If the whole surgery and losing my colon wasn’t quite enough, my body has decided to throw me another curveball in the form of hair loss. It has happened after every surgery to be honest, I think it is something to do with either the General Anaesthetic or perhaps just the trauma of an operation.
I am losing handfuls of hair every day, when I brush it, there is like a whole heads worth of hair on the floor and I have to say, it is pretty scary. I have very thick hair naturally and so I don’t think it is particularly noticeable to other people. I have asked my partner and friend and they said they can’t tell but it is still quite an upsetting thing.
After a bit of research, I found it is fairly common and it is called Telogen Effluvium, which is when some stress causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into a resting state, a more than normal amounts of hair falls out with a general ‘thinning’ of the hair. It is temporary and the hair growth usually recovers. If there is some “shock to the system”, up to 70% of the scalp hairs are then shed in large numbers about 2 months after the “shock”.
This makes perfect sense to me as it has been 8 weeks since my operation, but certainly wasn’t something that I was warned about. It makes me wonder how many other people are struggling with this and don’t know the cause. The most common time it occurs is in women about 1-3 months after childbirth. Other times include 1-3 months after a major operation, accident, or illness.
I have had my hair every colour under the sun, I have had it short, long and shaved off completely and so it feels odd to me that this hair loss is so upsetting. I have twice shaved my head and so the idea of no hair doesnt scare me, but the idea of baldness or bald patches does. I think this is because I equate that to being ill and I am so done with being ill.
Hair is also traditionally very much attached to femininity and beauty, and the idea of hair loss can feel like a loss of womanliness. This is of course untrue, there are many amazing women who have no hair at all through choice or illness, but I do wonder whether my fear stems from this thought?
The good news is that, though there is no cure, this condition also resolves itself on it’s own and usually within a few months. So if you are currently suffering with this post stress hair loss, it should be over soon.