What I Did When My Hair Started Shedding Like Crazy

My worst fear about my hair happened.

I had another setback with my relaxed hair.

This time though it wasn’t my fault.

This setback did make me think that all of my hair was going to fall out and I would be balding. Keep reading to learn more about what happened and how I’ve addressed it.

ball of shed hair sitting on a white bathroom counter
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About 6 years ago I had a hair setback due to protein overload. I caused this setback by using too many protein products on my relaxed hair which caused it to be stiff, dry, coarse, and break off. Over the last 2-3 years my hair made a full recovery.

As a result of that setback, I’ve been watchful with my relaxed hair regimen and am very selective about the products I use on my hair. All to avoid having another protein overload hair setback.

Despite being more careful and watchful I’ve had another hair setback.

Thankfully it wasn’t long lasting and it wasn’t my fault. It was an act of nature.

Here’s what happened.

About five months ago I started to notice more hair than normal in the shower when I washed my hair. I didn’t pay too much attention to it at the time. I expected to see some differences in my hair because I was washing my hair on a cruise ship. I wasn’t following my normal wash day routine. And despite my best efforts, my hair was being dried out by the constant blowing Caribbean wind.

I also noticed what looked to be a bit of hair on the bathroom floor when I was drying my hair. I ended up brushing it off thinking my hair would get back to normal when I returned home and got back into my normal hair routine.

It was a couple of weeks before I washed my hair again because I got sick with the flu. I had a fever for three days so I just kept my hair wrapped up the whole time I was sick.

When I washed my hair I didn’t notice anything too out of the ordinary but then I wasn’t paying close attention because I hadn’t recovered 100% yet from the flu but I was determined to wash my hair.

A few weeks later I had washed my hair and was putting in a roller set when I realized there was more hair than normal getting caught in the comb I was using to smooth out each section before placing them on the roller.

At this point, I still wasn’t alarmed but started paying close attention to how my hair was acting and shedding.

About two months after my initial realization something may be off, I really started to panic.

During this particular wash day, I had to detangle my hair multiple times because my hair strands were sticking together and knotting. I had to detangle before I washed my hair, during the hair washing process, when I applied my deep conditioner, and again before drying my hair.

Each time I detangled I had more and more hair coming out. Not in clumps but in groupings of strands. These were long strands, not breakage. I could see towards the end of the strand where the natural and relaxed hair met.

During the last detangling session I saw the ball of hair and realized that was only what came out then and didn’t account for all of the other detangling sessions from that day.

This was way more shedding than normal for me on a wash day.

I also noticed that when I combed my hair or ran my fingers through my hair groupings of strands would hang from my ends.

What was happening?

Then it hit me.

I had a mild case of Covid about six months ago and then I’d had the flu a few months after that.

I was most likely suffering from telogen effluvium.

Telogen effluvium is hair loss that tends to happen after the body suffers severe stress or a change.

I knew this could happen since I’d had Covid because I’d watched videos and read many articles from dermatologists about it.

I had just forgotten about it.

Despite knowing what could be the cause I was still freaking out.

Visions of me going bald and having to start wearing wigs flashed in front of my face.

Eventually, I calmed down and revisited the articles and videos I mentioned to see what I should be doing.


Since I’m not a medical doctor I wanted to learn what I could and found some interesting info such as telogen effluvium is temporary hair loss that can be caused by things like
  • High fever
  • Childbirth
  • Severe infections
  • Major surgery
  • Changes in the thyroid
  • Certain medications just to name a few

The good news is telogen effluvium can typically resolve itself in about six to eight months.

Many of the dermatologists in the articles I read said you don’t necessarily need to do anything, just let it run its course. I did laugh at that before I remembered I may have experienced telogen effluvium before.

Yep, back in Nov of 2019 I was traveling in Central and South America. I came back sick, not feverish but oddly sick. I suspect but have no confirmation that I may have had a mild case of Covid then. At a minimum, it was some type of respiratory illness.

I ended up experiencing some more than normal hair shedding but I attributed it to protein overload since I was experiencing it then and thought that was the cause.

As a result, I didn’t do anything special for the shedding and it eventually got better.

This time though I decided to do something.

What I’m going to share is in no way meant to be advice if you’re suffering from this or me telling you to do this to get this result.

If you think you have telogen effluvium you should go see a dermatologist to get a diagnosis and treatment program.

For my hair, I did three things. The first thing I did was I paid more attention to what I was putting into my body. This included
  • Swapping my store-brand hair vitamins for Nutrafol. Nutrafol was recommended in many of the articles I read for hair shedding
  • Drinking more water and fewer other types of drinks though I mostly drink water anyway
  • Eating fewer sweets and more vegetables

The second thing I did was give my hair a rest. I postponed my relaxer touchup by six weeks. I didn’t feel comfortable having someone's hands in my hair who may not be as gentle

I wore my hair up more. This kept me from needing to comb my hair every day, needing to manipulate my hair when styling, and keeping my hair from moving around a lot. It was interesting so many people noticed and commented on my buns and ponytails.

When I was hanging at home I made sure to keep my hair wrapped up. I tend to do that already but made a greater effort to do it all the time.

Another thing I did was go two weeks instead of one between washing my hair. I felt I was losing most of my hair when washing it. So it made sense to me that if I washed it less, the less hair I would lose each week.

The third thing I did to try and help my hair recover was temporarily swapping up my hair products. I kept using my moisturizing shampoos like the TGIN Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo, leave-in conditioners like TGIN Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer, and deep conditioners such as the TGIN Miracle RepaiRx Deep Hydrating Hair Mask.

I also paid closer attention to keeping my moisture and protein balanced. I did this by making sure I was using bond treatments or light protein treatments more frequently.

One hair product I used to help with shedding was the Briogeo Destined For Density Caffeine + Biotin Peptide Shampoo. It was recommended in articles I read about telogen effluvium as a shampoo that could help with hair loss.

It’s been a little over two months since I started doing these things and I’ve noticed my hair shedding getting back to normal.

I can’t say for certain the things I did are causing this. I am a few months into the event so this could just be starting to run its’ natural course. At least I feel good because I did something.

Thankfully my hair didn’t have enough thinning that it was noticeable to anyone but me.

If I had thought about it I probably would have gone to a dermatologist but what I was experiencing wasn’t that bad to me

If you think you are experiencing abnormal hair loss seeing a doctor or dermatologist could be a good move.

I’m going to keep monitoring my hair and plan to keep using the Nutrafol for about a year.

I’ll use up the Briogeo Destined For Density shampoo and then go back to my regular moisturizing shampoo duo of the Joico Moisture Recovery Shampoo and TGIN Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo.

When it comes to shampooing my hair I’m slowly starting to ease back from every two weeks to weekly.

My relaxed hair regimen