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Hair in resting phase?

36 year old fit male. Promoted to new job in September, higher stress role. Noticed some increase in acne, particularly back and chest (have had acne since age 12). Decided to see Derm and gave me Keflex for 10 days, which cleared up the acne. In hindsight my skin was a little dry prior to seeing the Derm, but didnt think anything of it. I periodically trim my chest hair and did so around October 25. Finished Keflex Nov 3. Nov 4 woke up with chills, fever, malaise, body aches. Saw PCP, negative flu test, just a virus, symptoms all backed off after 3 days, malaise lingered. Day 5 got sinus symptoms, saw PCP again, gave me z-pak for sinus infection, symptoms improved, but some lingering malaise. PCP did a CBC which came back normal. Slowly felt better each day, then Dec 10 got a cold, followed up with ENT, who felt I was fine, gave me nasonex to help with congestion. Today feel almost 100 percent, have resumed working out and hopefully I am on my way now. However I noticed that some of the hairs I trimmed on my chest, say 25 percent, never grew from their trimmed state, they are the same length from when I trimmed them on Oct 25. My chest hair looks normal, nothing patchy, etc. Its like I caught some of them in their resting state. I tugged on a few and they are well attached, nothing falling out, hair on head is not thinner, or weak.  A few weeks ago my stylist mentioned my hair had not grown much since my last visit.  Could the stress and viral illness triggered the resting phase that I noticed on my chest hair and slowed growth on my scalp hair?  I am feeling a bit better, but dont want to run to my PCP for thyroid testing etc. I have a physical this winter coming up and I can ask him to test thyroid function, but a family friend that is an MD thought I could be a bit hypothyroid.  The timing of all of these events and symptoms seems related vs this has all been due to an untreated thyroid issue. Thanks.
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563773 tn?1374250139
Thanks for posting your query.

I can understand your concern for the slow growth of hair. It is true that the growth of hair is dependent on many factors which include good diet, proper exercise, less usage of hair products which mainly contain chemicals, general health condition and mental well being.

So, the causes for excessive hair fall may be physiological or pathological and include hormonal changes, fungal infection, physical effects (traction, heat, chemicals), psychological & stress-related reasons, thyroid disorders, iron deficiency anemia, excessive intake of Vitamin A, hereditary reasons etc.

But you are not having any symptoms of hair fall. It is just slow growth of hair which could be due to mental stress and stress due to viral illness. Thyroid causes mainly cause hair loss and hair fall. The growth cycle of hair is in two phases, anagen or growth phase and telogen or resting phase. During telogen, the resting hair remains in the follicle until it is pushed out by growth of a new anagen hair. When hair enter the telogen phase, if it remains in this phase, it causes telogen effluvium. In telogen effluvium, a large number of hair enter telogen at one time.

It appears as a diffuse thinning of hair on the scalp. There is never complete loss of hair but the hair can be noticeably thin in severe cases. Hence it is not exactly telogen also in your case if there is no diffuse hair thinning. It is simply slow growth of hair.

It should become better with less of stress and treatment of viral infection. You also need to pay attention to your diet. Your hair needs vitamins and minerals to grow that it can only get from the bloodstream.

So if you want to speed up your hair growth and thickness you should limit the intake of fat and salts. Selenium, zinc and magnesium are some of the minerals that your hair needs and also amino acids and vitamin E will help in growing hairs. So there is no harm taking vitamin supplements provided they should be taken under prescription of your doctor to avoid overdose.

Hope that this information helps and hope that you will get better soon.

Wishing you good health.

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