Every year they say this is going to be an especially nasty year for the flu. Hopefully, you got yourself a flue shot this year. And, while you think achy fever and sore nose from sneezing is the worst of it, we’ve got some more painful news for you.
The flu can cause hair thinning too.
It can occur a few months after you’ve been sick. And, the bad part is you won’t even link it to that week when you barely made it out of your bedroom. How can that happen? Well, it’s all related to the disruption of your hair’s life cycle.
Telogen Effluvium, Temporary Hair Loss
Each hair has a different cycle as it goes through the different phases. You can have two hairs next to each other and one might be growing, and one might be in a resting phase. Another hair can be nearing the resting phase while a fourth might be ready to fall out. Don’t worry, we’re talking about normal hair loss here.
Everyone’s hair goes through this cycle. This means everyone’s hair falls out at some point. Generally, there’s new hair to take it’s place. If there isn’t, that’s permanent hair loss. Medically, the term for the hair resting phase is Telogen effluvium. And with the word flue right in the middle there, what I’m about to tell you shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.
There are numerous reasons your hair can retreat into a resting or sleeping phase. Seasonal change is one of them, stress is another. And yes, a severe attack of the flu can push your hair into telogen. Sadly, after your hair has slept for about six weeks, it falls out. The more hair pushed into telogen through stress and illness, the more you loose at once. Sorry.
On the up side, this type of hair loss usually reverses itself. As long as you return to a non-stressed, healthy state, your hair will come back.
When Should You Be Concerned That Your Hair Loss Is Not Caused By The Flu or Telogen Effluvium?
You might want to consider other reasons for hair loss if you’ve been sick or overly stressed in the past three months. A primary reason could be an illness that you’re not aware is happening. Hair loss is a symptom of anemia and thyroid conditions. There are more than 30 conditions that can trigger hair loss. So, if you haven’t been sick in the recent past, but there are clumps of hair spiraling towards your shower drain, it’s time to see the doctor.
Still not sure if the flu cause your hair thinning? Not convinced your hair loss is temporary? Please give us a call at (858) 794-6833 or request a consultation online. Hair treatments and care is what we do. And, we really don’t want you to suffer.
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