Has there ever been a point in your life when it seems as though your hair is just washing down the shower drain? And you think, I am going to be bald if this continues? I have and it can stress you out! Sometimes we can make a few adjustments and resolve or improve our excessive hair shedding. Today we are going to talk about 5 reasons you might be having excessive hair shedding!
Let me tell you! I have not only had one bout of excessive hair shedding over the past year but two! In the summer of 2021, I had an Infiltrating Basal Cell Carcinoma removed from my forehead. It was a pretty traumatic procedure. And with many traumatic things like this several months after you can suffer from excessive hair shedding. And boy did I!
My hair was finally recovering, and my husband and I both got Covid for the first time in late spring. And you guessed it, round two with Covid causing my excessive hair shedding. For the past three months, I have been pulling clumps of hair out in the shower. I am going to be talking a little more about Covid and hair shedding below.
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Hair Shedding vs Hair Loss
Before we go into the 5 reasons you might be having excessive hair shedding, I am going to touch on the difference between shedding and hair loss. The average person will shed 50 – 100 hairs every day. It of course can look different for everyone. Some may lose a few more or a few less.
If you have more shedding than what is expected from the average person this is called telogen effluvium. With hair shedding, once you identify the problem or cause and fix the issue your hair shedding should go back to “normal”. However, if your body does not readjust after you identify the problem, you should talk to your Primary Care Physician or Dermatologist for advice. Hair shedding can be frustrating because your hair is coming out in larger quantities more frequently than we are used to. The good news is that is should grow back with time.
Hair loss happens when your hair stops growing, not just shedding. This is called anagen effluvium. Sometimes there can be an external cause that is stopping your hair from growing but a common cause is heredity. Hair loss can sometimes happen over a long period of time without us even noticing it. It also can happen rapidly depending on the cause. But if you cannot decide if it’s shedding or loss you should consult your doctor for help!
First things first, if you think you are having hormone issues you should contact your doctor. But sometimes our hormones can cause excessive hair shedding if they are not balanced. Do you have thyroid issues, pregnancy, or menopause? All 3 of these can cause excessive hair shedding.
I struggle with 2 of the 3 of those. I have had thyroid cancer in the past and had my entire thyroid removed. And I will be on medication for the rest of my life to balance my thyroid levels. I’m kept in a constant hypothyroid state and my Endocrinologist keeps my levels at a perfect level. I can tell if they are off because I will start having excessive hair shedding.
Also, a lot of women who are about 4 to 5 months postpartum often experience hair shedding. It doesn’t seem like the best reward for creating a new life, does it?! Lol!
Menopause can also be a culprit. As our body ages, it can stop producing or slows the process of making hormones. The lower our Estrogen & Progesterone levels, our hair can get less shiny and thinner. Yes, another reward for aging! Lol! But honestly, there is help just go talk to your doctor!
Where should I start with stress?! Stress can wreak havoc on our bodies. That is why it is so important to get it under control if possible. There are many studies out there that show stress can cause hair shedding and cause gray hair!
I have friends that get bald patches on their scalp when they are under extreme stress. We all handle stress differently and manifest it in different ways. My stress gets manifested in my stomach! So, if you want to improve your hair & if you think stress is the culprit you should probably address the cause of your stress. I know, easier said than done!
3. Illness/ Trauma
I can attest to this 1st hand! It has happened to me twice over the past year as I mentioned earlier in this post. After having an illness or trauma you will typically notice excessive hair shedding around 3-6 months later. For me, it was almost to the dot! I talked about my Covid experience, but I also experienced problems after I had my Mohs procedure on my forehead for Infiltrating Basal Cell Carcinoma. It was a traumatic procedure. Your trauma does not have to be on your face/head to cause excessive hair shedding as mine did. Many people will experience this after major surgery.
There has been a lot of talk around Covid being the cause of hair loss. I personally have been experiencing it and know many people that have also. The American Dermatology Association has an article on it if you would like to read more here. But Covid isn’t the only illness that can cause hair shedding. Any illness that attacks your immune system or has you running a high fever can cause it also.
4. Being Rough on Your Hair
I have said this over & over again, please be nice to your hair! I shared a blog post awhile back that you might find help; 5 Things We Do Daily That Might Be Causing Hair Breakage. You can read that here. Not only can being rough on your hair cause shedding it can cause breakage. I am going to share a few things you can do that will help with this!
- Comb or brush your hair from the bottom up. Always start at the bottom and work your way up. Work on any knots that you have gently. Starting at your crown and ripping through your hair will not end well.
- Believe it or not brushing your hair too often can cause excessive shedding or hair fall. It’s recommended that you only brush your hair about twice a day. Brushing too often or too rough can cause scalp irritation or hair fall/breakage. Hard to believe right?! I remember when I was a kid, we used to think we should brush it at night 100 times so it would be nice & shiny. Boy was I wrong!
- Try not to use excessive heat on your hair. I always recommend that you use your heat tools at the lowest setting possible to achieve the desired results. Also always use a heat protectant. I do not like to use anything with silicone in it because I believe it seals your hair. My favorite heat protectant is Blow Out Cream.
5. Unhealthy Scalp
Yes, an unhealthy scalp can lead to hair shedding and affect your hair growth. I did a blog post a while back, The Secret to a Healthy Scalp. You can read that here. A healthy scalp is the secret to having healthy and beautiful hair!
Many scalp conditions can affect scalp health, including dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, dermatitis, and psoriasis. If you have or think you have any of these, you should talk to your dermatologist.
A few signs of an unhealthy scalp:
- Dry & flaky scalp
- Hair doesn’t seem to grow
- Itchy scalp
- Hair & scalp always seem “oily”
- Hair loss
- Red bumps on the scalp
- Excessive breakage
Finding the cause of your unhealthy scalp and working to fix it is the first step to beautiful hair. If you would like help in finding products that would help with this, I would love to help you! Just send me an email or start with a consultation by clicking here.
Our hair is like our crown and when it isn’t looking its best we can get self-conscious about it. At least I can. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had a problem with excessive hair shedding at one time or another. The good news is, with most causes of excessive hair shedding it is not a “forever” situation. Identify the issue, make adjustments if possible, wait it out, or ask for help. I hope you found this helpful! Also, don’t forget if you would like help with your haircare routine please reach out to me by email or click here. Please share in the comments below your thoughts.
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