Have you experienced hair loss? Has this happened to you? Your going along quite nicely, your hairdresser always comments on your hair “you have thin hair but a lot of it” which makes you feel good. You take pride in adding gorgeous highlights that bring light to your face and make you feel bright and cheerful when you see yourself in the mirror.
But then you start experiencing hair loss, and I’m not talking the odd strand here and there, I’m talking big stinkin’ handfuls, every time you comb through your hair!!!!!
I was terrified and horrified when this happened to me. I couldn’t believe it! Big, full, handfuls of hair, every time I washed it and combed it through!
I was (and still am) devastated! My hair is fine at the best of times but now I had to endure it falling out and as far as I could tell, it wasn’t being replaced. My ponytail was now so thin I could grab all my hair in my clenched fist and there was room to spare!
Did this happen overnight? Nope and it took me a while to clue into why it was happening to me.
2016 was an incredibly stressful year for me. I was in school and taking exams every week. I am a perfectionist so every grade mattered more to me than it really should have as I was doing really well in school. I was a mother to 2 young boys, a wife and a business owner. In April I took my final exams and had to wait an excruciating 7 weeks to find out if I had passed or not (I secretly thought I had totally blown my final exam) and so I worried each and every day of those 7 weeks – 49 days to be exact!
Then we thought it would be a good idea to sell our house and move! So adding all that up together I was a mess and my hormones were so out of whack I felt like a grumpy zombie who thought the world was coming to an end every day.
So this leads me to where we are today. I now know that unless you get to the root cause of your hair loss you will likely be shooting in the dark. What you can probably rely on is that you have inflammation, elevated levels of estrogen, poor nutrition in some way (missing out on key vitamins/minerals or both).
Heres the skinny on the time lag of hair loss – it usually occurs 2 months after any change (be that positive or negative).
Your hair has 2 main phases:
- Anagen (growth phase) – usually 5 years
- Telogen (resting phase) – a fixed duration usually 2-6 months in length
Once your hair reaches the telogen phase it will fall out and there is nothing you can do about it at that stage. Once you have “corrected” any inflammation, hormonal imbalance or nutritional deficiency it will take time for these changes to take effect.
“Sometimes hair loss is associated with high androgens, but more commonly …. the root cause is low iron, thyroid hormone imbalance, or insulin resistance” Sara Gottfried, MD
I asked myself “what had I done in the previous 3 months” that could possibly cause my hair to fall out – think back to the top of the post – stress from school and moving house were the biggest things I could think of. For you it might be that you came off the pill, did you go through a period of sickness? Do you suffer from heavy periods or estrogen dominance?
So what did I do differently once I found out I had significant hair loss? I started taking Biosil, up’d my B vitamins, consciously reduced my stress level and meditated on a daily basis, took supplements to even out my estrogen dominance. I won’t know for a few more months if I have been truly successful or not but I have noticed a reduction in the amount of hair falling out so I’m taking that as a huge improvement. It certainly made me wake up and take stock of what I was putting my body through on a daily basis and that I needed to adopt a practice of self care and stick to it.
If you suspect you have significant hair loss I would suggest you look for the root cause, using an RHN, ND or family doctor for guidance, taking a hormone panel (as an RHN I am able to provide these tests to you which include saliva testing) and even asking your MD for blood tests where applicable.
Above all practice meditation, yoga or some other form of relaxation that you enjoy each and every day! starting right now.