hair lossWe leave no stone unturned in the search for expert information on hair loss, and this commentary from a pharmacist in Mullingar, Ireland is another welcome opinion on a very pertinent subject.

It’s all about stress

Telogen effluvium is a common type of alopecia which induces widespread thinning of the hair, rather than specific bald patches, and affects both men and women. There are many factors that can bring it on, but the unifying factor is stress, both physical and mental.

On the female side, it usually crops up during times of hormonal changes, such as pregnancy.

For both sexes, it can be caused by the after-effects of a severe illness, certain anticoagulant and blood pressure medications, and intense emotional stress.

In the male case, the latter can be a vicious circle: being stressed out can cause your hair to thin, which brings on more stress, which…you get the picture.

Time to slow down

We’ve covered the stress issue before: simply put, telogen effluvium is the speeding up of the hair’s natural life stages, rushing it through the growing and transitional phases and into the telogen stage, where it falls out. During stress, your body concentrates on delivering the necessary nutrients to the most vital organs: according to the body, your skin and scalp isn’t that important at that time.

As the NHS website points out, telogen effluvium is usually a temporary condition: your hair will stop falling out and start to grow back within six months. If you’re concerned about recent thinning or even loss of your hair, a good first step would be to take stock of your situation, check the instructions of any medication you may be taking, and have a word with your GP if you feel you have a health issue.

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By Ian Watson

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