Temporary Hair Loss: Is It Normal?
Is there such a thing as temporary hair loss? The question itself seems counter-intuitive. Thanks largely to the myths and half-truths of American pop culture, hair loss is something we typically associate with old men, and it’s a condition that seems to be permanent and irreversible. This is only partly true, however. Thinning, shedding, and balding affect both men and women of various different ages. Moreover, not all hair loss is permanent. In some cases, hair might begin to re-grow naturally.
Still, it is imperative that men and women learn the difference between temporary hair loss and permanent pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia. On the one hand, research indicates that individuals who suffer with pattern baldness might also be genetically predisposed to other serious health conditions, like coronary heart disease. On the other hand, those who experience temporary hair loss are smart to diagnose it as such to avoid unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Join Dr. Bernard Nusbaum is the video below for a brief overview of the four main causes of temporary hair loss. Then, scroll to the temporary hair loss FAQ section to review these concepts in greater detail.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Temporary Hair Loss
Below are a few of the most common questions regarding temporary hair loss and shedding. After taking a moment to review each, we invite you to leave additional questions or comments in the Comments section of this post.
What is seasonal hair loss?
If think you’ve experienced “seasonal hair loss,” you are not alone. Women in particular report experiencing symptoms of thinning or shedding hair in late September and October. To better understand this phenomenon, it helps to take a moment to review the hair growth cycle.
Hair grows in 3 distinct phases: Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen. Each phase lasts about 2-6 years, 2-3 weeks, and 2-3 months, respectively. Hair actively grows during the Anagen phase, and the Catagen phase is a separate and distinct growth phase that transitions hair into the Telogen phase. Once in the Telogen phase, hair experiences a period of rest. It is during this resting period, however, that hair can fall out.
According to Swedish researchers, the reason for seasonal hair loss that occurs in the fall might be attributed to the fact that the hair and scalp experience a great deal of stress during summer months. As a consequence, the extra stress might “shock” hairs that are naturally in the Telogen phase, causing them to fall out 2-3 months later. And although the hair loss is perceived in the autumn, it might actually begin to occur in the summer.
Can hair loss occur after pregnancy?
Hair loss is a common occurrence after pregnancy. Many women experience this type of temporary hair loss due to 2 underlying causes: Hormones, and stress. New moms experience a rapid decline in estrogen following childbirth, which might trigger thinning or shedding. New moms are also predisposed to stress-related hair loss after pregnancy, which is referred to as telogen effluvium. One need not go through pregnancy and childbirth to experience telogen effluvium, however (see below).
For more information, visit this article on hair loss and pregnancy.
Can stress cause temporary hair loss?
Stress-related hair loss, or telogen effluvium, can also occur after certain events that “shock” the body. These events might include:
- Severe illness
- Sever emotional stress
For more information, visit this article on female pattern hair loss and telogen effluvium.
Consult a Medical Professional About Hair Loss
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of thinning, shedding, or balding, contact the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami to schedule a comprehensive hair loss evaluation. Our team proudly represents South Florida’s top surgeons, registered nurses, technicians, and technologies. We understand the agony and frustration that accompanies hair loss, and we are committed to helping you develop a customized plan that will create natural results.
Contact us online or call our Institute directly at 1.877.443.9070.