Temporary vs Permanent Hair Loss

Hair loss in general can be a very distressing experience. You can wake up with more hair on your pillows, or seeing them a lot more on your shower drain when you shower, or even noticing more strands on your hair brush when you comb your hair. However, not all hair loss is permanent. Sometimes, there are things that we can and can’t control that can produce hair loss temporarily. Here are three things that can cause temporary hair loss:

  • Natural Cycle – The average human loses around 50 to 100 strands of hair per day. This is perfectly normal and is part of your hair’s life cycle. Your hair undergoes through three phases of its life cycle: the telogen phase where there’s not much shedding, the exogen phase where more shedding is observed, and the anagen phase where newer strands of hair grow in the place of the old ones. Studies show that the exogen phase happens to most people during the fall and winter time. However, there is cause for concern where casual brushing or combing of the hair causes MANY strands to fall off all the time.  This might mean that there is an underlying cause for hair loss.
  • External Factors – Temporary hair loss can be caused by the many chemicals used in straightening, dyeing or curling your hair can cause more hairs to fall off. Styling products can cause hair loss as well, like in gels, mousses, hair sprays and styling waxes, especially when combined with heat styling tools like flat irons or curling irons. There is also this condition called traction alopecia, where tight hairstyles like ponytails and cornrows where a lot of pressure is being applied on the scalp, can cause the strands of hair to weaken and fall off. Once the chemical or hair styling technique causing the hair loss has been identified, you can pause on that for a bit and the hair will regrow. Permanent hair loss on the other hand will not slow down whether or not you change your hairstyle, but can be accelerated by further use of chemicals and aggressive styling techniques.
  • Identifiable Causes – There are many issues that can cause temporary hair loss. Stress or shock can be one of them. Pregnancy, menopause, and other changes in your body’s hormone levels is also another. Once your body has adjusted or has passed these phases, usually the hair grows back. Permanent and rapid hair loss however can be caused by genetics where you might be at risk for developing baldness due to your family’s history, or certain health conditions like lupus, thyroid disease or pattern baldness, also known as alopecia. Only your GP and your dermatologist can truly determine what may be causing your hair loss so always seek their guidance when you start noticing your hair to be thinning.

If you think you might have thinning hair, you can visit our hair loss resource page for more information about this condition, including causes, diseases, and treatments that are available today.