Temporary Hair Loss
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 CycleEveryone'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 LossIf 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.