Stop and Reverse Massive Hair Loss
After Chemotherapy and Radiation vs Medication Side Effects vs Surgery or Injury ... and 9 more

Edited by Donna, vc, Inukshuk, Eng and 2 others

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Massive hair loss is less common than partial or patchy hair loss. However there are some medical and emotional situations that can cause you to lose all of your hair immediately, sometimes within hours but more often within two months. The result is a nearly bald or totally bald scalp. Massive hair loss has several causes, addressed below and it can be temporary in nature, or it can result in permanent balding.

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There are many causes of massive hair loss but one of the most common is chemotherapy treatments.

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Method 1: After Chemotherapy and Radiation

More often than not the drugs used in chemotherapy and radiation treatment or cancer cause total hair loss also known as massive hair loss. Hair loss occurs everywhere including on the scalp, face, underarms, arms, chest, belly, legs and pubic area.

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Radiation therapy also causes hair loss but only on the area of the body where the radiation is directed. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are often used in conjunction to treat hair loss.

After chemotherapy and radiation the hair almost always grows back, but not until after the treatments stop. The hair that grows back may be a different texture or color.

After your hair grows back it might be a different color or texture than before.

Contents
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Steps To Stopping and Reversing Chemo and Radiation Induced Hair Loss

  1. 1
    Cover your head with a cold cap or a many smaller cold packs before, during and after chemo treatments to reduce the severity of damage to hair follicles.
    This narrows the blood vessels in your scalp and less of the drug may reach your hair follicles. Cold caps are often made available to patients in the facility where you are getting your chemotherapy treatment.
    Some people going through chemotherapy wear a tuque to put a barrier between their scalp and the cold ice packs that in this picture are about to be applied.
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  2. 2
    Do not wash your hair until you absolutely have to to avoid traumatizing hair follicles further.
    Washing your scalp as little as possible will help preserve the hair that is struggling to hold on to your scalp.
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  3. 3
    Wash with a pure gentle organic shampoo.
    When you do wash your hair, choose a shampoo without chemicals. Be sure to avoid shampoos with ingredients such as laurel sulfate, parabens and dyes. As a rule of thumb, if you do not recognize the word, don't buy the shampoo as that means It is full of chemicals.
    Shampoos that do not produce a lot of lather are healthier for your scalp because they contain less chemicals.
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  4. 4
    Gently pat your wet hair dry with a towel.
    Do not vigorously rub your scalp with a towel to dry it or you could further injure hair follicles trying to recover from the chemotherapy treatment.
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  5. 5
    Avoid styling or brushing remaining hair and avoid all styling products.
    If you must style it use a brush with soft bristles.
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  6. 6
    Always wear a head covering or sunscreen.
    Ultraviolet rays can further injure hair follicles in recovery. Wearing a headscarf or hat at all times will prevent further trauma to your scalp. If you must be bare-headed, be sure to apply an SPF 15 or stronger strength of sunscreen to the bald patches on your scalp or all over your bald head if need be.
    Wearing a scarf protects the hair follices on your scalp from trauma or sun damage.
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  7. 7
    Do not use a blow-dryer on your scalp.
    This will cause trauma to your hair follicles and accelerate hair loss.
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  8. 8
    Stop dying, perming or straightening your hair.
    Dyes, perms and hair processing of any kind will not only speed up your hair loss it may contribute to the scarring of your hair follicles and permanent massive hair loss (meaning that the hair may never grow back).
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  9. 9
    Sleep on a satin or rayon pillow case.
    The purpose of sleeping on a pillowcase that is covered with a somewhat slippery fabric is to stop hair loss due to the friction that occurs when you turn your head at night and your hair tugs at your hair follicles.
    Sleeping on a pillow covered with a slippery fabric can help prevent your hair follicles from being damaged by tugging.
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  10. 10
    Ask your doctor if you should be taking vitamin supplements.
    Depending on what kind of cancer you have, your doctor may or may not recommend that you take hair supplements during or after treatment to regrow your hair.
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  11. 11
    Stay on the diet recommended for you by your doctor or dietitian to cure your cancer.
    This is not the time to introduce a diet outside of what you have been prescribed, as what you are eating may be part of treating your cancer. You can treat the massive hair loss after your chemotherapy treatment is successful.
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Tips and Tricks

A shorter hair cut can help you adjust to the massive hair loss you will experience after chemotherapy

  • Some people about to go through chemotherapy get a shorter haircut a couple of months before the treatment starts so that the difference between having hair and having thinner hair or no hair at all is not as extreme
  • Accept that complete baldness is going to happen during chemotherapy and prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for that fact by being at peace with it
  • Go shopping for scarves, hats and caps before the treatment as a your hair could fall out unexpectedly at any time
  • Many people, especially women, should consider wearing a hair piece or wig if the balding is distressing psychologically to them, but it is better to wear a scarf as wearing hairpieces can cause traction damage and also cause dermatitis on the already traumatized scalp
  • Women may find some comfort in wearing false eyelashes and using eyebrow pencil
  • Shampoos without chemicals do not produce lather, so do not be surprised if your organic laurel-sulfate shampoo does not produce bubbles
  • Be aware that complete hair loss is emotionally traumatic for many people and that chemotherapy can also have the side-effect of depression, so if you feel extremely upset, it is a natural reaction to a combination of factors
  • Keep things in perspective as you lose your hair and remember that hair loss is minor compared to the potential loss of life most cancer patients are facing
  • Do not take any hair vitamin supplements until you have talked to your doctor about them as some supplements may actually interfere with your treatment or cause complications

Women who experience the loss of all of their facial hair may want to consider wearing false eyelashes.

Method 2: After Medication Side Effects

Aside from the drugs used for chemotherapy, there are some other medications used for common ailments and diseases that can cause sudden and massive hair loss.

Drugs That Have Massive Hair Loss As A Side-Effect

There are thousands of drugs that list the possibility of massive hair loss as a side-effect. Here is a look at some of the more commonly prescribed medication groups that can cause the symptoms of baldness.

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  • Vitamin A Retinoid that is prescribed in high oral and topical doses for dry eye, acne, cataracts and HIV.
  • Anabolic steroids are a common cause of sudden baldness
  • Antibiotics of all kinds have the potential to cause massive hair loss but most people experience thinning hair or patchy hair loss.
  • Anticonvulsant drugs, used for epilepsy, have the side effect of massive hair loss for some people
  • Antidepressant drugs of all kinds cause hair loss.
  • Antifungal drugs, both topical and oral, and often prescribed for ringworm, hookworm and skin infections of the scalp have the potential to cause massive hair loss
  • Birth control pills cause massive, sudden hair loss in individuals that do not take them as scheduled; taking more than one dose a day is particularly risky
  • Corticosteroids used to treat arthritis, allergies, skin diseases and immune disorders can cause massive hair loss
  • DHEA used in hormone replacement therapy, can create a surplus of testosterone in the blood which causes massive hair loss
  • Gout medications can provoke balding
  • Glaucoma drugs can cause massive hair loss
  • High blood pressure medications, that lower blood flow such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors, can starve follicles of needed nutrients and cause hair loss
  • Progesterone, prescribed as part of hormonal replacement therapy for women can cause unexpected massive sudden baldness in some women
  • Weight loss pills that contain amphetamines can cause sudden baldness
  • Thyroid medications scan cause sudden massive hair loss in some individuals
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Steps Stopping or Preventing Massive Hair Loss Due to Medications

To stop or prevent drug-induced massive hair loss, try doing the following:

  1. 1
    Check with your doctor and see if the dose of your medication can be lowered or if you can stop taking it altogether.
    Sometimes there is a newer drug available without the hair loss side effect and sometimes taking less of it or another similar medication is the answer to preventing balding.
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  2. 2
    Follow the advice offered from steps 1 through to 9 in Method 1:
    Steps To Stopping and Reversing Chemo and Radiation Induced Hair Loss in this article.
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  3. 3
    You may be able to use Finastra (Propecia) or Rogaine (Minoxidil) to treat your hair loss.
    If you use Rogaine, keep in mind that there are two strengths, one for men and one for women with the Men's Rogaine containing 5% of the active ingredient Minoxidil and the women's version containing 2%. Finastra is only for use by men with massive hair loss.
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  4. 4
    Unless otherwise advised by your doctor, eat an egg a day.
    Eggs are rich in biotin which helps nourish and regrow hair.
    Eggs contain biotin which can help regrow hair.
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  5. 5
    Unless otherwise advised by your doctor eat foods high in B vitamins.This includes all meat but especially steak and chicken, seafood, brown rice, whole grains, leafy green vegetables and seaweed.
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  6. 6
    Eat lots of seafood.
    Lobster, crab, shrimp and oysters are rich in B vitamins, iron, iodine and zinc. These nutrients stimulate hair to grow.
    Lobster is rich in iron, iodine and zinc, which are nutrients needed to grow hair.
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  7. 7
    Consume animal based dietary sources of iron.
    Medications can deplete your red blood cells of iron. Seafood, eggs, chicken livers,beef, spinach, nuts, peanut butter and beans are all excellent sources of iron.
    Peanut butter contains iron and protein, which is helpful for hair growth.
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Tips and Tricks

  • Never ever stop a medication for any reason without consulting your doctor first as there could be terrible consequences to your health
  • If your doctor suggests that a hair loss medication is no longer necessary, talk about how you should be weaned off the drug in order to prevent withdrawal symptoms; drugs that are difficult to withdraw from include antidepressants, mood stabilizers, DHEA, progesterone and thyroid medications
  • Do not take vitamin, herbal or food supplements for hair loss until you have talked to your doctor about how this might interfere with your hair loss

Method 3: After Surgery or Injury

The emotional and physical shock from surgery can cause massive hair loss on it's own but if the injury is to the head, it could be that scarring of the scalp could cause permanent hair loss after surgery. If your hair has caught on fire, you could also lose all of your hair and damage the hair follicles forever. However, the most common type of hair loss that occurs after a bad shock to the system is called telogen effluvium and if there is no scarring, then your hair can be encouraged to grow back.

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Anesthesia puts you at risk for massive hair loss.

Causes of Hair Loss Due to Surgery or Injury

Hair loss is commonly caused by:

  • Anesthesia, which reduces blood flow to the scalp and causes hair loss
  • Antibiotics that disrupt that helpful bacteria in your digestive system
  • Burns to the scalp after being in a fire.
  • Medications to treat the injury
  • Scarring of the scalp with a scalpel
  • Anxiety about the surgery or after the surgery that is so extreme that hair loss occurs
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Hair is not likely to grow back in areas where this is scarring from an injury or surgery on the scalp.

Steps Stopping or Preventing Massive Hair Loss Due to Medications

To stop or prevent drug-induced massive hair loss, try doing the following:

  1. 1
    Follow all of the steps in Stopping or Preventing Massive Hair Loss Due to Surgery or Injury in Section 2 of this article.
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  2. 2
    Check with your doctor to see if supplementation with Vitamin C will help you heal and regrow your hair faster.
    If blood loss or injury to the skin was an issue, you may benefit from taking extra Vitamin C. Dietary sources of vitamin C include all citrus fruits, berries, acai fruit, peppers, kale, papaya and kiwi.
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  3. 3
    Check with your doctor to see if supplementation with Vitamin E will help you restore your hair follicles.
    Food sources of Vitamin E include dark leafy greens, nuts, sunflower seeds, avocados, shrimp, rainbow trout, olive oil and pumpkin.
    Foods rich in Vitamin E such as rainbow trout, olive oil and avocado encourage the regrowth of hair.
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  4. 4
    Get plenty of rest.
    It is key for bodies that have been harmed physically to have the time to rest and regenerate.
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  5. 5
    Talk to your doctor about any anxiety you are experiencing regarding your balding.
    You may be prescribed medication to calm you down or you may be prescribed therapy to treat your trauma. Counselling, bio-feedback and group therapy can also assist troubled individuals experiencing hair loss after an injury.
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  6. 6
    Give it time.
    You need to give your hair at least six months to grow back. Do not stress yourself out further by being impatient about your hair growth as that could cause even more of a delay.
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Tips And Tricks

  • Natural sources of vitamins and minerals are more beneficial to the body than inorganic supplements in the form of a pill
  • If you have burns or scar tissue on your scalp, prepare yourself for the possibility that your hair may not grow back in those areas

It is best to get vitamins from natural sources rather than supplements. Vitamin C encourages hair growth.

Method 4: After Giving Birth

Hair loss experienced after giving birth is called postpartum hair loss. It is usually experienced between three and six months after the mother has given birth. While a woman is pregnant the body produces hormones that produce a lush head of hair. Once you have given birth, the hormones stop producing and you start shedding hair. The hair loss can be partial or total but it is almost always a temporary situation.

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Steps to Take to Stop and Reverse Hair Loss After Giving Birth

  1. 1
    The longer you breastfeed your child, the longer you will be able to avoid post-partum hair loss.
    Hair loss often accelerates after you have weaned your child so you may lose less a little more gradually if you breastfeed your child for as long as possible.
    The longer you breastfeed your child after birth, the less likely you are to suffer from drastic sudden hair loss.
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  2. 2
    Take a pre-natal hair supplement before and after pregnancy to avoid hair loss.
    Make sure that your doctor approves any iron supplement that you take as there are different strengths available. It is likely you will be prescribe an iron supplement with B vitamins plus folic acid.
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  3. 3
    Eat folate rich foods that contain B9.
    Foods that are rich in foliate, also known as folic acid include asparagus,avocado,beets,broccoli, legumes, oranges and spinach]
    A meal of asparagus and steak is optimum for encouraging your hair to regrow.
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  4. 4
    Eat foods rich in protein.
    Foods from animal sources, called heme sources, are the richest source of bioavailable iron and also the protein needed to regrow your luscious locks.
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  5. 5
    Use scrunchies instead of elastic bands to put your hair up.
    Avoid clips, barrettes and rubber bands that can cause traction hair loss.[[Image:ponytail.jpg|Avoid wearing elastic bands or ponytails that can cause traction stress on your hair]
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  6. 6
    Stay well hydrated.
    Drink at least eight glasses of water a day to improve circulation and encourage the scalp to heal itself.
    Drink at least eight glasses of water a day to encourage your hair to grow back.
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  7. 7
    Take plenty of naps whenever possible.
    The stress of middle-of-the-night feedings can take a toll on your body and cause you to be emotional and stressed out.
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  8. 8
    If you are on a low calorie diet, get off it!
    Low calorie diets deprive your system of the nutrients it needs to grow back healthy hair. It is tempting for woman who is still trying to lose her pregnancy weight to go on a diet but it is not healthy for you to do this until you have at least weaned your baby.
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  9. 9
    Follow steps all of the steps in How to Stop and Reverse Hair Loss After Injury or Surgery.
    For some women labor, although a natural act is still very traumatic to the body and it may involve post-partum surgeries and disruptions to menses that cause excess blood loss.
    If post-partum anxiety is causing your hair to fall out ask for help from friends and family or hire a nanny.
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Tips and Tricks

  • If you experience complete balding then get to a doctor immediately because it means you could be suffering from a life-threatening condition called postpartum thyroiditis.
  • If you have a mother, partner or live-in help let these people help you with care of the child so that you can get the rest you need; this is crucial to the regrowth of your hair.
  • Try to avoid drinking tap water which may have toxins or hormones on it that could be playing havoc with your hormonal levels
  • If you think your hair loss is caused by anxiety or depression see a doctor immediately as post-partum depression is a very serious disorder that is easily treated with medications
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Avoid drinking tap water, especailly in polluted urban areas as it could contain hormones.

Method 5: After High Fever and Flu

If you suffer from a very high fever or a severe flu you can experience sudden massive hair loss within a month. This is especially likely if the fever lasts two or three days. The good news is that although this type of hair loss is drastic, it is also usually temporary.

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Steps to Stopping Hair Loss From Fever and The Flu

  1. 1
    During a fever take medications to lower it to reduce the chance of hair loss.
    Take either Tylenol, Ibuprofen or Aspirin as directed on the package or as advised by your doctor. If you are pregnant and have a fever, go to the hospital immediately. Do not use aspirin to treat teenagers or children.
    Take Adviil orTylenol to lower a fever
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  2. 2
    Do not let yourself get too hot.
    Keep a number of layers of coverings on the bed so that you are kept at the most comfortable temperature possible. Overheat causes shrinking of the hair follicles that can lead to hair loss later.
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  3. 3
    Take a bath in tepid water (85F/30 C) to lower the fever.
    A bath in tepid water can help lower your temperature
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  4. 4
    Do not drink caffeine, even after you feel better.
    Caffeinated products such as coffee, tea or colas can dehydrate you and raise your temperature again.
    Stay away from strong caffiene
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  5. 5
    Follow the steps in Section How to Stop Massive Hair Loss After Giving Birth to regrow your hair.
    Pay special attention to eating right and being gentle with your hair as you wash it and handle it.
    If your hair is thinning and there is no obvious cause,it might be because of that flu you had a few weeks ago.
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Tips and Tricks

  • If you have hair loss for no discernible reason and your blood tests for anemia and other issues come back normal, it might be because of a flu or fever you had two to three months earlier.
  • A folk remedy for fevers is to bathe the body in alcohol but this can cause complications, especially if the fumes are inhaled.
  • Ignore advice to immerse yourself in ice water to lower a fever. It is too hard on the body and can put you into a state of shock.
  • If you have liver disease you should consult with a doctor before taking Tylenol, Ibuprofen or Aspirin as it could make your situation worse
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Method 6: After Low Testosterone levels

Low testosterone levels can cause massive sudden hair loss in both men and women. This is a condition that is easier to treat in men then women as men can tolerate the side-effects of growth of facial hair, muscle growth and other physical signs of masculinity associated with this hormone.

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Lethargy, obesity and thinning hair are related to low testosterone levels in both men and women.

Symptoms of Hair Loss Due to Low Testosterone Levels

Aside from thinning of hair, shedding of hair and total baldness, someone suffering from symptoms of hair loss due to Low Testosterone levels include:

  • Depression
  • Cardiovascular system issues such as congestive heart failure
  • Insomnia
  • Increased body fat and less muscle
  • Infertility
  • Lack of libido
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep apnea

mood swing.jpg

Steps to Addressing Hair Loss Due to Low Testosterone Levels

  1. 1
    Got to your doctor and get a test for Low-T.
    This test will measure your testosterone hormonal level to see if you have an issue that is affecting your health and your doctor may prescribe the appropriate medications.
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  2. 2
    Try to lose excess weight.
    Obesity is one of the main triggers of hormonal imbalances that lead to hair loss.
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  3. 3
    Take a walk for an hour.
    Your metabolism, which is run by hormones, works better in general if you take a stroll every day with the idea of getting fresh air, some time to yourself and a bit of an aerobic workout.
    Taking a stroll every day can help keep all of your body's systems in balance and mitigate hair loss from low hormone levels.
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  4. 4
    Follow steps all of the steps in How to Stop and Reverse Hair Loss After Injury or Surgery as detailed in an earlier section of this article.
    Too much DHEA can mean excessive facial hair growth for some women.
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Tips and Tricks

  • Testosterone is not prescribed in pill form as it is thought to damage the liver
  • Be sure to ask your doctor if any medications prescribed can cause more hair growth or extreme hair loss and be sure to be carefully monitored if you are choosing hormonal treatment to regrow your hair

Method 7: After Suffering From Allergies

Allergies are a common cause of sudden massive hair loss. Allergies are also a very personal affliction with there being thousands of allergy triggers in existence. Furthermore, you can be allergic to a substance in your life and then not allergic to it later in life and vice-vera.

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Symptoms of Massive Hair Loss

This type of hair loss begins with bald spots at the very top of the head and then all hair falls out. Sometimes the scalp and skin in general is itchy.

Sneezing is a common symptom of an allergic reaction.

Other symptoms that may indicate the hair loss is due to allergies include:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Hives
  • itchiness
  • Sneezing
  • Swelling of the lips and eyes
  • Swollen or patchy colored tongue
  • Watering eyes

Watery eyes are a symptom of allergies.

Common Causes of Massive Hair Loss Due to Allergies

Hair loss can occur because of any allergen, but here is a list of the more common causes of sudden total hair loss due to an allergy:

  • Alcohol
  • Chemicals
  • Cleaners
  • Cigarette Smoke
  • Dyes use to color food and cosmetics
  • Eggs
  • Fragrance
  • Hair dye
  • Gluten
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Medications
  • Milk
  • Mold
  • Nuts
  • Pets
  • Plants
  • Soy
  • Shellfish
  • Strawberries
  • Yeast

Cigarette Smoke is a common allergen.

Steps to Stopping Massive Hair Loss Due to Allergies

  1. 1
    Remove the allergen from your environment or stop using it.
    If the trigger for your allergies is a food, plant or pet you can remove it from your environment. If it is caused by a perfume or a product of some kind you can stop using it.
    Fragrances are a common cause of allergies.
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  2. 2
    Wash your hair regularly if you suspect yeasts or mold growing on your scalp is the culprit.
    This goes against the usual advice of washing your hair less frequently to avoid hair loss but in this case, it is important to keep your scalp very clean
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  3. 3
    Keep your environment very clean of dust and dirt.
    Dust and dirt are common allergens that can provoke auto-immune responses
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  4. 4
    Wash your bedding and furniture covers often.
    These fabrics harbor dust mites, which are a common allergen that can be particularly inflammatory to the skin and scalp.
    Many people are allergic to house dust mites that lurk in sheets, couch covers and other fabrics in your home.
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  5. 5
    Follow the nutritional and lifestyle advice described in Steps to Take to Delay and Reverse Hair Loss After Giving Birth in an early section of this article.
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Tips and Tricks

  • Some of the foods that are allergens for some people are also good for hair loss but don't risk taking a food you know you are allergic to for the purposes of growing hair as you will likely make the situation worse
  • Environmental sensitivities and allergic reactions become more common as you age thus causing your hair follicles to have more reactions and more hair loss as time marches on
  • If you know what the allergen is have someone else remove it from your environment to avoid having it trigger an additional immune response.

Shrimp is excellent for hair growth because of its high zinc, iron and vitamin B content, but it is also a common allergen.

Method 8: After Being Diagnosed With Lupus

Systematic Lupus Erythematosus, also known simply as Lupus or Erythematosus is an auto-immune disease with no apparent cause but a genetic predisposition towards lupus or rheumatism. It may be caused by a hormonal imbalance. The low grade fever and auto-immune nature of the disease has the bodies systems attacking its own hair follicles and causing baldness.

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There is a form of the disease called Drug-Induced Lupus which can be caused by medications. Check with your doctor to see if any medications you are on have the side-effects of baldness.

Symptoms Of Lupus That Accompany Massive Hair Loss

Aside from patchy hair loss and balding, symptoms of lupus and drug-induced lupus include:

  • Arthritis
  • Butterfly rash on the face
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Constant low grade fever
  • Mouth and nose ulcers
  • Muscle aches
  • Numbness and tingling in fingers and toes due to poor circulation
  • Pericarditis, which is inflammation of the lining that surrounds the lungs and the heart
  • Photosensitive, which is unusual sensitivity to the sunlight that affects vision and skin
  • Swollen lymph nodes
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Tingling or numbness in toes means poor circulation and that hair follicles on your scalp may also be suffering from poor circulation.

Steps to Stop and Reverse Massive Hair Loss From Lupus

  1. 1
    Go to your doctor and get the diagnosis of Lupus confirmed by blood tests and 11 criteria.
    Among the diagnostic criteria for the disease are Malar, a butterfly rash over the cheeks arthritis and a low white blood count.
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  2. 2
    Improve the quality of your sleep by taking prescribed medication and lifestyle advice.
    The disease is considerably worsened by sleep deprivation and this can also lead to underlying depression and muscle wasting as well as the baldness.
    Getting plenty of sleep is crucial when you want to avoid the side effects of lupuus.
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  3. 3
    Wear sunscreen before you go out, being sure to apply it on any balding areas on your scalp.
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  4. 4
    Exercise every day to maintain muscle tone and joint function.
    The lupus sufferer that does not exercise will experience stiffening of the joints and enhanced circulation problems that can accelerate hair loss.
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  5. 5
    Ask if taking the hormone DHEA is right for you.
    The drug is helpful for reducing many symptoms including the hair loss, but in some cases DHEA can also cause your hair loss situation to get worse.
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  6. 6
    Take extra care to protect your immune system.
    Taking supplemental vitamins that boost the immune system, such as A, C and E may help the overactive immune system of Lupus sufferer.
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  7. 7
    Follow the Steps to Stopping or Preventing Massive Hair Loss Due to Medications as detailed earlier in this article.
    Swollen joints and fingers are typical of lupus but many of the drugs prescribed for the condition can lead to hair loss.
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Tips and Tricks

  • If you are using drugs to treat rheumatism, you are more at risk for drug-induced lupus with the irony being that these same rheumatism drugs may also relieve your hair loss temporarily
  • Be aware that this is one of those conditions where both the disease and the medications that manage it cause hair loss
  • Do not be disappointed if your efforts to reverse your hair loss are slow or disappointing; this is a particularly hard hair loss situation for anyone to halt and hair loss might be permanent unless the disease periodically goes into remission.

Method 9: After Suffering From Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp Psoriasis is a particularly itchy inflammatory disease of the scalp that is identified as an auto-immune disorder. When psoriasis occurs on the scalp, there is total hair loss on the affected area.

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The Symptoms of Massive Hair Loss Due to Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis consists of red scaling populated by smaller raised bumps that form to created plaques. These are tough scaly patches that prevent hair growth.

Scalp psoriasis causes hair to fall out in areas where plaques form on the head.

Symptoms of scalp psoriasis are:

  • An initial small bump that turns into many bumps
  • Redness beneath the bumps
  • Itching
  • Dandruff flaking from the scales
  • Scales that develop into large plaques that can cover an entire scalp

How to Prevent Massive Hair Loss Due to Scalp Psoriasis

  1. 1
    Go to the doctor and confirm the diagnosis of scalp psoriasis.
    A simple visual examination affirming the presence of the bumps and scales on the scalp should confirm the diagnosis.
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  2. 2
    Take medications prescribed by your doctor as prescribed.
    Your doctor may prescribe a medicated solution, lotion or foam to apply to your scalp to minimize the formation of more plaques and the type of scarring that can cause permanent hair loss.
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  3. 3
    Do not scratch the bumps, scales or plaques.
    This prolongs the condition, cause the plaques to grow thicker and increases the risk of scarring that can cause permanent hair loss. Scratching also increases your risk of infection
    Scratching your scalp causes scarring and could make hair loss from psoriasis worse.
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  4. 4
    Use a shampoo containing tar, selenium or salicylic acid to gently remove the scales.
    These shampoos are lightly abrasive and can help gently remove the scales. When removing the scales be very gentle and be careful not to scratch them with your nails.
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  5. 5
    Skip conditioning your hair.
    Conditioning your hair may make the situation worse by making the plaques greasy. This could attract an infection. The less handling of your hair at this time the better.
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  6. 6
    Gently pat your scalp dry.
    Do not use a blow dryer. Let your scalp air dry or pat it dry with a clean towel.
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  7. 7
    Anoint your scalp with mineral oil, cover it with a towel or bathing cap and leave it on over night.
    This helps moisten the plaques so they fall off on their own when you are in the shower.
    Use a mineral oil mask for the scalp to prevent hair loss from psoriasis.
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  8. 8
    Follow the steps in Section How to Stop Massive Hair Loss After An Injury or Surgery to regrow your hair.
    Pay special attention to eating a diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins and being gentle with the hair that you might still have left as you cleanse it and handle it.
    Eating a diet rich in brightly colored vegetables, that are full of antioxidants to offset hair loss from scalp psoriasis.
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Tips and Tricks

  • Be aware that the topical cortisoids sometimes prescribed for scalp psoriasis also have the side-effect of hair loss.
  • If a plaque feels loose you can gently massage it, preferably in the shower, with the tips of your fingers (and not the nails) until it falls off.

Method 10: After Anorexia Nervosa and Bulemia

Both anorexia nervosa and bulimia cause a preoccupation with body image and being as thin as possible. In both disorders the person will starve themselves or vomit after they eat. Bulimics will binge eat and then throw up their food where as anorexics tend to refuse food. In either case the person can experience massive hair loss because they are not receiving the daily nutrition that they need to support hair growth. Starving yourself every day can also lead to organ damage, gastric bleeding and multiple organ failure.

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Anorexics and bulemics have issues with food that cause hair loss from malnutrition.

Symptoms of Anorexia and Bulimia That Accompany Massive Hair Loss

Aside from the massive hair loss, symptoms to watch for are:

  • Anemia (low blood iron)
  • Growing body fuzz all over while hair loss occurs on the head only
  • Extreme dieting
  • Refusal of food
  • Binge eating
  • Vomiting up food
  • Extreme weight loss
  • A preoccupation with self
  • A distorted self-mage (body dysmorphia)
  • Itching
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Binging on junk food is a trait shared by both anorexics and bulemics.

Causes of Anorexia and Bulimia

The causes of anorexia and bulimia include:

  • Addiction to drama
  • Emotional problems
  • Family issues
  • Low self-esteem
  • Narcissism
  • Too much stress from work or school

An addiction to drama feeds a psychological need for anorexics and bulemics who then have a reason to punish themselves by denying themselves food or comfort themselves by binging on food.

Treatment of Massive Hair Loss Due to Anorexia and Bulimia

  1. 1
    Visit your doctor to have the damage to your body assessed and diagnosed and then do exactly as the doctor says.
    People with anorexia nervosa and bulimia may be suffering from all kinds of disorders and ailments due to their self-starvation including anemia, anxiety, sleep disorders, muscle wasting, liver dysfunction, kidney dysfunction, bleeding from the stomach, weak bones, disorientation, dizziness, tooth loss, mouth sores, skin sores and many other symptoms. Depending on how the person has been starving themselves, different organs and systems may be affected so the treatment for each individual will be different. If you are bald as the result of malnutrition, you will be hospitalized and intravenously fed.
    The vomiting up of dinner associated with anorexia or bulemia results in malnutrition, organ dysfunction and hair loss.
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  2. 2
    Visit a psychiatrist or psychologist recommended by your doctor.
    Therapy and counseling are usually mandatory for sufferers of this disorder who need to discover what it is in life that they are trying to mask by being so self-obsessed. Sufferers might also be advised to go to group therapy.
    Counselling can help you work through issues that might be causing anorexia or bulemia.
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  3. 3
    Visit the dietitian recommended by your doctor and follow her advice exactly.
    This diet will also include all of the nutrients that are needed to regrow hair. Do not follow any one else's advice or embark on any supplementation, special diet or self-diagnosis as that type of self-care triggers bulimia.
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  4. 4
    Practice the MinnieMaud Guidelines as prescribe by you doctor.
    The MinnieMaud guidelines encourage unrestricted eating, no workouts or exercise and no weighing or taking measurements of yourself. These restrictions prevent the individual from being triggered to starve themselves.
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Tips and Tricks

  • Both anorexia and bulimia are disorders that are triggered psychologically by planning health and weight loss measures so it is best to avoid this information until you are confirmed as being completely recovered from the disorder.
  • Throw out your scales and forget about weighing yourself as that is a trigger for the disease
  • Take up a hobby or get involved in a charity to distract yourself from obsessing over your self-image
  • Accept that your hair may or may not grow back depending on how much damage was done to your hair follicles when you had the disease; sometimes the effects of severe malnutrition, as is cause by anorexia and bulimia, cannot be reversed.
  • Keep away from cigarettes which are nothing more but tempting weight loss tools for anorexics and bulimics.

Anorexics and bulemics are advised to throw out their scales so they are not tempted to weigh and starve themselves.

Method 11: After Chemical Over Processing

Over processing the hair with chemicals is one of the number one causes of the hair shaft defects that result in both temporary and permanent massive hair loss. Damaged follicles will grow hair that is easily lost because it is not well rooted in the scalp. When this kind of damage occurs, it does not take long for an individual to lose all of his or her hair.

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Stay away from dying your hair which can cause massive hair loss.

Chemical processing the hair includes procedures such as:

  • Bleaching
  • Dyeing
  • Straightening
  • Perming

Symptoms of Massive Hair Loss Due to Chemical Hair Processing

Aside from your hair actually falling out in clumps symptoms of massive hair loss include:

  • Soft, squishy hair shafts
  • Hair shaft with a bubbled look or texture
  • Crinkly hair shaft
  • Very dry hair that feels like straw
  • Red inflamed scalp
  • Burning or itching of the scalp
  • Bleeding scalp
  • Blistered scalp

Most of these symptoms are due to cuticle stripping by processing chemicals and reveal damage to the hair shaft. If the hair shaft is this damaged, often the hair root is as well.

Hair that is stressed by over-processing may start to thin all over and show large patches of scalp

Steps to Stopping Hair Loss From Chemical Processes

To stop hair loss from chemical processes you need to:

  1. 1
    Stop dying your hair.
    Let your hair grow in and live with its natural shade.
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  2. 2
    Stop bleaching your hair.
    The bleaching process can burn and scald the scalp. Live with your hair's natural color.
    Over-bleaching your hair can cause it to
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  3. 3
    Stop straightening your hair with chemicals.
    These harsh solutions dissolve your hair strands completely. Even though using a straightening iron also damages your hair and scalp through traction it is a better solution than using chemical relaxers.
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  4. 4
    Stop using a perm to curl your hair.
    Perm solutions alter hair texture and irritate and burn scalp roots. It is better to use a curling iron or curlers on your hair than chemicals but be aware curling irons and curlers cause traction damage and cuticle stripping of your hair as well.
    Over-processing your hair can cause it to become frizzy.
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  5. 5
    If you have already done damage to your hair follow the lifestyle and diet advice in How to Stop Massive Hair Loss="Surgery or Injury
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Tips and Tricks

  • If you want to dye your hair, henna may be a safer option, than hair dyes. It can be bought as lotions, solutions or in blocks and is made from organic plant materials
  • There is no existing chemical-free safe process for bleaching, perming or straightening your hair: all methods damage the scalp and hair shaft
  • Do not try to bleach your hair by sitting in the sun. Even the ultraviolet rays of the sun can burn the scalp and damage hair follicles.
  • If you must do any of these chemical processes choose one that has the shortest duration of time needed sitting on your scalp and strains and choose one that has less chemical ingredients, but be forewarned that if you are already experiencing hair loss you are risking permanent, total hair loss.

Method 12: After Exposure to Thallium

An dangerous substance that can cause total hair loss is thallium. This is a white metal with a blue hue that is found in trace amounts in the earth's crust. It is odorless, tasteless and it is used in the manufacture of electronics, glass and in the medical industry. When it enters the environment it does not degrade but instead enters the air, water and soil. It is often in plants, fish and shellfish.

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The mineral thallium in its pure mineral form.

Sources of Thallium in the Environment

Thallium is a hard pollutant to detect, but major sources of the toxin, which can cause all of your hair to fall out:

  • Eating food contaminated with thallium
  • Breathing in air in electronic or glass factories
  • Living near waste sites for electronic, glass or medical manufacturing facilities
  • Touching soil contaminated with the metal
  • Constantly drinking in low levels of the metal in the water
  • Constantly breathing in low levels of the particulate form of thallium in the air
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Shellfish is a hidden source of this toxic mineral that can cause hair loss.

Symptoms of Thallium Toxification

People exposed to thallium may experience patchy balding, coin-shaped balding, massive thinning of the hair or all of their hair falling out completely. Other symptoms that accompany this include

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nervousness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Toxic liver
  • Toxic kidneys

Steps to Treating Massive Hair Loss From Thallium Poisoning

  1. 1
    See your doctor who can administer a blood and/or a urine test to measure levels of thallium in your body.
    However, be aware that this is not always a good indicator of how poisoned you are as the substance only stays in the blood for a short time.
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  2. 2
    Drink plenty of water to try and expel the metal from your body.
    Make sure the water is not local and from a contaminated source.
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  3. 3
    Follow the lifestyle and diet advice in How to Stop Massive Hair Loss="Surgery or Injury section of this article.
    People who live in industrialized areas tend to suffer from thallium poisoning.
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Tips and Tricks

  • The good news is that hair loss from thallium poisoning tends to be temporary and patience is all you will need to see your hair grow out
  • Not all doctors offices are aware of thallium poisoning or the tests that can be use to detect it; there is more familiarity with it if you live in an industrial area.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Categories : Hair Loss

Recent edits by: Doug Collins, Eng, Inukshuk

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