Shedding *heaps* of hair since lockdown started? Here’s why

Shedding *heaps* of hair since lockdown started? Here’s why

If you’re reading this, chances are high that you’ve already spent a decent chunk of time cleaning clumps of hair outta your Dyson, the shower drain and that annoyingly-static-but-too-cute-too-ditch sweater you own (FUN!) Here’s the thing about hair loss: a small amount is totally normal. Women shed around 100 strands per day on average through styling and general breakage. 

Certain health and lifestyle factors can speed this process up. Think dietary changes, fevers, hormonal fluctuations like pregnancy, menopause and y’know… the stress of what feels like an actual apocalypse (cheers, COVID.) In fact, data shows that survivors of the virus may have “symptoms” of hair loss during recovery. Medical experts put this down to something called “telogen effluvium” which is triggered by cortisol release (read: trauma in the body.)

But if you’ve been losing more than usual lately, know there’s likely something far less frightening at play. 

Cumulative hair shedding.

You see, many of us have been skipping out on our beautifying routine (washing! Brushing! blow-drying!) since social distancing started.

“If you cut down on your weekly washes when you do wash, expect to see more lost hairs,” Jane Mayhead MIT (Institute of Trichologists), Trichologist at The Private Clinic of Harley Street said in an interview with Cosmo UK.

“The reason for this is simply that hair sheds daily but in varying amounts. It can become trapped together and then when you wash the hairs are released, particularly with conditioners making the hair slippery and untangled.”

So how much should we see circling the shower drain?

Image source: Getty

“If you shampoo daily you can expect to see around 80 strands coming out (with the rest being lost throughout the day),” Anabel Kingsley, Trichologist at Philip Kingsley added. “If you shampoo every 3 days, you may see 3 days’ worth of hair fall at once – maybe 250-280 hairs – depending on how often you are brushing or styling your hair in-between washes.”

And just like our skin, our scalp needs a lot of love to thrive.

“Rule of thumb: Treat your scalp with similar care to the skin on your face. Your scalp is, after all, simply an extension of the skin on your forehead,” said Anabel. “Over-time infrequent shampooing can cause scalp problems, which in turn can lead to hair problems. Your scalp is your hair’s support system, so it’s important to keep it clean and healthy.”

Bottom line? Even if no one is around to appreciate it, keep up with your weekly washes. And consult with your GP if something feels wrong (YOU know your body best!) 

Main image source: Getty

Have you noticed you’ve been shedding more hair since lockdown started?

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Comments 48

  1. Good on you Covid!

    I had six months on Depo Provera this year and my hair loss was extreme. I usually have a shedding period roughly between Nov-March but this was scary. It has started to grow back now but something to consider if you are thinking about using Depo. It doesn’t happen to everyone but it can happen.

  2. No, I have way less shedding now than at the beginning of this year. Not even close to those numbers mentioned in the article. And growth is increased. I think it is just that phase when I get fur for winter growing to the fullest. And shedding so minimal.

  3. Seem to shed a lot of hair but I also see the new baby hair that grows on my scalp as well, only wash it once a week in Winter and twice a week in Summer more depending upon what I do during the week.

  4. I had massive hair loss when I was very ill many years ago now. I still feel sick when I see extra hair loss for any reason. I found it an extremely difficult situation to get through and it was several years before my hair regrew to the point I felt comfortable even looking in the mirror.

  5. I seem to shed a lot of hair all the time, but it’s waist-length, so it’s more noticeable in the drain, vacuum, jumpers &c.

    I’ve been shampooing less often so I can get some natural oils to my damaged ends. Not going out so often has meant that I’m less concerned about the look of my greasy scalp.

  6. I’ve had less shedding during the past four months than I’ve had for a couple of years. The only thing different to my routine is that I’ve been taking a marine collagen supplement.

  7. I remember reading an article that was very similar to this one and agree that washing your hair daily is not good for shedding. I now wash my hair once a week and my hair feels a lot better than before

  8. That’s comforting – I am probably washing my hair a bit less. Have lost a lot of hair through menopause (luckily it’s fluffy so not as obvious as it could be), but seems to have stabilised.

  9. Every now and again I give my scalp a massage. It helps stimulate blood flow to the scalp. I’m not big on brushing and combing too much to try and avoid breakage. My hair is the thickest it’s been in a long time. I’m sure the shedding/thinning will inevitably come.

  10. I only wash my hair once a week during winter and I use a dry shampoo the day before my wash is due. I wash it 2-3 times a week during summer. I haven’t noticed much hair shedding at all. I do regularly use my orgasmatron head massager to increase blood flow to the hair follicles, plus it also feels wonderful!

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