Did The Flu Cause My Thinning Hair?'

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Name: Jacob

Question: I am 18 and noticed a lot of hair falling out, mostly in the front. It has continued for about a week and seems like my hair is thinning out. It falls out when I wash it, touch it, and sometimes when I am walking around. I feel healthy and don't believe I have been very stressed but I did have the flu almost 3 months ago. I was wondering what could be causing this and when it will get better

cold flu illness sick unwell healthAnswer: Hi, Jacob. If you were ill around three months ago, this may well be a case of your hair loss.

Although you may not have experienced any emotional stress - the feeling of being anxious or stressed out - an illness, such as a bad flu, can place a strain on the body. This is a kind of physical stress as the body seeks to fight off the infection and protect the organs involved in critical functions, such as the heart and lungs. In doing so, other less vital functions - such as the hair growth cycle - can be temporarily neglected.

This can lead to something called Telogen Effluvium which is a temporary hairloss condition. It causes an increase in hair shedding from all over the scalp around three months after it has been triggered and can affect up to 50 per cent of head-hair.  The result can seem intense and sudden when in actual fact it was triggered months - usually three though it can be slightly more or less - in advance when the strain caused a blip in the growth cycle. All this involves is the hairs which were actively growing being pushed prematurely into the resting (Telogen) phase, creating extra hair fall. Once the underlying issue has gone or been remedied, and the body returns to normal, so too should hair regrowth.

It tends to last for no more than six months; as such, your hair should start to regrow naturally again soon. However, if you are concerned and would like a personal assessment from a Belgravia specialist in order to confirm this diagnosis to put your mind at rest, or if you would like to look into Telogen Effluvium treatment, please do contact us to arrange a trichocheck consultation. This can take place either in person at one of our City of London or Central London hair loss clinics, or via this website where you can submit photos of your scalp using our Online Consultation form.

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