The average person naturally loses about 100 hairs a day. On the average person's head about 85% to 90% of the hairs are actively growing (this is termed the Anagen phase). The rest of the hairs are 'resting' (the Telogen phase). Typically, a hair is in the Anagen phase for two to four years, it then enters the Telogen phase. The hair rests for about two to four months, it then falls out and is replaced by a new, growing hair.
In today's blog we look at how stress can interfere with the natural growth of hair, and what we can do about it!
The most common type of stress-related hair loss is Telogen Effluvium: With telogen effluvium, stress sends a signal to hair follicles and sends them into the resting phase, stopping the hair from growing. Several months later, the hair attached to the affected follicles may start to fall out suddenly, in greater volume than normal.
In a person with telogen effluvium, a psychological trauma or physical stress can actually push more hairs into the telogen phase, telogen effluvium, therefore causes you to lose an average of 300 hairs a day instead of 100.
Telogen effluvium can be triggered by a variety of events, including
- Sudden hormonal changes, for example those associated with childbirth and menopause.
- Intense physical stress.
- High fever, severe infection or other illness.
- Iron Deficiency.
See the doc: If your hair is coming out in large clumps when you brush or wash it, make an appointment to see your GP immediately. It is possible that you have an underlying, undiagnosed medical condition such as anemia or a thyroid disorder. Some medical conditions that cause telogen effluvium can be diagnosed through a blood test.
Have no fear, hair DOES grow back!
It can take a few months, but thinning hair caused by stress does grow back. It could be three to four months after a stressful event is over, that you realise that your hair is thinning. It may take another three months before your hair begins to grow back, meaning that it may be six months or even longer before your hair returns to its former thickness. Make an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can.