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Temporary Hair Loss

By: Jody Ehrhardt - Updated: 18 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Hair Shedding Temporary Hair Loss Hair

Everyone experiences some hair shedding each day, usually in the 100 to 150 hair strand range. However, if you have noticed a more than normal amount of hair shedding recently, you may be experiencing temporary hair loss. This short-term hair loss condition can have many causes and is usually not a major cause for alarm.

The Normal Hair Growth Cycle
Everyone's hair follicles go through basically the same Growth Cycle. However, each hair follicle goes through the cycle completely independently of the hair follicles around it. There are three parts to this cycle – a growth phase (anagen), a shedding phase (catagen), and a resting phase (telogen), and the entire cycle is completed between 10 and 20 times throughout a person's lifetime.

In the growth phase, hair follicles produce new hair growth. In the shedding phase, old hair strands are shed or released for later replacement. In the resting phase, the hair follicle is neither producing new hair nor shedding old hair. This cycle is individual for each hair follicle and can take four to five years to complete. If a large number of hair follicles enter the shedding phase at the same time an increase in hair loss may be seen. However, normal hair shedding usually does not amount to over more than 100 hairs lost each day.

Causes of Temporary Hair Loss
If you notice an excessive loss of hair strands each day, you could be suffering from temporary hair loss. And, while the condition will normally resolve itself within a short period of time, it's best to determine the cause of the hair loss in order to decide if treatment or medical help is necessary.
  • Medical conditions – certain diseases, illnesses, and disorders can lead to temporary hair loss. Thyroid disorders, high fever, and severe anaemia can all affect the hair growth pattern and cause excessive hair shedding.
  • Stress – extreme or prolonged Stress Levels can interrupt the hair growth cycle and inhibit new hair growth or increase hair shedding.
  • Pregnancy or menopause – the hormonal changes that occur in the body during pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause can disrupt the hair growth pattern causing temporary hair loss.
  • Medications- Certain medications like high blood pressure pills, birth control pills, or hormone replacement therapy can cause hormonal changes in the body and decrease healthy hair growth.
  • Radiation and chemotherapy – these cancer treatments can lead to temporary hair loss.
Although the hair loss experienced with any of these conditions can be dramatic, it is helpful to know that once the condition has been resolved the hair loss will stop and new hair growth will return naturally.

When to Worry About Temporary Hair Loss
If the condition thought to be causing your temporary hair loss has been resolved for at least six months and you are still noticing increased hair shedding or inhibited new hair growth, it may be time to talk with a doctor about your concerns. In rare cases, temporary hair loss can be permanent, especially if the cause was severe, prolonged, or very intense in nature. For these cases of hair loss, your doctor may prescribe a hair loss treatment, such as medicated shampoos, corticosteriod injections, or even a course of hair restoration therapy.

Permanent Hair Loss

Find out all about the causes and effects of Permanent Hair Loss in our article on this site.

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