43 answers

My Hair Is Falling Out in Clumps, Not a Few Pieces Here or There! Suggestions

I have a really odd question -- my hair recently started falling out in clumps, not just a few pieces here or there. I am actually getting worried about it. I normally have really thick hair, but I fell like I am loosing too much hair. I have been under a lot of stress lately, i recently lost my job and we are a 2 income family, so money is a worry. I have 2 children - 4 and 2 1/2. we opted to remove them from daycare until we can afford to have them in daycare again. I recently did color my hair dark, but i have done that numerous times in the past. My hair doesn't look or feel damaged. I use Purology products for my hair, so I am not sure what to think of this.


What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this but biotin from the pharmacy worked for me. I was having the same thing going on for a while and it seemed to work. I am sorry and hope something works for you.


Maybe you have alofesia. I don't know if I spelled it wright. It's hereditary, and it's brought on by stress. My sister had never heard of it until hers started falling out in clumps, and she went to the doctor about it.

Well, you probably hit part of the nail on the head; stress will cause hair loss. You should see a doctor, though, as he can give you medication to help stop the hair loss.

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Hi Emily sorry about your hair loss and the loss of income. I have an internet business that specializes in diversified markets within the marketplace. One of those markets is nutritional supplementation. As a result I have gained alot of education on the impact of nutrition and/or lack of nutrition. Where I am going with this is.....Hair loss can happen when there is a lack of calcium and or magnesium. I have come to learn that as a society we do not get the minerals that we once did through nutrition due to the processing of our foods and the requirements to put minerals back into the soil that our agricultural specialists (farmers) once did. (cost mostly). I also work in the field of psychology and with your recent loss of employment the stress is a huge factor to consider. If interested in talking you can contact me via email. ____@____.com

Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential to good health but required only in small amounts. Selenium is incorporated into proteins to make selenoproteins, which are important antioxidant enzymes. The antioxidant properties of selenoproteins help prevent cellular damage from free radicals. Free radicals are natural by-products of oxygen metabolism that may contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Other selenoproteins help regulate thyroid function and play a role in the immune system. (copied)

Selenium was recommended by my dr. once upon a time for the same thing. Plants grown in rich soil are the best "real" sources of this. Ask the dr if he thinks you could try the supplement. You can find it @ any store and you don't need much.

Stress can make the body do awful things! Recently I had a year I would never want to live again. In the end my thyroid took the brunt. My hair was falling out all over the place. Have a doctor check your T3 and T4 and the ratio of one to the other. I am now on T3 suppliment and my hair is back!

Yep, definitely stress-related. It happened to me a couple of years ago. Fortunately I was able to control it a little with walks and yoga until time passed. Try to do what you can to relax, and consider a visit to your doctor, as others have suggested.

Hi E.,

I lost clumps of hair when I was pregnant and again when I stopped nursing. It was a hormonal issue and my body fixed itself, my doctor did offer some hormone therapy that I declined. My hair is all grown back now.

Good Luck,

hi emily,

my hair started falling out a few years ago. i am convinced it was due to extreme stress. at the time my children were 3 & 8, i was married to an amphetamine addict, i was sick with bi-weekly migraines and our finances were a mess. i was seeing a bazillion doctors, trying to figure out what was "wrong" with me. honestly, in the middle of all of the stress, i couldn't SEE it. didn't recognize the cumulative effects of all of the things that were going wrong. i don't know if there are other things in your life that are stressing you out or even if your hair loss is due to stress, but i can say from personal experience that once i was able to get away from my husband, the migraines stopped, my hair started growing back and the financial woes got a lot better. good luck!

Hi Emily!!
I am a hairstylist and I feel awful for you. This has actually happened to me several times, always when I was stressed out about to my max. It is crazy how stress effects us and our bodies, hair especially. I am so glad you ar using Pureology, it is the best product I have ever used. I would like to let you know couple of things. If you are not already start taking vitamins a multi or even prenatals. I actually take prenatals for my daily vitamin. They are great for your hair. Nioxin is also for thinning hair, it is a great line. You should be able to get it at your salon or ask your stylist where you can get it. There are shamps and cond. as well as scalp treatments (several kinds). It may make your hair feel a little more dry, but you can use you Pureology cond a couple times a week. It may be just fine on your hair, it is hard to know without me not seeing or feeling the condition it is in. I hope this helps you out and try to relax a bit. HaHa right? I know how you feel, my husband just got laid off of his job a week ago, I have been scared to death, because we are moving in a week and I am opening a new salon. I noticed this AM I am losing more hair than normal, (break out the Nioxin!)I will say some prayers for you and your family. Things will get better for you and I hope my information can help you a little. Good Luck!!!


See your doctor you could also have iron deficiency. I had the same problem and my iron levels were very low, and I didn't respond to iron supplements so I had to have an iron infusion. That helped out, plus I got rid of as much stress in my life as I could - having a special needs child with complex problems is not that easy to get rid of.

Hope this helps.

mom to Ryan 9 (DS, possible autism, bipolar, anxiety and now pain insensitivity)
Abbey and Alexa 3 - my two normal princesses

Hi Emily,
You have gotten tons of great responses! I just want to add that "normal" hairloss is up to 100 hairs a day. Coming out in clumps is not normal. Stress can add to hairloss. In tha fall our hair growth gets ready to beef up for the winter so it may be new growth cycles as well. I have more shedding in the fall. I'll have you and your family in my prayers. If you are interested in making some extra income from home without having to sell, deliver, or have parties, I work for a company that has received awards from the Better Business Beaureau. It has no operating debt so will not go out of business or be forced to "close." It's tons of fun as well. I pray that you can get answers for your concerns and relieve some stress. God Bless.

Emily it sounds like your pretty stressed out! Have you ever heard the saying pulling your hair out? Well it comes from being stessed out. There is no real easy fix for it but try to enjoy that time you have off work with the kids until that perfect job comes along. If it's a real concern maybe talk with a doctor can help! I too had thick hair and started falling out but once i started to calm down alittle i notice a difference. They always say hair grows back after a while, only time will tell. I hope it helps knowing that your not the only one out there. Good luck! Remember to live each day to the fullest! You'll find youself happier that way.

Hi Emily,

My Aunt has had the same situation - only hers escalated into sores that were actually oozing on the top of her head. We discovered with her that her body is not absorbing any of the nutrition she is feeding it. We got her started on a high quality vitamin and a couple of other supplements that are helping her. She has a hard time with her vitamins - her body rejects them and causes her more problems. She is actually absorbing these vitamins and she is starting to improve.

On the other side of your situation - money issues always cause problems. I am a recent stay-at-home Mom as well. I had a job that I could take my 2 kids with me to and the business closed (like so many other these days) - it left me either needing to find a job so I could pay for daycare and never see my kids or find something from home. This opportunity was just what we needed. I made $500 last month and this month has started out even better - I am working from home, part-time and my kids are here with me.

If I can help you with either the vitamins or your job situation please feel free to contact me at ____@____.com

Good luck - D.

My daughter had a similiar situation and it was her thyroid.

Sress can do that for sure, but so can a low thyroid problem. If you can afford it go see your DR for blood tests. If not try to calm down your days and not worry about it. This happens in time of stress and usually doesn't last to long. God bless!

Sorry to hear about the stress. :(
I would have your thyroid checked. It's just a simple blood draw to check its level.
Again, I am really sorry to hear about the stress...Good Luck

It's most likely stress.
This also happened to me, I thought maybe stress......but it was my thyroid. So you may want to check it out. I went months before I went to the doctor. I have thick hair too, I was afraid I was going to be bald.

It doesn't hurt to go to the doctor and maybe have some blood work taken.

This happened to me when my youngest was about six months old. I went and had my thyroid checked (which was fine) and we figured it was stress related. I started using Nioxin hair products to help my hair grow back, and it works like a charm. It's a bit pricy at first, but it lasts a long time and it's SO worth it.

Hi E.,
Sorry to hear about the loss of your income and your hair.
Is their any family history of thyroid disease?
You may want to have a doctor check your TSH, (thyroid stimulating hormone), to check for a possible thyroid condition. That could concievably cause a hair loss.
I hope it's not, but if it is medication will help .
I wish you well in your search for another income.

Emily--hair loss can be a sign of a thryoid problem. Have your doctor run a metabolic panel (blood test) to find out if that is the issue. I'm sorry you lost your job--that is a stressful situation but I hope it gets better soon. Good luck!

Have you had your thyroid checked? Hair loss is a symptom of hypothyroidism. Some other symptoms are dry skin, feeling cold and tired. It is just a blood test but couldn't hurt to see...

Hi my name is Jen and I'm 28 yrs old. About 10 yrs ago I had a similar problem to yours. At the time I had alot of stress with trying to cope with a death in the family and balance a full time job along with going to college full time. I too had recently colored my hair at the time (which had never caused a problem or reaction before). I was totally devasted!!! It started coming out in clumps and left bald patches all over my head. The patches being anywhere from the size of a dime to a little larger than a quater. I was even afraid to wash my hair in fear that more would just come out. After a few visits to various doctors, I received an answer! I was diagnosed with something called Alepecia Aretia (which a dermatologist can take care of). There is no known cause for it, but it can be linked to stress. It's actually pretty common, and most people don't even realize they have it. It is treatable by a dermatologist. Two options of treatment are creams/ ointments to put on the spots or steroid shots in the scalp. I know the second option sounds painful but it's really not and After months of the ointments and lotions they had me try I had no changes. I would see a dermatologist to see if this is what you have. And if this is what you have, try the shots over the ointments. The treatment really doesnt cost too much and it's usually only two visits and your hair will start coming back. Not sure if this is what is going on with you but I thought I might let you know about this condition. Good Luck! I hope all turns out well! And number one thing: no matter how tough things get, try not to stress because it will only make things worse.

I agree with everyone else....possibly a thyroid condition. I too have very thick hair. I didn't notice it coming out in clumps, but noticed some bald spots near my hairline on my forehead. My doctor said this is a symptom of thyroid. Ironically, it wasn't this that helped me catch the problem. I was also having shortness of breath and heart palpitations. My thyroid was overactive and they finally had to dissolve it with radioactive iodine. It was a very simple procedure. Now I just take synthroid every day.

You definitely need to have this checked. Your thyroid affects all parts of your body and if you are wanting to have another baby at some point the risk of miscarriage is much greater if your thyroid is out of whack.


I most likely is related to stress. I would still call you dr. I have had that happen a couple of times (when I didnt feel like i was stressed) The dr. checked my thyroid both times.


I agree with Teri W's response....my mom suffers from alopecia areata and has for years. Her doctor has told her that stress definitely plays into this...and she loses clumps of hair and ends up with little bald spots on her scalp. Understandably, she was scared to death before she knew what this was and how to treat it. But once she got into the doctor, he prescribed a steroid cream that she applies to the bald spots when she has outbreaks. This helps to stimulate hair growth again. The hair does grow back, but it's more coarse and has a hint of a different color than her other hair...but she's the only one that notices that.

So set up an appt. with your doctor, and if you want to maybe get a little insight in the meantime you can always ask your stylist for his/her opinion (granted...they can't diagnose anything per say, but they can offer your their opinion, as chances are, they have seen this before). In fact, my mom's hair stylist was the one that told her she thought is was alopecia, and told her the dr. could help her out. But I definitely think you should set up an appt. with your doctor!


It could be stress related I would suggest using Arbonne's thermal fusion hair and scalp revitalizer. It is a treatment you use for a few minutes each day. I am a salon owner and hairstylist and because you use professional products don't think it is because of coloring your hair. I would be more than happy to get the product to you if you don't already know someone to get it from. If you live around Des Moines I would be more than happy to take a look at your hair and scalp at no charge to let you know what I think. C. Image Salon 2428 Easton Blvd Des Moines IA 50317 ###-###-####.
working mom of 7 yr old twin boys and Arbonne consultant

Stress can make your hair fall out in chunks. I'd also go to your Dr. and get your thyroid checked. I have a girlfriend who was so stressed it suppressed her thyroid and she had to take medication. You might not be at that point, but if there's any way you can take any positive action to deal with the stress, I'm sure that would help. Take care of yourself!

My hair always falls out in what I feel is a large amount when I am either losing weight, after I have had a baby or when I am stressed. I just had a baby 2 months ago, and my hair started falling out again, and I talked to my hair stylist about it. He was very reassuring, and said that even though it feels like a lot of loss, it is not, and it will stop, and gave me a good cut to disguise the loss and make it look healthy. Maybe you should talk to your stylist, and let them know your concerns. They should be educated enough to let you know if you have a "real" problem or if you are just experiencing a normal hair loss due to circumstances. Also they are a good resource for products to minimize these issues or just give you a good cut to help you feel and look your best during this stressful time. Best to you!

ummm-i would really suggest you go see your dr.it could be anything.thyroid,cancer,etc.not trying to scare you-but get real,ive got an extremly stressful life,my hair isnt falling out....so i would make an appt.pronto...jmo.good luck

For sure, stress can make you lose hair like crazy! I doubt there is anything "wrong" with you or you would be noticing other changes in your body.
Can you talk to someone about your stresses? Sometimes getting it out helps!

Emily - Stress creates an interesting response in different people. Stress could certainly do this to you but so could a vitamin or mineral deficiency. A good friend and chiropractor in the Lakeville area might be able to help you. The clinic is called Lake Marion Chiropractic.

Best to you,


You need to see your dr, as this could signal a couple of different medical issues such as a thyroid disorder or other metabolic issues. This is not normal and shouldn't be overlooked. It is not emergent, but you should make an appt as soon as you can get in.

Maybe you have alofesia. I don't know if I spelled it wright. It's hereditary, and it's brought on by stress. My sister had never heard of it until hers started falling out in clumps, and she went to the doctor about it.

I am losing my hair in clumps too, but it's because I just had a baby 4 months ago. It happened after I had my son too, 2 years ago. You don't lose any hair when you're pregnant, so you lose it in clumps after you have the baby. All my friends who recently had babies say the same thing. Maybe it was just really delayed for you. I'm sure it will stop soon. But you could talk to your doctor about it. Maybe you're not getting enough folic acid, or iron or something. I know eating vegetables is supposed to help. Are you taking a daily vitamin? If not, maybe that would help.

You've got lots of great info and I agree to check w/your dr. as it could be a thyroid problem. I'll offer 1 more thought...how are you eating? When people cut calories/fat to low and just are not eating enough it can cause hair loss. So that might be something to consider if this pertains to you. However I would not blow off the idea that stress can have that kind of impact on you, stress can present and manifest it self in so many physical ways. Good luck w/all.

Well, you probably hit part of the nail on the head; stress will cause hair loss. You should see a doctor, though, as he can give you medication to help stop the hair loss.

Hair loss can be caused by stress, and since you are under quite a bit of it (stress)- I would say this is why you losing hair. I have worked in a salon for several years and agree with the advice that Cortney gave you. The multivitamin is a must. Also - Since your hair is so fragile at this time, try not to do too much with it... very little styling, no tight pony tails, etc... it's less stress to the hair.

My friend (several yrs. ago) had a half-dollar size bald spot on the crown of her head. She also was under stress at that time. She went to the Dr. and was told that advice (little stress to the hair). At that time, she was told if after a couple weeks - if things didn't improve to come back. She said she ended up getting some shots in that area (ouch). So the next time she was under stress and had some hair loss (not so bad the next time), she opted to follow my advice (she didn't use the Nioxin the first time because she didn't like the smell... it's minty), she was patient about it, and eventually was back to "normal". She hasn't had problems since. Thought you would feel better knowing that you aren't the only one to go through this.

Try to get some "you" time in - to relax (stress free time). Even if it's just renting a movie, or taking a bubble bath. Be sure to start that multi-vitamin right away too.

I pray that your situation gets better soon. I too worry about the finances. It's very hard to relax and not worry about it... but try.

I wish you well,

You've gotten alot of good advise here already, Emily. I'm just going to back up the advise of SEEING A DOCTOR!! I recently went through a very similar situation with my hair. I DIDN'T go see a doctor. That is, until a friend practically shoved me at one. It was my thyroid. Totally out of whack!! Who knew?? Anyway, sounds like the doctor is the only way to go. You'll never get any answers to your unique situation until you see your doctor. PLEASE don't put it off. I did. I could've saved myself ALOT of stress and worry. And it was VERY fixable. That was back in April 08 and now I have my hair back. Point is, whatever is making your hair fall out, it's not good. Listen to these good people here and make an appointment with your doctor. If you're worried about the money for the doctor, don't be. There's always alternatives to paying the bill at the time of service in full. It's called payments. ;) We all have to do that at times. Keep us up to date on how it's going!!
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I too have dealt with this. I'm wondering if you have a thyroid condition? I suffer with autoimmune thyroid disease and at times it leads to hair loss. Under or overactive thyroid can easily go undetected, so perhaps a call to the doc is warranted. A simple blood test can confirm a thyroid problem. Do you have any other symptoms? Wishing you well and am sorry for the recent stresses! And yes, stress can cause hair loss as well.


I do not personally have experience with this, but a friend in highschool did. I also used to be a cosmotologist, so I have studied the scalp and hair.

I would get in to see a Doctor first thing. Their are many things that can cause this, I would want to make sure you catch something sooner, rather than finding out later.

Ther is a condition called Alopecia areata, It is when your immune system attacks your hair follicles. It is not common, but that is what a girl i went to school with had.


I am not sure if stress can cause this... it appears as though Doctors are not quite sure either. My guess is that it can. Stress can do a lot to your physical health. It can also be caused by medications.

Please go in to see a doctor.

Hi Emily-
I'm a wellness coach and a med. prof.- so could be a few possibilities:
Nutrition- have you cut back on protein esp. veg. based/soy proteins? You commented $ tight- and that is more expensive to eat unless you supplement with shakes.
Alopecia?- doubtful if sudden
Omega 3 deficiency- do you eat cold water fish/seafood or supplement.
Another vitamin- do you take one - try dissolving it in water and see what happens- should dissolve in less than 30 min. if water soluble or not absorbing much.
Shampoo- ask a hair person about nexium (?)- or if you're local to mpls/st. paul and don't have one, I can get that through mine at a discount for you.

If you want to chat more, email me at ____@____.com and put momsource in subject line so I recognize the name.

B. J
About me- 48 yo mom to 7 yo twin girls.

Go to your doctor.

Hair loss is a sign of thyroid issues as well as hormone issues in general. Especially if this isn't normal for you. Go to your doctor and tell him or her this and let them run some tests. You might need a med to regulate whatever is amiss in your system.

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this but biotin from the pharmacy worked for me. I was having the same thing going on for a while and it seemed to work. I am sorry and hope something works for you.


Isn't it funny how when we were little we heard how we would drive our mothers crazy so their hair was either turning gray or falling out because of us? LOL actually, I has a huge chunck of hair right in the front of my head (HUGE bald spot) that came out a year ago. I went in to the doctor for regular physical and they did thyroid tests (all turned out normal) and then no real explaination of why it happened. I researched my birth control(IUD) and found that was a possible side effect. I did not change anything, but my hair grew back in fine, and no more signs of it. I have noticed though that after kids we do loose hair more, especially noticeable in the shower when you have to clean out the drain after each shower. I've asked girlfriends about it and most of them said they have the same issue. It's a good Idea to get your thyroid checked, and if that is normal and it is still an issue for you than you can go see a dermatologist for advice. That is what my doctor suggested and even gave me a refferal, but I did not go.
What do you to relieve stress? I suggest you find an outlet. I Play volleyball, take the dog for a long walk, plan a girls night, I also sell Mary Kay so that gets me out and gives me extra spending money. I know how you feel about the money situation. My husband is a teacher, I am mainly a stay at home mom, but get out to sell Mary Kay when I can, and we have three children. We took the kids to pick out halloween costumes last night, and the one my son wants is $40.00!!! Of course, the most expensive one he saw. I told him we'd have to wait and see if it went on sale or find something else to be this year and buy it on clearance after halloween for next year. At ten, almost 11, he understands, but I still have been worried about it all morning. I mean how many more Halloweens is he really going to be a little kid who wants to dress up as his favorite character? Part of me wants to go out and buy it as a surprise for him and reward him with it if his behavior is excellent. Anyway, my point is that I totally understand being broke and making tough choices right now. And I can not remember the statistic, but the news last night alked about there being more people looking for jobs than there were jobs available. If you'd like to know more about owning your own business you can contact me. I have been selling Mary Kay for over 5 years, my customer base is 110 women and several men too, this past week I had five orders averaging $60 each without ever leaving the house. I mailed one order and sent one with my mom to bowling, my girlfriend came to watch Vikings with me Sunday restocked her items, and I have having a drink tomorrow with a customer to deliver hers. Pretty great to be able to only work 1/2 hour this week and make $150.

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