Question: For the past few months, my natural hair thick hair has been falling out in SUPER HUGE clumps whenever I comb it or wash it(I use Clear’s Anti-Dandruff extra strong shampoo). And now, everyone has started to notice the obvious thinning in my hair as stray pieces of hair are stuck onto my t-shirts. In addition, my scalp has started to become itchy and at times, I notice really small yellowish white balls (like sugar or salt) embedded into my scalp. I’m only 18 and I’m terrified to comb or wash my hair.
Answer: Hi, Shon. From what you say here, it sounds as if your hair loss could be caused by a temporary condition, though we would need to assess you to give you a confirmed diagnosis.
If the shedding is coming from all over your scalp, this is potentially something called Telogen Effluvium. This tends to present around three months after it has been triggered and can clear up naturally. It can cause excessive hair fall, which would explain the strands stuck to your clothing, and is often a sign of something awry elsewhere in the body.
There are many factors that can cause this common hair loss condition. These include stress – emotional or physical – an underlying illness, hormonal changes or a dietary deficiency. At 18 there are a lot of changes happening – both biological, physical and life changes – which can sometimes have negative impacts, even just temporarily. The pressures of education, finding work and becoming more independent are all examples of stresses that can impact the hair in some cases.
If your hair thinning lasts for more than six months then it could become chronic. Whilst Telogen Effluvium can clear up in up to six months, Chronic Telogen Effluvium lasts for at least six months, assuming no intervention. A bespoke Telogen Effluvium treatment course can often help to accelerate recovery time.
In order to ascertain precisely what is causing your thinning hair and the scalp issues you are having, we would recommend having a consultation. That way a professional hair loss specialist can assess your scalp and provide you with both a diagnosis and appropriate treatment recommendations. Ideally, we would recommend you doing this sooner rather than later so that you can start to relieve the symptoms.
In the meantime, it’s harder said than done but please do try not to worry and, despite any itching, do try not to scratch your scalp as this can lead to breakage. Also, treat your hair and scalp well – wash your hair every other day with a gentle shampoo and gently comb it through to avoid knotting. The hair fall you see will happen anyway so you are not making your hair fall out by washing or brushing it. In addition to hair and scalp care, be sure to look after yourself too by eating a balanced diet and making sure you get enough sleep each night to reduce stress on the body.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.