The premature transition of hair follicles from the growth stage to the resting stage causes hair shedding, also known as telogen effluvium. It is a condition that only lasts for a short time and is brought on by abrupt stress, such as that brought on by disease, surgery, drugs, hormonal imbalance, food deficit, or emotional stress.
It’s natural to lose some hair every day. Still, suppose you’re losing a significant amount and noticing variations in your hair loss pattern. In that case, the constant sight of your hair in the bath drain could give you significant unnecessary stress.
The good news is that shedding hair is not the same as female or male pattern baldness. In most cases, it is a condition that is only temporary and will eventually pass. Here is a look at how you may determine whether or not the amount of hair falling out from your scalp is excessive, what factors may be contributing to this problem, and what you should do to address it.
What Is Hair Shedding?
Shedding happens when the hair follicles on your scalp move out of the developing stage of the hair-growth cycle and into the resting stage prematurely. There are three stages in the hair growth cycle:
- The anagen phase, also known as the growth phase, is where most of your hair will be at any given time.
- The catagen phase, also known as the resting phase, is when the hair stops growing.
- The telogen phase, also known as the shedding phase, is the phase in which hair loss occurs.
What Are the Factors That Contribute to Excessive Hair Shedding?
In most cases, acute response to body stress is the primary cause of excessive hair loss. An episode typically lasts for fewer than six months and sometimes for a significantly shorter amount of time.
You may have recovered from whatever initially triggered your hair to fall out, but the hair loss is simply a prolonged impact. Because of this, it is not always easy to identify the connection between your hair loss and the underlying cause. The following is a list of some common factors that contribute to excessive hair loss.
Breakage of the hair can occur if someone habitually ties their hair back in constrictive hairstyles or uses rubber bands to pull it up. Tight styles can cause the hair to get stretched or even break.
Traction alopecia is a form of hair loss that can occur in persons who wear their hairstyles in extremely tight fashions daily. Some of these styles include braids, cornrows, and buns. Even though this is a transient hair loss from which the hair can rebound, the condition has the potential to become irreversible if it continues to occur.
Telogen effluvium is a disorder caused by extreme stress, which causes the hair to get damaged. When the body experiences a traumatic event, such as an extreme shock or stress, the body’s natural defenses go into overdrive, causing the hair follicles to enter a resting phase of the development cycle earlier than normal.
People often discover that their hair begins to regrow after a stressful event. People who observe an abnormally large amount of hair loss should make an appointment with their primary care physician to investigate the root of the problem.
Breakage of the hair is a common symptom of thyroid problems. People who suffer from thyroid disorders may experience hair that is extremely brittle, dry, and lifeless. People with this condition may also experience thinning hair, severe hair loss, or even patches of baldness. Alterations to the skin and nails are another symptom some people with thyroid disorders may experience. These changes include the following:
- Nails break easily
- It takes longer than usual for wounds to heal.
- Deep lines on palms and soles
- Itching skin
In addition to feeling exhausted, people who have any of these signs should consult their physician to determine whether or not they have a thyroid issue.
Eating problems have been linked to hair shedding, which has been linked to hair loss. The malnutrition and other health problems that arise directly from eating disorders can potentially throw off the normal cycle of hair development. During the stage of the hair growth cycle known as the anagen, when new hair is generated, this disturbance can cause existing hair to fall out.
People can prevent future hair shedding by taking measures such as the following:
- Utilizing a hair conditioner following the application of shampoo
- Instead of rubbing shampoo into the hair and scalp, try massaging it into the scalp and then rinsing it through the hair.
- Utilizing a swim cap to shield one’s hair from the damaging effects of chlorine and other poolside chemicals. After swimming, one should clean their hair with a shampoo specifically for swimmers.
- You can dry your hair by wrapping it with a towel or allowing it to air dry before applying heat with a blow dryer or combing it.
- Minimize the amount of time spent using hot styling equipment on the hair, like curling tongs and straightening irons
- Decreasing one’s use of dyeing and styling products
- Frequent changes in hairstyles
- Utilizing high-quality hair bands and arranging the hair in a sloppy fashion
- Combing the hair carefully yet sufficiently to get the desired style.
- Retaining hair extensions or weaves for no more than two to three months at a time.
- Maintaining a healthy weight to supply the hair with all of the essential nutrients it requires
If you notice a sudden rise in the quantity of hair that you are shedding without any obvious cause, you should get in touch with a healthcare professional as soon as possible. There is a possibility that you have a hidden medical problem that an expert should address. In addition, you should consult a medical professional if you notice that you are shedding hair on areas of your body other than your head or if the shedding appears more concentrated in certain areas. These are not typical signs of hair loss and may indicate another condition.