My hair is falling out, I'm 38 years old and was in a coma for 2 weeks in Feb, hospital for 5 weeks including dialysis. Having spoken to my nurse last week, I know my nails and hair stopped growing as I have ridges in my nails now but is this normal for hair to fall out? I literally blocked the shower this morning with a clump the size of a golf ball and my hair is only short. 

13 Replies

  • Hi BBDEBS,

    It's quite normal for some people's hair to fall out after ICU so don't get to worried once everything settles down it will all grow back, I met someone once at a support group who was going bald before he went into ICU and to his amazement it started growing back within months of leaving ICU. The drugs we were given while in ICU can remain in the body for some time after, unfortunately the drugs do a great in saving our lives but do leave the body chemistry a bit messed up for a while, I'm sure everyone will agree a few problems are a small price to pay for a second chance of life.

    Best wishes in your continued recovery


  • Very happy to be alive for sure!! Wasn't sure if it were related or something else I needed the docs to investigate, cheers Bill X

  • My hair got so thin I had to get it cut short - initially it came back with a slight curl (which I loved) - now back go its usual thick and straight - just hang on in there it will return 😊. My nails were a problem as I had like a double nail (hands & feet) and needed to wait for the top part to fall off and new underneath part grow - really weird but all back to normal now. Probably because I was on heavy Iv antibiotics for 8 months because of those pesky antibiotic resistant viruses you get in ICU

  • I've got ridges in my nails as my ITU nurse said they stop growing along with your hair. I learn something new every day!!

  • Dear BBDEBS - as others here have said, unfortunately, hair loss is normal, in these circumstances. However, having experienced it myself, I know how worrying it can be. Please be re-assured, your hair will be OK but it may take some time. Meanwhile, can I suggest you use a very mild shampoo ( if necessary pay extra for a good one) and don't rub the hair dry or use a very hot hair dryer ? It may be a good idea to avoid strong styling products too. Diet is important as well - plenty of vitamins etc etc. Give it time, it will recover

    best wishes

  • Thank you so much!! X

  • Hello there, I had these experiences happen to me too, please be kind to yourself and reassured that this only for the short term. I hated this aspect of the recovery process but your hair will return and your nails will start to improve. Remember you are a survivor.

    Kindest wishes,


  • Thank you Angie xx

  • Hi, I too got very upset when I discovered mases of hair coming out in handfuls whenever I brushed it or washed it. But time will help that stop and eventually your hair will recover. Nails , mine are still in the recovery mode but ridges etc are normal for ITU survivors. Be kind and patient with yourself good luck xx

  • My wife was in ICU last March in a coma for a month. A few months later she began to experience the same thing. Her hair became brittle, thin and dry and was falling out every time she brushed it. Eventually she asked her hairdresser to cut it very short (she's had it long since she was very young, so it was a big deal!). It's really done it good removing all the old hair, and new thicker hair has grown back to replace the old.

    I wouldn't worry too much, it seems to be a very common thing and does grow back again.

  • How short is very short? I have short ish hair anyway but was thinking of shaving it off. The back of my head is really tingly and its unpleasantly so, was thinking of just getting rid and starting again X

  • Probably back to about an inch long - which is VERY short for her. If you're not scared to shave it then it shouldn't do it an harm. The new hair should grow back much thicker.

  • I've had my hair cut to an inch long and my friends love it xx thanks so much for all the advice xx

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