose about 100 hairs per day and they grow back about the same number of hairs each day.