What is occasional hair loss?
The scientific name for occasional hair loss is acute telogen effluvium. It is the most common form of diffuse hair loss and is characterized by a sudden increase of hair in the telogen phase, three to four months after a triggering factor (postpartum, stress, fatigue, or mineral deficiency, for example). The hair cycle is thus disrupted, triggering an abrupt, diffuse and simultaneous loss of hair in the telogen phase. The proportion of hairs in the anagen phase shifts to 70% (vs 85% in physiological condition), along with an increase of those in the telogen phase (30%, vs less than 10%), and hair loss can reach up to 300 per day, versus the usual 25 to 60 on a normal scalp. This loss of hair, lasting no more than six months, is a common reason for visiting a dermatologist or for consulting a health professional, such as a pharmacist. For some patients, this condition, considered benign, may cause significant emotional distress or severely impact quality of life.
Occasional alopecia: a totally reversible phenomenon
On a healthy scalp, occasional hair loss is totally reversible. Once the triggering factor has been identified and treated, occasional alopecia always improves. That being said, approximately 6 months are required for any regrowth to begin, and a return to the hair’s initial state may take up to 12 or even 18 months. A cosmetic adjuvant treatment, such as a dietary supplement, may help provide the hair follicles with a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals. At the same time, be gentle with your hair: avoid aggressive brushing or harsh products. Stop tying your hair back to prevent pulling which may cause hair to become more fragile, and opt for gentle shampoo and conditioner.