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Pandemic Hair Loss

Pandemic Hair Loss

"Hey Kris. My hair is falling out in clumps. It's scaring me how much of my hair I see in the shower. I'm afraid that I won't have any hair left at this rate. Do you have anything that will help me?" Although not a direct quote, this was a conversation that I had with one of my good friends. After a series of questions, we came to the conclusion that Covid 19 had caused my friend to start losing her hair. But, this didn't make sense to me. How could she have experienced hair loss from covid when no one has mentioned hair loss as a side-effect!?! 

A quick google search confirmed my worst nightmare. Dermatologist confirmed a significant increase in hair loss 2-3 months after contracting covid. Almost one month after having this conversation with my friend, I had to be taken to urgent care in the middle of the night. I came home with two things: 1) some unexpected news about my health that would significantly impact my life and the life of my family and 2) covid.

Here's how it happened. As I sat in the waiting room waiting to be seen, I saw an older man who was coughing. He had a mask on, so I didn't think anything of it. He was coughing so much that he went to the restroom. Once he came out, I noticed that his mask was down. Delirious from the pain I was experiencing while waiting to be seen, I thought that I was hallucinating. But, I wasn't. He then began to mouthed... with his mask down. Mind you, this was during the height of covid when masks were required and not optional. Needless to say, I knew (before I officially knew) that I was exposed to covid.

The Numbered Curls business shut down. I was down for the count. Everything on my body hurt. Night time was the scariest part as breathing was so difficult that I was afraid of suffocating in my sleep. But, what scared me even more than this was the potential hair loss. I was scared that I... the owner of Numbered Curls... a natural hair care company would start to experience hair loss 2-3 months later. And I did!

This devastated me. Every shower became more and more depressing as I saw my hair coming out in clumps. Although not ideal, I'm thankful because it allowed me to understand something that's been impacting women for years now: telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium 

According to Brian Abittan, MD, the director of skin and hair rejuvenation at Mount Sinai Health System in New York, "Telogen effluvium occurs when a larger proportion of hairs on the scalp shift into this resting phase, resulting in shedding at a higher rate. It's normal for patients to lose about 100 hairs a day, Abittan said. But with telogen effluvium, patients could lose up to 300, 500, or even 1,000 hairs each day" he added.

In fact, telogen effluvium is the reason why many women see signification hair loss after having a baby. Although temporary, telogen effluvium can be caused by a number of things: stress, hormonal changes, medications, nutritional deficiencies, and some medical conditions. Think about it this way... When your body goes through anything traumatic, there is a potential for telogen effluvium. That means when your body experiences physical trauma (having a baby, illness, surgery, etc.) there's the potential for telogen effluvium. If your body experiences emotional trauma, telogen effluvium can happen in those instances too! Think stress, the loss of a family member, friend, or loved one. All of this can swing your hair (no matter where it is in the 4 stages of hair growth) all the way to the 4th phase which is when your hair sheds.

Don't worry. I can hear you now. "Ok Kris. That's great information for me but what can I do about it!?!" Great question! 

Here are some ways to reduce the likelihood of or to bounce back from telogen effluvium:

  1. Identify and address the underlying cause: Telogen effluvium is typically triggered by something. Be it stress, hormonal changes, an illness, medication, etc. the goal is to identify the cause. Once you do this, this will help you to know how best to treat it. If it's hormonal changes, bringing your hormones back in balance is the key. If it's stress, taking more time out for self-care and doing your best to cope or rid yourself of the stressors. Addressing and treating the underlying is your best bet to help prevent further hair loss.

  2. Improved nutrition: Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to hair loss. By ensuring that you're drinking enough water, eating well balanced meals, and taking in foods/supplements rich in protein, iron, biotin, and vitamins A-D will help with both hair growth and reducing hair loss.

  3. Reducing or managing stress: Stress is a sleeper when it comes to hair loss. It steals so much of our hair and we don't even realize it, often until it's caused significant loss. Because of this, reducing and/or managing your stress is really important. Whether it's relaxing, exercising, doing things that make you happen, praying/meditating, setting time aside for rest, all of these things can help reduce stress related hair loss.

  4. Cut back harsh treatments: Consider cutting back harsh chemical treatments like perms, relaxers, hair dyes when experiencing significant hair loss as these treatments have the ability to damage hair and make your hair loss problem even worse. 

  5. Use gentle and natural hair care products: The use of gentle and natural hair care products will help your hair when experiencing hair loss. Thankfully, you've come to the right place. Numbered Curls' products are 100% natural and formulated to be gentle but impactful on your curls. 

  6. Seek guidance from a professional: If you're seeing major hair loss, consult a professional! This can be a dermatologist, your primary care physician, etc. You want to seek guidance from someone who can identify the underlying cause of your hair loss so that they can recommend things for treatment. Your hair loss may be caused by something other than telogen effluvium. So, knowing what you're dealing with is key to identifying the best solution.

  7. Know that you're not alone: This is one of the most important steps. It's easy to think that life is only happening to you. Trust me, you ARE NOT alone. Know that I'm here and happy to walk through this natural hair journey with you...together! But don't be a stranger! You're family now! So come back to check out our future blog posts. Take a look around our website and see what products can help you in your hair journey. And follow us on social media where we continue to share information, products, and services geared towards loving, understanding, and embracing your natural hair! 


Feel free to leave any comments or feedback below. See you on our next blog post!


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