There are three stages of hair growth
Growth Phase - 2 to 7 years
Resting Phase - 3 months, 10%-15% of the hair at any one time
Shedding Phase - 50 to 100 hairs per day is normal
If hair enters the resting phase too early noticeable thinning can occur.
Causes of Hair Loss
There are two different types of hair loss - temporary or hereditary.
Temporary Hair Loss
Hormonal related hair loss from stress on the body including pregnancy, menopause, surgery, medication, poor nutrition, stress, or illness (like Covid-19). Long clumps of hair suddenly appear in the shower and brush.
Hereditary Hair Loss
Slowing of hair growth and thinning of hair over time. Hair feels thinner and sparse patches appear around the front hairline and along your part.
Hereditary hair loss begins when androgen receptors near the hair follicle at the root are activated by a naturally occurring hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Once activated by the hormone the hair grows slower and thinner shrinking the hair follicle making it easier to fall out and more difficult to grow back. Blocking the DHT hormone is important when you first notice thinning hair.
Poor circulation to the hair root can also cause hair loss if the root isn’t getting nutrients needed for hair growth. Old age, tense muscles in the neck and forehead and stress can all constrict blood flow to the scalp.
Covid could be making you lose your hair
Special Alert! About 4-6 weeks after being infected with Covid-19 you may see extreme hair loss. This isn’t gradual hair loss but more clumps of long hair coming out at the root in your shower and brush. All hair has three stages: growth phase, resting phase, and shedding phase. The stress of the virus on the body is causing hair to jump prematurely from resting into the shedding phase similar to giving birth or extreme dieting.
A few weeks after the shedding you will notice little short hairs around your hairline and along your part line. This is new growth. New growth has a pointy, thin end. Damaged or broken hair has a split or coarse end. Your hair will over time grow back out and the hair loss is temporary. Treat hair gently and try and reduce brushing, heat or chemical damage during this period.
To hold down little fly away hairs try hairspray or a my personal favorite a clear brow gel or clear mascara to keep little hairs in place.
Solutions to Temporary Hair Loss
Minoxidil (usually known as Rogaine)– increases blood flow to the root, increases the growth phase of the hair and shorts the resting phase. These products do not block the DHT hormone any can actually cause hair to fall out if the increase in blood glow contains DHT. Interesting side note- it has been proven toxic to cats so maybe not the best to put on your skin.
Hair Growth Shampoos
Before picking a shampoo to combat hair loss determine if your hair loss is temporary or hereditary. Temporary you need nutriends and scalp stimulation. If you have hereditary hair loss and you choose a scalp stimulating shampoo you could increase hair loss if DHT is your problem. Instead choose a nutrient based shampoo with DHT blockers.
For dermatologist recommended shampoos for each type of hair loss click the link below:
Recover temporary Hair Loss – Grow stronger, thicker hair
Viviscal and Nutrafol – are popular brand name supplements that include a mix of vital nutrients for hair health. Increased amounts of Biotin, Vitamin C, and Zinc is recommended for temporary use following hormonal related hair loss from stress on the body including pregnancy, menopause, medication, poor nutrition, or stress. Because Covid related hair loss is temporary would be a good solution.
These supplements can be pricey and an equally effective lower cost solution would be taking a good daily multivitamin and adding Biotin and Collagen. Prenatal vitamins are a great daily vitamin with hair healthy ingredients. To stimulate new growth, add Zinc and pumpkin seed oil supplements.
Solutions to Hereditary Hair Loss
Finasteride – prescription only blocks DHT from shrinking the hair follicle. Unfortunately, it has been shown only moderately effective because it only blocks one of the two enzymes that bind DHT to the hair follicle.
Saw palmetto – beta-sistosterol supplements block both enzymes that bind DHT to the hair follicle.
DrFormulas Hair Omega DHT Blocker with Biotin includes silica, saw palmetto, pumpkin seed, biotin, zinc and a mix of other good for you ingredients. At around $34 for a 45 day supply this all in one supplement gets rave reviews and is my personal favorite. I have both hereditary related hair loss and medication related hair loss. With DHT blockers and a healthy nutrient mix this all in one makes hair health easy. Click the link to purchase:
Whether you are suffering from temporary or hereditary hair loss it can be emotional. Here is a quick tip sheet for managing:
1. use clean, chemical free products
2. increase circulation to the scalp when shampooing - use back and forth motions with your fingertips not circles
3. brush wet hair gently with a good leave in conditioner and start from the bottom moving up the hair
4. use silk scrunchies, claw clips, or coil hair ties to hold hair up
5. sleep with long hair up on top of your head at need to reduce friction breakage and frizz
6. add protein treatments to your salon visits to repair damage in the hair cuticle and reduce frizz
7. choose hair healthy supplements for vital nutrients
I hope this helps you on your hair health journey. I am always here to help.
- Shannon Corn
Hairstylist/Owner The Pretty Swan Salon