Hopefully, you got yourself a flu shot this year. As they say every year, this is going to be an especially nasty year for the illness. And, while you think the red soreness of your nose after sneezing, the coughing fits and the achy fever are the end of it, we’ve got some more painful news for you.
The flu can cause you to lose your hair too.
And, it will happen a few months after you’ve been ill – so you won’t even link it to that week when you worked from the couch or barely made it out of the bedroom. How does that work? It’s all related to the life cycle of your hair – and how it can be interrupted.
Telogen Effluvium Is Serious Business
Your hair goes through phases, and each hair has a different cycle. You can have two hairs next to each other and one might be growing, and one might be in a resting phase. Another hair might be nearing the resting phase while a fourth can be ready to fall out (don’t worry, we’re speaking about natural and normal hair loss here).
Every hair goes through this cycle, and that means that every hair falls out at some point. Usually, there’s another, new hair to take its place. If there isn’t – that’s serious hair loss. Medically, the term for the resting phase of hair is Telogen effluvium. And, with the word flu right in the middle there, what we’re about to tell you shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.
There are many reasons your hair can retreat into a sleeping or resting phase. Stress is one of them; seasonal change is another. And yes, a severe bout of the flu can push your hair into telogen. Unfortunately, after your hair has slept for about six weeks, it falls out. The more hair you push into telogen through illness and stress, the more you lose at once. Sorry.
On the plus side, this type of hair loss generally reverses itself. As long as you return to a healthy, non-stressed state, your hair will come back.
When Should You Become Concerned That It’s Not Telogen Effluvium?
If you’ve not been sick or overly stressed in the past three months, you might want to consider some of the other reasons for hair loss. A primary cause could be an illness that’s currently raging in your body. Hair loss is a symptom of thyroid conditions and anemia. There are about 30 medical conditions that can trigger hair loss. So, if you haven’t been sick in the recent past, but there are clumps of hair spiraling towards your shower drain, it’s time to see the doctor.
Still wondering? Can your flu cause hair loss? Not convinced your hair loss is temporary? Don’t believe it has anything to do with your overall state of health? Please give us a call; hair treatments and care is what we do. And, we really don’t want you to suffer.