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Temporary Hair Loss: Causes and Symptoms
The first time you notice your hair loss can be an alarming experience. Why am I losing my hair? Am I going bald? Is my hair loss temporary or am I going to lose it forever?
While androgenetic alopecia, the most common cause of thinning hair in men and women, is a progressive condition that can lead to permanent hair loss, there are a number of causes of hair loss that are temporary and can be addressed through changes in your lifestyle or diet.
Temporary Hair Loss in Men
Temporary hair loss in men can be caused by a number of conditions, including hypothyroidism. This is where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, contributing to thinning hair. Treating hypothyroidism, which usually involves the use of the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine, will typically reverse your hair loss. Additional causes of temporary hair loss in men are general anesthesia, physical trauma and high fever which can lead to an acute telogen effluvium.
Temporary Hair Loss in Women
In addition to being susceptible to most of the same causes of temporary hair loss as men, women can also experience temporary hair loss during pregnancy. This can be due to hormonal changes that happen as a natural part of pregnancy. Hair loss during pregnancy will usually end three to four months after pregnancy is over.
In the following video, Dr. Ken Washenik, Bosley Medical Director, explains hormonal changes during pregnancy and the effect it can have on thinning hair.
Temporary Hair Loss and Stress
Hair loss can also be caused by extreme physical or emotional stress. It’s believed that cortisol hormone, which is released during stress, causes an increase in the dormant phase of hair. This can result in patchiness or a condition called telogen effluvium. Like most types of temporary hair loss, the condition can be reversed, and, over time, your hair should return to its normal growth cycle.
Permanent Hair Loss
If you’re still unsure of the cause of your hair loss, we always recommend talking to your physician to get a diagnosis before starting any treatment regimen. If it turns out that your hair loss isn’t temporary, and is due to a progressive, noninflammatory condition such as male or female pattern baldness, you still have plenty of options for restoring your hair, including hair transplantation—the only permanent solution to hair loss.
If you’re interested in finding out if you’re a good candidate for hair restoration, download Bosley’s FREE guidebook, The Complete Book On Hair Restoration, to see how great your hair can look.