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Seasonal hair shedding?

Superesse posted 11/5/2020 21:19 PM

Maybe I'm just getting old, but is it normal for a woman to have significant hair shedding around when colder weather arrives? I've always noticed a seasonal variation in hair shedding or loss, but can't recall what time of year.

The past month, however, I've been noticing quite a bit more hair on my brush and bedclothes than usual. (Have had the range of routine blood work which has been all pretty normal; even the TSH value, which for a long time had been borderline high. Since the beginning of the pandemic in our area, I gradually lost 25 pounds I needed to lose, I believe it was due to Covid/lockdown stress and general disinterest in eating my own cooking! Plus, I'd given up booze back in February and have been taking more vitamins than ever before, as well!)

I know there is a condition called Telegen Effluium or significant hair loss that hits about 3 months after a major illness or stress. Last time I had this was in 1987 and it was in fact 3 months after the flu and a major romantic breakup plus relocation and a job change. It was during the summer months, I recall.

But other than 2020 just SUCKING altogether, I can't pinpoint any disease crisis 3 or 4 months ago that might explain this. Way back in mid-May I was hospitalized for 3 days for a crisis electrolyte deficiency. It was a reaction to cough medicine, wouldya believe. (Delsyn...killer stuff!) I never had more than 99.6...possible residual sinus infection, they thought at the time. Whatever happened then, by late May follow-up doctor visit, I had the best blood work lab results I'd seen in many years! So now my hair decides to have a midlife crisis? (Can we just get this year OVER with already?)

[This message edited by Superesse at 10:07 PM, November 5th (Thursday)]

LizM posted 11/5/2020 21:31 PM

Iíve never had any seasonal differences, but maybe others will chime in. Certainly stress could account for it. I recommend collagen supplements...theyíve helped my hair a lot, although itís taken a good 3 months to see it.

Thatís great that youíve managed to lose weight and stop drinking during the pandemic! Complete opposite for me.

Superesse posted 11/5/2020 22:06 PM

Thanks, Liz! I take a range of vitamins, but not collagen. My nails could use some extra strength, too. (Hate Knox gelatin...any brand name you like?)

thebighurt posted 11/5/2020 23:58 PM

Hi Superesse, just wondering how much hair you are losing and how often? Is it coming out in clumps or single strands like you said on your bedding, individually dropping frequently or infrequently?

I have been losing single strands very often for a few years now and no condition I can connect to it, as I have not had any health issues other than some depression I worked mostly through for just a year or so now. In spite of this hair loss, I still have a VERY thick head of hair. The loss doesn't seem to make any difference I can see.

For instance, I will have many strands on my clothes (or bedding like you) at any given time, can grab a section of hair and slide my hand to the end and most often have a small number of hair strands many times during the day but more in the morning, can stand over the sink after brushing my teeth and see several strands there after only leaning over it not touching my hair. In fact, I have considered starting a post like this myself. I have taken to wearing a shower cap often when cooking to avoid finding hair in my food.

I also take a range of individual supplements that include collagen/biotin. And yes, they do take time to notice a difference. Sadly, I started taking biotin for my nails years ago and they still need help, but my hair sure grows fast! Bloodwork also normal.

tushnurse posted 11/6/2020 08:07 AM

I don't have much hair to begin with so losing it catches my attention immediately.

Stress/Illness/Medications/Hormone imblances are the main causes.
I had one med for my condition that was working fairly well that after taking it about 9 mos, caused hair loss. The effect was not immediate, or even close to immediate. So I would look at any meds or even some of the newish supplements you are taking and see if it could be one of them. Also do you feel new growth coming in, or have you been to a stylist recently that can tell you if you do? Because when I had mine, it wasn't being replaced. About 6 weeks after stopping the medication it started coming back rapidly.

Superesse posted 11/6/2020 10:09 AM

Thanks, y'all, so I was hoping to hear this is an annual event, like my dogs coats they blow twice a year. Horses shed late summer when their winter coat is coming in, how ironic. You see them losing hair just when the wind is getting nippier...

thebighurt, what you describe sounds exactly like what I'm having...no clumps or anything but cannot seem to get all the loose hairs combed out. I just asked my WH to cut another inch or so off my hair, which he does every few months...I'm a low maintenance "au naturel" kinda gal. I have always worn my hair long, but after the 1987 episode, it got scraggly and looked so thin down my back that I cut a foot of length off, and have never let it grow that long again. Besides, it looked out of date on me by my mid-30s. Long hair is a lot of upkeep....

Right now it is about mid shoulder blade/upper bra line length. Probably my wearing it up all the time with a crab claw clip is part of the problem...

But as tushnurse says, I may be overdoing it with one of my vitamins. Will def check them out for that, thanks! I know the biotin is either 5,000 or 10,000 mcg, plus I take B6, methylated folate and B12s, a one-a-day vitamin, 5,000 IU A,10,000 IU D, some chewy 250mg Cs, 25 mg zinc, potassium, magnesium, all with my doctor's blessing. In May, the hospital thought my electrolytes had gotten perilously low for no reason they could explain, so I'm being watched for low potassium and was ordered to beef up my nutrition. But otherwise, I'm the picture of health at age 69!!

thebighurt posted 11/6/2020 21:10 PM

My hair loss has been like this for several years and I have not changed anything from that time, but added a couple of supplements a year or more ago with Dr's approval. Hair still doing same with that.

My hair has not been cut since early February and is longer than I have ever worn it before, as it grows fast. At that time it was not quite collar length and now probably about the same length as yours. That extra length makes the lost strands so much more noticeable and annoying. Still VERY thick, too, which seems incomprehensible given the daily loss!

As I sit here watching TV with a sweater on, I can lift an arm and see a hair or two on the sweater or look down and notice more on the front of it. Remove and dispose of them and still notice more shortly after. And when I take the sweater off at bedtime, the shoulders and back will be covered with them inside and out. Very annoying to always have hair dripping all over and following me around. Hair is a large share of what I empty from my Shark collection cup each time.

TN, I have friends who had very thin hair starting in their 50s and seemed to he hormone related. Theirs never did come back. Both were devastated by it and one always wore a wig.

tushnurse posted 11/7/2020 14:32 PM

I had 2 great aunts that were sisters. One went bald and the 0ther developed curls. The one that lost her hair loved it. She had worse in lots of colors and lengths and she was a pistol. Worked for her.

LizM posted 11/8/2020 12:18 PM

any brand name you like?

I went by reviews on Amazon and got collagen from Sports Research, but it isnít being sold through Amazon anymore, so when I run out Iíll have to either switch or get it direct from them...probably switch because there are others with good reviews and Amazon is so convenient.

I put it in my morning coffee. Supposed to be tasteless, but if I do a whole scoop in 1 cup it tastes odd to me, so I do 2 half scoops in 2 cups.

Superesse posted 11/8/2020 15:47 PM

Thanks, Liz, I will have to add that collagen, as it sounds like it could help with skin, too. I notice the dreaded "turkey skin" on my arms where I've lost muscle tone over the last winter. (Gosh, this aging stuff is a non-stop uphill battle to hang on to our bodies...)

I decided to do a little internet search on hair shedding and found that dermatologists only started researching the seasonality of hair loss around 1991, so they still don't fully know the "root" causes, pardon the stupid pun! But one theory is humans shed hair based on peak sunlight hours during summer, causing hair on the head to stay for protection but then it goes into a resting phase and people report they lose more hair just after Daylight Savings Time ends...about 100 days after mid-July. How 'bout that?! Just when my hair loss started! I should have found that bit, earlier....hahaha

Still I think better nutrition is a good idea and will have to verify my vitamins and mineral quantities are in balance. I don't take added calcium even though I do have some bone loss, because I'm dead scared of kidney stones like my WH gets! I know in horses and dogs, the ratio of calcium and phosphorus in their diet is really important. Probably is in humans, too...

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