Surgery can be a stressful experience, and it doesn’t end when the surgery is over, either. Anyone who has undergone a surgical procedure with anesthesia knows that the recuperation from surgery can be difficult and painstakingly long.
While those suffering the aftereffects might be focused on the actual surgical site, surgery can actually have intense side effects on other parts of the body. Many people who have been treated surgically have complained about hair loss or a change in hair textures.
This rarely spoken about side effect actually occurs more than people think, but it is only recently that researchers have been looking into what might be behind this odd side effect. While there isn’t definitive evidence of a cause yet, there are several different hypotheses that researchers are working on.
Anesthesia Disrupts Cell Division
The cells in hair follicles are the most delicate and rapidly dividing cells in the human body, according to experts. To keep the hair growing over the course of time they have to divide quickly. Because anesthesia forces the body into a relaxed state, cell division is disrupted. Because hair follicles are delicate, the anesthesia is thought to force the cells into a resting state that doesn’t wear off immediately following surgery.
Another theory is that the body’s hair follicles stop producing when the body is under any stress. Because surgery is such a traumatic experience for the body, it can cause hair loss that lasts for weeks or, in some cases, months. The emotional stress of worrying about surgery and the physical stress of the actual procedure might be the culprit, surmise some doctors and researchers.
Some doctors believe the body, following surgery, diverts all of its assets to the surgical site in hopes of promoting healing. This is commonly seen when there is major surgery on a bodily organ, like the heart. Doctors believe the diverted nutrients essentially starve the hair follicles and make it impossible for them to grow further. Once the site is healed the nutrients will be sent back to other parts of the body, and hair loss will taper off.
If you’ve recently undergone surgery and you are noticing loss of hair or changes in your hair texture don’t panic! Odds are that your hair will grow back or return to its normal texture once you are healed from surgery. Your best bet during the interim is to meet with one of the professionals at The Salon by Lora Brown to find a style that will make you feel gorgeous again!
Lora Brown is a master stylist and the owner of The Salon by Lora Brown. She has worked in the salon industry for 30 years.