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Hair Loss/Hair loss after hair color


QUESTION: Hello, I'm 39 and I had my hair colored at the salon. I'm not really sure what  hair die was used but  color stripper was applied for lighter highlights as well as roots where colored with dark brown to color gray hairs.  9 days after  the hair color I noticed a severe hair loss and my head tingles and  burns in a few spots. Today I counted about 80 hairs just drying my hair and I probably lost as much showering and lost some during the day. So I'm probably loosing 150-200 or more a day. I have not colored my hair for 3 month before this, and never experienced anything like this when coloring at home out of the box. I had very thick beautiful hair, I feel like the volume now is totally gone, I probably lost half at this point. I don't see any bold spots yet, but if I can't get this stopped I'm afraid that's the next step. I went to see the dr and she said she sees a few areas slightly reddish but nothing serious like a burn. So I hope my skin is not burned. However, the hair are not just breaking most all of them have a tiny white ball on the end. Are these follicles? Has this damaged my hair to no return? Or will they grow back? Is there anything I can do to help improve this and not lose the rest? How do I know if it's a follicle for sure? Dr recommend just deep conditioning and taking Biotin. Today I just did a home remedy with egg yokes, honey and olive oil for 1.5 hours. I'm really worried that my hair won't grow back!!!  I'm horrified about this. I'm going to make appt with dermatologist but I'm just really worried and want to know if the light ball at the end of falling hair means it's the follicle and does this mean I hair won't grow back? What should I use now to improve /stop the loss?? Thank you!!

ANSWER: The small white bulb at the end of a fallen hair, in itself is not reason for concern. The bulb just indicates that the hair spent time in the telogen (resting) phase of the hair growth cycle prior to falling out. (The bulb is formed during the telogen phase.) In a normal, healthy scalp the white bulb will be present on the root ends of fallen hairs during normal daily shedding. Most persons do not notice or examine the ends of fallen hairs until a hair loss problem prompts them to do so.
Hair dye and other harsh chemicals are more likely to cause hair loss due to damage and breakage rather than actual shedding from the roots. The most common type of hair loss that causes excessive diffuse shedding from the roots is telogen effluvium. When telogen effluvium occurs the hair growth cycle becomes disrupted, sending more hairs than usual to the resting (telogen) phase of the hair growth cycle.  The hairs will sit in the resting follicle for approximately three months before being shed. For this reason one must look back to the months prior to shedding for clues as to the cause. Any type of change, imbalance or disturbance can cause telogen effluvium. When telogen effluvium lasts more than six months it is considered chronic--indicating an internal imbalance that needs to be identified and addressed.
Because the hair that fell out had the white bulb attached (and happened only nine days after the hair dye), it is unlikely that the dye caused the shedding as nine days is not enough time for the white bulb to develop.
Using harsh products or manipulating hair can make telogen effluvium more obvious as any irritation or manipulation can bring more telogen hairs out at one time.
Some persons do report a tingling or burning sensation prior to hair loss.  This is referred as trichodynia or scalp dysesthesia, also known as burning scalp sensation.
If the burning and tingling began shortly after the dye was applied, it may be due to the dye. If the redness on your scalp persists you may want to see another professional for examination.

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QUESTION: Hello Melanie, thank you so much for such a great explanation. I went and saw 2 different doctors but neither of them gave me such a great explanation to understand what could be happening. I did get a prescribtion shampoo Ketanozole 2% to use for 2 weeks. I did read some good reviews on this shampoo and hope it helps. I also started taking vitamin D as I was slightly low in the 20's, but the dr said it truly couldn't cause hair loss being in the 20's. I do have a few more questions for you. How much hair can I possibly lose? I mean if something caused this say 3 months ago how many hairs sit in the tellagen state? I guess I'm just trying to figure out if I'm going to lose hair that sat at this state and that's it or how do I determine if this is chronic and I have something else going on. Can I continue coloring my hair every couple of months? I'm all gray, so I need  to cover the grays:( but I'm too afraid to trigger anything worse. Don't need to color yet but I know I will if I still have any hair in a few months. There were a couple of things 3 months ago that I can think of - I did do a crash diet for 5 days where I didn't eat anything.  And I have switched deodorant and I only noticed after I used it for a month that it stated to consult a dr if you have kidney problems. Which is a strange warning for a deodorant. I would not have throught anything of it except my friend has started losing hair a while back and I noticed Judt recently she was using the same deodorant with the same warning. I don't have kidney problems but just makes me think if the chemicals might have something to do with the hair fallout. The deodorant was Dry idea - 72 hours solution. I still used the same brand but now 24 hour soluton that doesn't have this kind of warning. The crash diet is a liquid lemonade diet that I've done before 8 years ago  but I was supposed to have maple syrup in the drinks for nutrition and I just couldn't have it this time as it was giving me indegestion. So this could have been what caused it 3 months ago or a new deodorant?? I'm just curious as far as if this was caused over 5 Days of my diet how many hairs do I expect to fall out? Can this thin out to almost nothing? Is there anyway to know this? I'm going to the dermatologist as well next week just to see if he says anything different. I didn't notice scalp sensation before there hair color, during or after, but now I just have more like itching. This new shampoo seems to be helping with it I think. I still lose hair washing, brushing and drying it, but not as much during the day. Thank you for all your help!!

Crash dieting is one of the many possible causes of telogen effluvium. It is possible that the diet caused or contributed to telogen effluvium. If the diet was the cause of your hair loss, the hair growth cycle will repair once the body has healed from the effects and is properly nourished and balanced. Some people can fast for five days without any problems. Telogen effluvium does not cause total hair loss or baldness. The lost hairs do get replaced with a new growing hair. When the condition is long-lasting or severe the newly growing hairs may not have a chance to catch up with the rate of loss. Even the new hairs can fall out. Because you are noticing less shedding it is possible that your telogen effluvium is ending. Even with the most severe cases, usually only 45%-50% of hair follicles are affected. Although that sounds like a lot, there is usually still enough hair left to provide adequate scalp coverage.
I don't recommend dying hair that is fragile and falling. I prefer using pure henna and indigo from hennaforhair. They are the only suppliers I know of that provide pure henna. It is much higher quality than what you would purchase elsewhere.
That is interesting observation about deodorant. The body can absorb toxic ingredients through skin.
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig
Understanding Female Hair Loss  

Hair Loss

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Melanie Vonzabuesnig


Female hair loss is my main focus. Women today are very susceptible to several types of hair loss including telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, and androgenetic alopecia. I can answer questions about the causes and types of female hair loss. I can share information about natural holistic remedies to improve female hair loss conditions.


My interest in female hair loss sprung from my own experience with extensive hair loss. Determined to grow my hair back, I diligently studied every piece of information I could find on the biology of hair growth. After successfully re-growing my hair with safe and effective natural products, I felt compelled to learn more and to share this information with other women. I am experienced in blending custom hair loss formulas. I am also experienced in writing about female hair loss issues.

My hair loss information has been included in The Truth about Womens Hair Loss by Spencer Kobren, Naturally Healthy Skin by Stephanie Tourles, Alternative Healing by Bill Gottleib and Natural Health Magazine. I am the author of several books on hair loss.

I am a certified aromatherapist specializing in formulas for scalp and hair conditions.

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