Did you notice that you’d shed more hair this year? Perhaps you caught a glimpse of your precious strands running down the drain after a shampoo, or caught clumps of it in your hairbrush? While it’s important to know that it’s normal to shed hair (women typically shed around 80 stands on average per day due to general breakage and styling), 2020 – the year of lockdown locks – would have had some part to play in extra shedding! Grow Haircare Expert, Belinda Keeley from Chumba Concept Salon explains why.
Stress can unfortunately affect hair shedding. Cortisol (the stress hormone) makes the hair that is already grown move into the telogen part of the hair cycle quicker. The telogen phase is the resting phase of the hair follicle. Anything that disrupts the hair growth cycle, such as stress, can cause more hairs to enter into this phase. When the body is subjected to extreme stress, as much as 70 percent of hair can prematurely enter the telogen phase and begin to fall, causing noticeable hair shedding. Some stress sufferers also develop habits with their hair such as pulling on it or playing with it. This is called trichotillomania and unfortunately will remove or weaken the hair as well.
CHANGES IN HAIRCARE ROUTINE
Many people have been working from home and thus are likely washing and styling their hair differently (or not at all). So, you could seemingly be shedding more hair because you’re washing or brushing it less often – this is called cumulative hair shedding. What it means is that the hair has become trapped together and then when you wash, the hairs are released, particularly if you’re using a conditioner or treatment which makes the hair slinky and less tangled. It isn’t necessarily that more hair is shedding, it is just that it appears to be – all that accumulated hair is coming out when you hit the shower. The same thing can happen when blow-drying hair at a lesser frequency.
CHANGES IN DIET AND LIFESTYLE
Did you start eating differently or take up smoking this year? These things can affect your hair. A great example of this is a diet intake that has too little protein. This can not only damage healthy hair, but also inhibit your body’s ability to build new hair follicles. Take notice of anything you may have changed during the year, as this can definitely have an effect on your hair.
What can we be doing about extra shedding?
This all depends on the cause of the hair shedding. If it is stress, then telling you to ‘stress less’ is easier said than done and absolutely not my expertise, a mental health professional can help with implementing coping mechanisms.
If you think it has to do with changes in your lifestyle or haircare routine, these things can be adjusted to try and maximise your hair health. Try to help your hair along the way by investing in some products that will help to eliminate excessive hair shedding. We recommend Grow’s Stimulating Scalp Scrub is like an exfoliant for your scalp, working in the same way that a face or body exfoliant would. Grow’s Scalp Scrub encourages hair growth at the root of the problem – in the hair follicles. Many people don’t realise that over time the build-up of products, residue and sebum can clog our hair follicles, which can lead to hair thinning or shedding. This happens because hair follicles typically have two or more hairs growing from them, but if they become clogged, they can shrink, resulting in less hairs being able to grow through.
Also apply a hair treatment at least once or twice a week, ideally something that will protect your hair like Grow’s Longer Stronger Anti-Breakage Hair Mask. This mask will provide a potent and intense conditioning treatment that will not only nourish your hair, but prevent damage and breakage caused by environmental stress, chemical treatments or over styling. The innovative formula features a rich concentration of amino acids and key actives, allowing the mask to penetrate deep into the hair shaft to nourish, protect and rehydrate hair. Unlike silicone-based hair masks that only temporarily coat the hair, Grow’s Anti-Breakage Hair Mask is a long-lasting solution that intuitively keeps your hair shiny, healthy and damage free.
If hair shedding seems more like hair loss and continues for longer than three months, it could be an indication of an ongoing problem. For this, it is best to approach an expert in that field, such as a trichologist.