Hair loss can be stressful.
And stress can lead to more hair loss. And recently, you may have heard of post-covid hair loss, and sadly, it is indeed a real thing. But, there are also many other factors that can contribute or lead to hair loss.
Too many of us have experienced the dreadful feeling of discovering handfuls of hair while taking a shower, and it was so bad that you had to gather it up and throw it in the garbage so your drain didn't clog! Yeah…awful. And startling. And potentially the beginning of a long and confusing road ahead.
Stressors like these and more can cause hair loss:
lack of sleep
environmental changes or situations
Here are some ways to keep yourself from panicking, and ways to try to take a holistic approach to getting through this frustrating time.
Let’s start with what is most talked about at the salon these days…
Hair loss after COVID
Our hair normally goes through a 3 step cycle. The phases are called the anagen, the catagen, and the telogen stage.
First, the hair grows and pushes through the skin in what is called the anagen stage. We’ll call this stage 1. Stage 1 lasts anywhere from 2 to 4 years and hair follicles remain in this stage 85 to 90 percent of the time.
In stage 2, the catagen stage, the hair dies, but attached. It has stopped growing during this stage. Stage 2 lasts only a few weeks.
Finally, in stage 3, the telogen stage, hair falls out and the follicle regenerates and prepares and grows new hair. Usually about 5 to 10 percent of your hair is in this stage.
In some cases, stressors from things like COVID, other illnesses, hormone changes or poor nutrition can disrupt this cycle and cause hair to shed more than normal...even up to 30 to 50 percent.
This shedding typically begins between one to two months post COVID. This loss of hair usually will begin to subside or slow down anywhere from one to three months from the onset.
Unfortunately, your hair will likely feel thinner than you are used to for quite a while. But, the good news is, it is temporary for most people.
Hair typically grows about a half inch per month, so in order to begin feeling the thickness return you will have to practice a bit of patience and some self care. It will come back, but it will take time, especially if you have long hair.
Is there anything that can help?
There are a few things you can do.
Do some yoga.
Get good sleep.
And pay attention to what you are eating. Proper nutrition is really important…even with hair health.
Eat healthy foods that contain micronutrients. Micronutrients help maintain a well-functioning immune system. Try fresh foods like citrus fruits and vegetables. Eating whole grain foods like brown rice and oats are beneficial in many ways. Add lean meats and fish, low-fat dairy, and foods with healthy fats like nuts, seeds, olive oil and fish oils.
Look into supplements that promote healthy hair growth. such as collagen. Collagen supplements and powders are great for hair health and have added benefits in being good for skin, nails and gut health!
Take your vitamins, friends. Vitamins like D, E, and B complex are all around good for your health, and healthy hair is a welcome benefit included. Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, and minerals such as iron can help, if you suffer from anemia etc. As always…consult your doctor before introducing any supplements or nutritional changes in your lifestyle.
So, in conclusion..
Do everything you can to try and take care of yourself best. Hair health is tied to many factors in our lives and we can start to make little changes that can make a difference. Be patient on the results. Get good sleep. De-stress. Pay attention to any environmental changes in your life. Aim for a healthy nutrition plan and provide your hair with vitamins and nutrients to regain a healthy hair environment and promote growth. And always consider seeking out a hair specialist, a nutritionist, or any other source of knowledge that can get you on track to healthy, happy hair. While you are waiting for your hair to come back, you can consider using hair extensions to add bulk and length. There are many installation techniques that can suit your style and routines.