Did you know that you have anywhere from 150,000 to 100,000 strands of hair on your head at any given time? From that amount, you can lose 50 to 100 strands in one day. This is a normal amount of hair fall. Even normal hair fall can seem like a lot when you have long hair. It’s nothing to worry about.
So, what’s happening to my hair?
The first thing to know is that the hair has a life cycle. It has a growth phase. A transitioning phase, and a resting phase. At the end of the resting phase, the old hair follicle falls out. It is then replaced with a new one.
Then why is my hair falling out in clumps?
Typically, unusual hair fall is the warning shot that the body is in distress. Hair loss is one of the last symptoms to manifest that tells you something is wrong. This happens when one goes through a big physiological change. Such as childbirth or rapid weight loss. Within 1-3 months later, the hair will begin to fall out in clumps. This is known as telogen effluvium. The doctor will examine the hair follicle. If the root appears to be a ‘club-shaped bulb’, then it’s a sign that the life cycle of the strand sped up. This is due to distress. But don’t worry, this will come back!
But I wasn’t in distress!
Ever heard of androgenetic alopecia? No? What about male or female pattern baldness? Men experience this in their 20s. They notice their hair thinning on the crown and the hairline receding. Meanwhile, in women, this occurs in their 40s. It’s an overall thinning of the hair. Sadly, this is natural and hereditary. Therefore, if it happens to you, you can either embrace it or consider a transplant.
Nope, that’s not it…
Then there’s alopecia areata. – this is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks its own hair follicles. It’s usually triggered by stress or illness. Being an autoimmune disease, its cause is unknown. A disease or stress could cause it to flare up. The good news is that in 90% of the patients, the hair grows back.
Any other reasons?
There are a multitude of reasons! The three broad categories for hair fall are a disease, physical distress, and emotional stress. Your hair could fall out in clumps due to iron deficiency.
Also, hypothyroidism, skin conditions such as dandruff or psoriasis or even over-styling! So while there is no short answer to this problem. A closer look at your hair could give you a clue.
Medical professionals will begin by pulling at a section of hair that has about 50 strands in it. Those strands will be observed to determine where the cause lies. If the hair breaks at the length, then you may be over-styling your hair with too much heat or product.
Give your hair a break from excessive styling and let it relax. You’ll notice that its quality will improve over time.
If the hair parts from the scalp with the root intact, your medical professional will observe the health of the root. This will determine if the follicle is compromised in any way.
Additionally, there may be some bloodwork or a biopsy conducted. This will help determine if there is any other reason for the hair to fall out in clumps.
So, what’s the bottom line?
It can be very distressing when your hair falls out in clumps. There is no right answer as to why. Hair fall is usually a distress signal that something has happened/ is happening/ will happen.
So, consult your physician if you feel the matter is not simply of hair turnaround. And in the meantime, eat a balanced diet. Load up on vitamin B and generally be good to yourself. Your hair will thank you, eventually.
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