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Hair Loss/8 yr old recent hair braiding - hair falling


Hi Dr. V.

My family recently travelled down South and my 8 year old daughter had a full head of braids done.  She had them in for 2 weeks and when we took them out this past Thursday I was shocked to see how much hair fell out.  She has thin hair to begin with and I was in total shock to see this as we have never done braids before.  I have spoken to her hair dresser who says the large amounts of hair that initially fell is normal since she had the braids in for 2 weeks.

It's been 3 days since we took the braids out and I am trying not to panic...but I am in a panic.  Her hair seems to still be falling.  It's not severe but I am noticing some hair on the floor and on her back.  Do you feel this is normal?  How long will her hair continue to fall?  At what point do I worry and what can I do to help strengthen her hair in the meantime.

Distressed Mom wishing we had never done braids.

Hello Diane: Thank you for the inquiry. Hair loss after braids or extensions is common.  What you are seeing is two weeks worth of normal daily shedding (all at once). It is normal to shed 50-100 hairs per day. Most of this normal daily shedding goes unnoticed. A person will see some hairs come out in their comb or brush, or in the shower after shampooing. The rest just drops out here and there throughout the day. Because her hair was in braids, the hairs that were shed from the follicles had no place to go. Even though the hairs were shed, they were trapped within the braids. Once the braids were taken out the hair that was shed came out with it.  This is most likely what she is experiencing.
There is another type of hair loss the can occur from wearing hair in tightly pulled styles. It is called traction alopecia. Hair loss will occur in the areas where the hair has been tightly pulled. This mostly happened if the hair style is worn consistently over a prolonged period of time. In severe cases this can cause follicle damage and permanent hair loss.
Right now keep her hair loose. You can massage the scalp on its own or with a mild essential oil formula to relieve the stress and increase the blood circulation.
If the shedding continues, we would have to look into other possibilities, but right now it seems most likely due to the braids.
Please let me know if I can help you further.
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig  

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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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