Losing a lot of hair? From major causes to science-backed solutions, here’s everything you need to know about hair loss.
It is inevitable to experience some form of hair loss at some point in our lives. Losing a few strands of hair every day is not a cause for concern, and the American Academy of Dermatology states that it is normal to shed between 50 and 100 hair strands per day. However, if you are losing more hair than usual, you could be dealing with telogen effluvium.
What is telogen effluvium?
Telogen effluvium is rampant and can cause dramatic hair loss. The American Hair Loss Association states that telogen effluvium is the second most common form of hair loss. If you are experiencing this condition, you may notice more hair fall than usual when you wash or brush your hair.
What are the causes?
Here are some of the most common causes of telogen effluvium:
Many kinds of “trauma” or stress (physical or emotional) can push as much as 70 percent of your hair into the “telogen” phase of its growth cycle. It halts the growth of those strands and disconnects them from their blood supply in order to conserve resources for more essential bodily processes. This leads to increased hair loss.
Your diet can have a significant impact on your hair health. Your hair requires key nutrients, including protein, iron, B-vitamins and zinc, to grow. If your diet lacks these essential nutrients and vitamins, you may experience hair loss.
Pregnancy and childbirth
During pregnancy, more hair is in the growth phase for a longer period of time. A few months into the postpartum period, due to the hormonal changes, it all comes falling out by the handful. This is known as postpartum telogen effluvium.
Certain medical conditions that affect the thyroid gland or autoimmune disease can cause telogen effluvium.
Prolonged usage of certain medications and recreational drugs can cause hair loss.
Does Covid also cause hair loss?
Yes—it’s a side effect that can be long-lasting. Researchers do not yet know exactly how prevalent hair loss is among COVID-19 patients. But one study found that among those hospitalized, 22 percent were still dealing with hair loss months later.
Can telogen effluvium be reversed?
While hair loss due to telogen effluvium is alarming, fortunately, it is reversible. Once the trigger is established and addressed, your hair cycle normalizes, and hair begins to grow back.
How to treat telogen effluvium?
There are a variety of ways in which you can treat telogen effluvium.
If you want to reverse this hair condition, you need to pay attention to your diet. I recommend maintaining a healthy diet by eating 6-8 servings of vegetables every day. Focus on healthy fats, like nuts and seeds and plant-based protein and fiber, like lentils. Avoid processed and packaged foods and include as many spices into your meals, like garlic, turmeric, cardamom and ginger—remember, the more the better!
- Look for deficiencies
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can have a negative impact on hair health. Therefore, check levels of folic acid, iron, biotin, vitamin B12 and vitamin D as their deficiencies can trigger telogen effluvium.
- Medication options
Several medication options are available in the market that can help you treat telogen effluvium. You can try Spironolactone (at least 100mg/day), oral minoxidil, PRP, and finasteride. If you are dealing with deficiencies, biotin, vitamin C and Nutrofol are some of the supplement options that can minimize hair loss.
To learn more about telogen effluvium and how to reverse it, book a consultation with Dr. Shah here.