5 Signs You Might Only Have Temporary Hair Loss
It’s disconcerting to suddenly notice extra hairs in your hands, your hairbrush or on your pillow. It’s even worse to see visibly thinner hair or even bald spots on top of your head.
People naturally lose around 50-100 hairs per day, but losing hair in greater quantities could be cause for concern. For some, particularly men, hair loss is caused by genetics and is permanent. Many other people, however, experience only temporary hair loss, which can be triggered by a variety of external factors.
Your hair loss might be temporary if:
- You’re Under Physical or Emotional Stress
If you’re feeling stressed out, it could be affecting your hair. Extreme physical or emotional stress can affect hair growth and cause the hair follicles to shed more rapidly than normal, leading to temporary hair loss through a process called telogen effluvium. Telogen is the resting phase of hair. During extreme stress, more of your hairs switch from growing to the resting phase. Therefore, you experience increased shedding.
When people are under stress, it causes a spike in the body’s production of the hormone cortisol, which in turn can lead to a dormant phase in the hair growth cycle. This can cause your hair to become thinner or fall out.
Typical physical stressors leading to temporary hair loss include undergoing anesthesia, surgery or having a high fever. The usual day-to-day stress of a busy lifestyle generally is not severe enough to cause hair loss. But if you’re experiencing more shedding than normal following the loss of a loved one or another extremely emotionally taxing situation, your hair loss is likely temporary. Once the stress is alleviated, hair regrowth will start to recover in 3-6 months.
- You Just Had a Baby
Pregnant women have a reputation for thick, luxurious hair and healthy nails, thanks to increased levels of certain hormones during pregnancy. But once the baby comes, the opposite can be true.
A woman undergoes significant physical and hormonal changes both during and after pregnancy. About 3 months after labor and delivery, it’s common for new mothers to experience a higher-than-normal volume of hair loss. This is also a form of telogen effluvium. This shedding should slow down and return to normal over the next year. If not, it could indicate a more serious condition.
- You Were Recently Diagnosed with Hypothyroidism
The thyroid gland, located at the base of the neck, produces a hormone that controls many functions of the body – most notably metabolism. When people have an underactive thyroid gland, they don’t produce enough of the thyroid hormone. This slows down metabolism and many bodily functions, including hair growth. When the thyroid is overactive, too much hormone is produced which can also lead to increased shedding.
Hypothyroidism affects men and women, and it is one of the most common causes of temporary hair loss in men. When hypothyroidism is successfully treated, the hair loss should reverse. Hyperthyroid is not as common but is treatable and once stabilized should help slow down the hair loss.
- You Changed Medications or Started Chemotherapy
One of the most common cancer treatments, chemotherapy, is also one of the most well-known causes of temporary hair loss. Chemo and other aggressive cancer drugs and treatments are intended to eradicate cancer cells and stop the disease from spreading.
Often, the drugs stunt hair growth and causes the person undergoing treatment to lose their hair through the process of anagen effluvium. This process interferes with all the hairs that were in the active growing phase (anagen phase), which is 90% of the hairs on your head. Following a successful treatment regimen, the hair should grow back once the drugs have cleared the body.
Chemotherapy and other cancer treatments aren’t the only medications that can cause hair loss. If you recently started a new medication, it could be contributing to thinning hair. This is more likely if you are taking a combination of medications. So if you’ve recently added a prescription to your regimen, check with your doctor to see if it could be the culprit behind your recent shedding.
- You’re Hard on Your Hair
While many causes of temporary hair loss stem from internal factors, like thyroid or cortisol hormone imbalances, you could be experiencing hair loss because you’re doing too much to your hair. If you frequently use chemicals to straighten, curl, or color your hair, it could be taking a toll.
Overuse of styling products that also contain chemicals, combined with heat styling tools like curling irons and flat irons, can also damage the hair and cause it to break off rather than fall out. First, visit a doctor to rule out potential medical causes. Then seek their advice, along with a professional stylist to help restore luster and strength to your hair. Color, highlights, blow drying, flat ironing, extensions, teasing, tight pony tails; the damage adds up and the results can be devastating. The less you damage your hair with these activities, the better condition your hair will be in.
If you’ve ruled out temporary hair loss, don’t despair! There are a variety of treatment options available to help restore hair even after permanent loss.
Over-the-counter topical treatments have been shown to stop hair loss and stimulate regrowth. Men who experience genetic hair loss can also take an oral prescription medication to stop and reverse male pattern hair loss. We offer these types of hair growth treatments at The Limmer Hair Transplant Center in Texas.
If you have lost a lot of your hair and are a viable candidate, we can perform hair transplant to put you on a path to a fuller and thicker head of hair. Contact us to find out how you can stop your hair from continuing to fall today!