Emotional stress can also lead to physiological stress. For example, McMichael says, "if you're going through a severe divorce, you might not be eating properly; you might lose weight or not sleep well. You may go off and then back on your oral contraceptives." All of these things cause physiological stress and an imbalance in your system. "The point is," she says, "there are a lot of other things that are physiological going on. You're not losing your hair because you hate your ex-husband."
McMichael says that women have a number of things that happen on a regular basis that they may not recognize as stressors. "You start out your life and you're fine," she says. "You're 20 years old and get married. You get on some oral contraceptives. Well, that causes shedding."