Lockdown silver linings, right? So you head to the shower and shampoo out a week's worth of grime (no judgement, sis). But then, when you're rinsing out your conditioner, panic strikes. You notice a little bit more hair than usual circling the drain... Stress increases by, like, a billion percentage points.
Disclaimer: it's true that your hair loss could be caused by a number of different reasons, including stress, diet change, hormonal fluctuations and underlying health conditions. That in mind, it’s always important to check with your GP if you think something’s up.
But, that said, there could be a way more reassuring reason for your lockdown hair loss. Three little words:
1. Cumulative hair shedding
In short, if you’re washing your hair less frequently than you usually would, and skipping styling / brushing sessions, it’s likely that you’re going to have a lot more accumulated hair to shed when you hit the shower.
“If you cut down on your weekly washes, when you do wash, expect to see more lost hairs” agrees Jane Mayhead MIT (Institute of Trichologists), Trichologist at The Private Clinic of Harley Street.
“The reason for this is simply that hair sheds daily but in varying amounts. It can become trapped together and then when you wash the hairs are released, particularly with conditioners making the hair slippery and untangled.”
Brushing the hair will dislodge some. The important thing is not to panic. When I perform a hair collection test for analysis, it will always be over a 5-day period of not washing to establish the hair fall.
2. How much hair should I shed per hair wash?
“It’s normal to lose up to 100 hairs a day – so if you shampoo daily you can expect to see around 80 strands coming out (with the rest being lost throughout the day). If you shampoo every 3 days, you may see 3 days’ worth of hair fall at once - maybe 250-280 hairs – depending on how often you are brushing or styling your hair in-between washes” says Anabel Kingsley, Trichologist at Philip Kingsley.
3. Can a fever cause hair loss?
If you’ve recently suffered with high temperature, this might also be something to bear in mind if you’re shedding more hair than usual in the shower.
“High fevers (those over 39 degrees C) almost always cause excessive hair shedding 6-12 weeks later. Don’t worry though – the hair loss will stop on its own and hair will grow back just as before.”
4. Should I be skipping hair washes on lockdown?
Whilst it’s nice to take advantage of lessened pressure to keep your hair squeaky clean, it’s worth keeping up a consistent hair wash schedule that takes into account your scalp’s natural cycle.
“Rule of thumb: Treat your scalp with similar care to the skin on your face. Your scalp is, after all, simply an extension of the skin on your forehead.” Says Annabel.
“Over-time infrequent shampooing can cause scalp problems, which in turn can lead to hair problems. Your scalp is your hair’s support system, so it’s important to keep it clean and healthy. “ Again - you know your body better than anyone else. If something feels wrong, always consult a medical professional.
5. How else can I protect my hair?
You can take a supplement with hair-enriching nutrients, such as Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, Copper, Zinc, Selenium, and the essential amino acids, L-Lysine and L-Methionine. And finally, it’s worth investing in hair care that protects your strands if they’re feeling fragile.
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