Hair Loss and Physical Trauma

Specific Conditions

There is definitely a connection between a physical trauma and the onset of hair loss. The body is very sensitive and any trauma can cause the system not to function properly. The hair is also very sensitive to any changes in the body, nutrients that are required for healthy hair growth can stop reaching the scalp when the body is under any kind of pressure. A serious accident such as a car crash is typical of the type of physical trauma that can cause hair loss.

When the body is in shock it upsets the circulatory system and the essential nutrients that the skin and hair need can be compromised. Hair loss due to physical trauma is not normally permanent and once the body recovers the hair will start to grow back. It can take time, hair can still be lost up to 3 months after the accident. During this time taking care of the hair is important. There are many products on the market that will help to strengthen and improve the structure of the hair. Massaging the scalp will help to improve the circulation to the hair follicles.

There are three cycles to the growth of hair for everyone. The first stage is called the anagen phase and is when the hair grows. This can be from three to seven years in an adult. The next stage is called the catagen phase. The hair will stop growing, the hair follicles shrink in preparation for the final stage. The telogen phase follows and will last for about 100 days. The hair is lost and new hair that has been forming will start to grow. At any one time a typical head of hair will have 90% of hair follicles in the anagen phase and just 10% in the telogen phase.

When the body suffers any type of trauma these phases are upset and trigger more hair loss than growth. This can happen at any age and it can take up to a 100 days for it to be noticed. Fortunately once the body starts to recover, the hormones are getting back to normal the hair will start to recover. This can take up to 6 months but the health of the hair can be helped in the meantime. The use of a good shampoo and conditioner suitable for the hair type will keep the existing hair looking healthy.

Telogen effluvium is the name given to hair loss through major trauma or shock. Surgery can cause the problem. The body goes into shock when it is ‘attacked’ and the defence systems are under stress. Again this is normally a temporary condition and once the body gets over the shock hair will start to grow again. It is not an overnight process as it takes time for the hair follicles to reproduce healthy hair shafts. In the meantime a god healthy diet will certainly help as it can boost the nutrients and vitamins that the hair needs.

For some the loss of hair can cause more stress and can prolong the time for hair growth. Hair can be an important part of the way we look. Loss of hair can cause embarrassment and lack of self-confidence which can cause more stress. During the period after a physical trauma when the hair is either thinning or lost a change of hair style can be beneficial. Covering the thinning patches can boost confidence and therefore reduce the stress it was causing.

Seeking professional help if hair loss continues is essential as there maybe another underlying cause. The body is complex and takes its time to get over major traumas and this will have its effect on the hair and skin. Medication that is given during and after the incident will also have an effect on the condition of the hair. Some medications can cause the hair to fall out leaving bald patches, this is reversible in most cases. Time is a healer and the healing process is different for each individual. Keeping down stress levels during this time will certainly help the hair to start to regrow. Taking a warm bath with a few drops of an essential oil will help with relaxation and sleep.

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