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News Home: What Causes Hair Loss

High Fever, Illness, and Hair Loss- Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Question:

I had suffered from a very severe fever last summer. About a month after the fever, my hair started to thin and fall out and the quality of my hair degraded drastically. My once thick and straight hair became a mess of shedding, thin and curly hair. I read up on this, and it said hair loss can occur due to high fever and that my hair would become normal after a few months. However, it has been a little over a year now, and there is no improvement seen in my hair condition. Will I get my hair back or is it a lost cause?

Answer:

According to medical studies, high fever, severe flu, and even surgery can be the cause of temporary hair loss since hair and other growth activities of the body slow down during illness. During this process, hair can go from the anagen (growth) phase to the telogen (shedding) and catagen (resting) phase. Under normal circumstances, the life cycle of a hair is approximately 2 to 6 years and only 10% of the hair on your head is in telogen or catagen. Illness may interrupt the natural hair growth cycle and send hair prematurely into the shedding phase, causing excessive hair loss at one time. As the illness dissipates and a person recovers, the hair growth cycle should go back to normal and the person should recover all their hair.

But hair loss can be caused by a multitude of other factors. If your hair is still thinner, or is continuing to thin, there may be other contributing influences to your balding condition, such as DHT (genetic female or male pattern baldness) or other non-genetic factors. To determine the cause of your hair loss, consult with a dermatologist who can evaluate your scalp and medical condition. Only then can a proper treatment be recommended.

Bill Seemiller - Managing Publisher of the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.

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