Everyone is going to experience hair loss at some point in their life. You know this and most women do as well. Yet, being aware of this fact may not be enough to allay your worries when you start noticing signs of hair thinning. This is understandable because people associate hair loss with permanence. However, you should know that it is possible that the condition behind the excessive shedding is just temporary.
Yes, you read that right. In some cases, female hair loss is reversible – the hair eventually grows back! So, before you start panicking about your tresses being less dense, see a hair specialist to get an accurate diagnosis.
What Are the Reversible Female Hair Loss Conditions?
Telogen Effluvium (TE) is generally a reversible hair loss condition. The problem usually stops a few months after its onset or once the trigger is removed. In this condition, medical intervention is not usually necessary since things get resolved on their own in six months or less. However, it is still best to see a specialist like a dermatologist or trichologist for the hair loss problem to be properly diagnosed. After all, the symptoms of telogen effluvium are not very different from the other types of alopecia.
In TE, the excessive hair fall happens suddenly. You would notice more strands on your hairbrush, shower floor and pillowcase. Your hair may also appear less dense. The thinning is rarely concentrated in one area; rather, it tends to affect the entire scalp.
What causes telogen effluvium? Experts have not uncovered the exact cause of this condition. What is known so far is that, the normal hair growth cycle is disrupted. Hairs in the anagen or growing phase prematurely entre the resting or telogen phase. Normally, only 10% to 15% of hairs are in the telogen phase, but if you have TE, around 30% of hairs are resting. So, instead of shedding only around 100 hair strands per day, you lose 300 or more.
It is said that certain events can trigger this abnormal change in the hair cycle. Suffering from an illness or severe infection, giving birth, major physical trauma and undergoing a major surgery are included in the list. The problem may also be brought about by excessive weight loss, drastic change in diet and nutritional deficiency. Some also point to constant or prolonged exposure to psychological stress as a possible trigger of telogen effluvium.
The symptoms of TE do not manifest until two to four months after the trigger was experienced. This is because the hairs stay at the telogen phase for at least two months before they start falling off. So, if you want to identify what caused your TE, do not focus on recent events; instead, go as far back as six months before you noticed the symptoms.
Another reversible type of female hair loss is traction alopecia (TA). This condition is mainly due to hair styling practices, specifically those that cause tension on the strands like braids, ponytails and buns, amongst others. Basically, you are at risk of suffering from this form of alopecia if you regularly sport tight hairstyles.
What happens in TA is that the repeated pulling of the hair causes it to become loose. Eventually, the hair breaks or falls off from its follicle. The hair loss happens gradually which is why the problem isn’t noticed until it’s already severe.
The initial symptoms of traction alopecia include pimple-like bumps and redness on the affected area. You may also experience itching and tenderness. It’s also possible for the follicles to become inflamed and develop blisters containing pus. Hair loss is usually observed along the hairline or the front and sides of the scalp.
Traction alopecia is fully reversible for as long as the follicles are not scarred. This is why, for this type of alopecia, early intervention is crucial. If the problem is not addressed immediately, the hair follicles can get damaged and the hair loss can become permanent. So, make sure you consult a trichologist or dermatologist immediately.
If traction alopecia is the reason behind your hair loss, all you need to do is to stop what caused it. This means wearing your hair down instead of sporting a tight hairstyle. You may also benefit from using medications which promote hair growth, especially if the hair loss is severe.
Hair loss due to telogen effluvium and traction alopecia is rarely permanent. However, it’s best to address these problems immediately to prevent them from becoming chronic or causing lasting damage.
Want to know if you are suffering from reversible female hair loss? Call us at (0)1 6793618 and schedule an appoint with our hair specialist.