Stress and the Hair Growth Cycle: Cortisol-Induced Hair Growth Disruption

J Drugs Dermatol. 2016 Aug 1;15(8):1001-4.


The stress hormone, cortisol, is known to affect the function and cyclic regulation of the hair follicle. When cortisol is present at high levels it has been demonstrated to reduce the synthesis and accelerate the degradation of important skin elements, namely hyaluronan and proteoglycans by approximately 40%. The following discussion outlines the relationship between stress, cortisol, and the effect on the normal function of the hair follicle. As a result of this connection, important correlations have been established in the literature to form a basis for novel, effective treatments of stress-related hair growth disorders.<br /> Amongst various treatment methods and substances, oral supplementation with a specific bioavailable proteoglycan stands out as a promising new therapeutic treatment method.<br /><br /> <em>J Drugs Dermatol</em>. 2016;15(8):1001-1004.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / blood*
  • Alopecia / drug therapy
  • Alopecia / etiology
  • Hair / drug effects
  • Hair / growth & development*
  • Hair / metabolism*
  • Hair Follicle / drug effects
  • Hair Follicle / metabolism
  • Hair Follicle / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Proteoglycans / pharmacology
  • Proteoglycans / therapeutic use
  • Stress, Psychological / blood*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Stress, Psychological / drug therapy


  • Proteoglycans
  • Hydrocortisone