Shedding *heaps* of hair since lockdown started? Here’s why
If you’re reading this, chances are high that you’ve already spent a decent chunk of time cleaning clumps of hair outta your Dyson, the shower drain and that annoyingly-static-but-too-cute-too-ditch sweater you own (FUN!) Here’s the thing about hair loss: a small amount is totally normal. Women shed around 100 strands per day on average through styling and general breakage.
Certain health and lifestyle factors can speed this process up. Think dietary changes, fevers, hormonal fluctuations like pregnancy, menopause and y’know… the stress of what feels like an actual apocalypse (cheers, COVID.) In fact, data shows that survivors of the virus may have “symptoms” of hair loss during recovery. Medical experts put this down to something called “telogen effluvium” which is triggered by cortisol release (read: trauma in the body.)
But if you’ve been losing more than usual lately, know there’s likely something far less frightening at play.
Cumulative hair shedding.
You see, many of us have been skipping out on our beautifying routine (washing! Brushing! blow-drying!) since social distancing started.
“If you cut down on your weekly washes when you do wash, expect to see more lost hairs,” Jane Mayhead MIT (Institute of Trichologists), Trichologist at The Private Clinic of Harley Street said in an interview with Cosmo UK.
“The reason for this is simply that hair sheds daily but in varying amounts. It can become trapped together and then when you wash the hairs are released, particularly with conditioners making the hair slippery and untangled.”
So how much should we see circling the shower drain?
Image source: Getty
“If you shampoo daily you can expect to see around 80 strands coming out (with the rest being lost throughout the day),” Anabel Kingsley, Trichologist at Philip Kingsley added. “If you shampoo every 3 days, you may see 3 days’ worth of hair fall at once - maybe 250-280 hairs – depending on how often you are brushing or styling your hair in-between washes.”
And just like our skin, our scalp needs a lot of love to thrive.
“Rule of thumb: Treat your scalp with similar care to the skin on your face. Your scalp is, after all, simply an extension of the skin on your forehead,” said Anabel. “Over-time infrequent shampooing can cause scalp problems, which in turn can lead to hair problems. Your scalp is your hair’s support system, so it’s important to keep it clean and healthy.”
Bottom line? Even if no one is around to appreciate it, keep up with your weekly washes. And consult with your GP if something feels wrong (YOU know your body best!)
Main image source: Getty
Have you noticed you've been shedding more hair since lockdown started?