I shake my fist at you, evil Telogen Effluvium! You are my arch nemesis! Gah.
A severe dip in Estrogen can make your hair shed quickly and leave you feeling well, bald. Whether you’re post partum, changing birth control, recovering from a miscarriage or just plain stressed — separation, ahem — here are 3 things to keep in mind when you’re terrified about losing it all.
First, here’s some general info about the treatable condition that is all too common among moms (and much more common in women) thanks to Dr. Peter Vignjevic, Dermatologist’s website and various other chat-rooms and threads I’ve been obsessively combing over. Ha. No pun.. oh hell it was totally intended.
Telogen Effluvium starts 6 to 12 months after a significant stress to the body like large weight loss, having a baby, divorce, death of a family member. You know, your basic traumas. No biggie.
This shedding will continue for about 12 to 18 months and then stop even though it feels like it won't. The hair will regrow spontaneously—that’s right. This will not cause you to become ‘bald,’ it’s not dangerous, not contagious, and not actually due to diet. There’s no scarring of the scalp—you can totally get back to your previous state of bounce-back beautiful hair.
But knowing this still doesn’t make me feel a whole lot better when I look like a troll pencil-topper in the morning. A shedding, troll, pencil topper. Shudder.
I have always had fine hair. It’s fly away, and Fraggle-ish, it requires an incredible amount of patience and is prone to breakage when I’m stressed, not eating, or not sleeping properly, etc. I have nightmares that I’m going to have to buff my scalp, and I still sob uncontrollably during Tangled.
I have had hair extensions.
I have had long hair.
I have had short hair.
I’ve done the Rachel, and the Pob.
I have been a brunette, a blonde, a red head; shaved it, waif-ed it, and full-fringed it.
After a baby, two losses, relationship rollercoaster and a general hormone circus my head is fried no matter how many supplements I take. Like, blooming onion fried.
Here are 3 things I have learned to get through the ultimate bad hair day with your head held high and your hair held higher!
NOT EVERYONE CAN TELL
You might feel like Lex Luthor but chances are you don’t look very different to your friends and family. Trust me. This isn’t the first time I’ve written about my hair issues. There are some simple tricks and products out there to help you create more of a va-voom look for your locks, so take a break for yourself, do some surfing for great reviews or head to Sephora for some samples or find some fun tips in our beauty section.
CHANGE IT UP
If you find that your esteem is starting to be eclipsed by your hair, go to your stylist and find a change that gets you excited. It seems like everyone has a theory, approach, or best cut or colour to offer based on face shape, age, and colouring. At the end of the day the only person who has to feel excited and comfortable about a style is you.
I don’t know if that means highlights, a bob, or a purple pixie cut in your world, but any kind of change is super cathartic whether you’re single again for the first time, or you're a mom for the 10th time.
If you are hiding under your covers, actively changing your social habits to avoid going out, or you feel a sense of alarm at the amount of shedding you see, make an appointment with your doctor stat.
Even if it’s totally normal, it still helps to ease your mind/scalp.
You might get a referral to a dermatologist, a prescription for various creams and sprays, some suggestions for supplements or tips for healthy lifestyle changes.
If there is no underlying cause for your loss, you might get some blood-work done to rule out over/underactive thyroid issues as well.