Sudden Hair Loss

Then there is Telogen Effluvium, when sudden or severe stress results in noticeable hair loss usually a few months after an event such as illness, surgery, pregnancy, an accident or loss of a loved one. The stress may be physical, mental or emotional. The body withdraws nutrients from the hair to allocate them where they are deemed more essential. Fortunately, when the stress is resolved, the body will give more energy and nutrients to the hair again.

Unfortunately, when we lose our hair, it damages our self-esteem and creates fear, adding to our stress, and possibly prolonging the stressful experience of hair loss. With hair only growing at an average of ½ inch a month, it takes a long while for the new hair to fill in to a level of comfort and acceptability. There are herbs, minerals and nutrients that can help stimulate new hair growth. The Hair Balancing system can help prevent hair loss and other holistic techniques can also be very effective.

Another cause is Anagen Effluvium. This is the sudden loss of hair as the result of powerful chemicals or radiation suddenly halting the hair growth cycle. This is most commonly experienced within 1-3 weeks after cancer treatments. Some or all of the hair can fall out, often in uneven patches. Even though cancer treatment is very common and familiar now, to the patient experiencing the hair loss it can be very distressing.

Alopecia Areata affects about 2.5 million men, women and children in the U.S. It can occur as smooth round patches or progress all the way to total hair loss. This is thought to be an autoimmune condition. It can improve and it seems to worsen with stress.

Another cause of hair trauma is domestic violence. Hair is a major point of control in an unhealthy relationship. Abusers often will not allow their partner to cut their hair, or will insist it be worn in a specific way. The abuser may pull on the partner’s hair to cause pain, subordinate, or disfigure, by actually ripping the hair out. Clients have recalled having their hair violently twisted to the point of nearly breaking their neck to enforce obedience. These incidents are not easily forgotten. A sensitivity and hyper-vigilance around the head and hair is often experienced throughout the rest of one’s life after this type of trauma.