Have you heard of a condition called telogen effluvium (TE)? If you have, do you know about the telogen effluvium recovery signs? If you haven’t heard of either, don’t worry. This article will explain what you need to know.
To put it simply, TE is a condition in which the scalp loses more hair than it should at a given time, causing thinning or bald spots. It’s a common form of hair loss, and there’s a good chance you or someone you know has experienced it.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll explain the causes and treatments for TE. If you’re a middle-aged woman with thinning hair, you might find this information especially helpful.
Telogen Effluvium Causes and Detection
Hair’s growth stage can last two years or more, and then it goes into a resting stage for up to two months before more hair grows. These shifts don’t affect all hair at the same time, though. On a healthy human scalp, only about 80-90% of the hair follicles are active at any given time.
Since hair follicles alternate between an active phase (anagen) and a resting phase (telogen), we should expect to lose a certain amount of hair periodically. If it regrows as it should, we probably don’t notice its loss.
However, stress (such as a personal tragedy), certain medications, a prolonged high fever, surgery, childbirth, or serious illness can cause more significant hair loss than normal.
“Effluvium” refers to an outflow—of hair, in this case, during the telogen cycle of its growth. There has to be a noticeable amount of hair loss for it to be considered TE, though.
People with TE never lose all their scalp hair, but what remains can be quite thin, especially in severe cases. While TE typically affects only the scalp, it can extend to other areas, such as the eyebrows or pubic hair.
Recognizing these signs can suggest the presence of TE, but you need a medical diagnosis to be sure the hair loss isn’t due to something else.
Telogen Effluvium Diagnosis
If you believe you have telogen effluvium, you should make an appointment with a dermatologist, since hair is part of our skin. This doctor likely will ask how long the hair loss has been going on and how profuse it’s been.
She also will ask about any new sources of stress, illness, or metabolic changes such as childbirth or starting a new medication.
It’s believed that men and women both experience TE, even though women report it much more frequently. This discrepancy could be explained easily by societal norms and expectations, though.
An Italian researcher recently stated that “The apparent gender exclusivity may depend on the fact that men keep their hair shorter and fail to notice their shedding, or that they pay less attention to shedding, resigned as they are to become bald.”
Still, TE raises more questions for the medical community than it provides answers. This is complicated by the fact that there are other causes for alopecia (hair loss) that can be mistaken for TE.
As well, some hair loss might be due to unhealthy habits that need to change. Doing so could be the first step toward rectifying hair loss. These habits include poor nutrition, treating hair with heat or chemicals, and lack of sleep.
Telogen Effluvium Treatment
If telogen effluvium is determined to be the cause of your hair loss, though, there are some possible remedies to try.
One suggested remedy is a telogen effluvium diet. This diet helps to ensure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs, especially for hair growth. In particular, you should consider the following dietary additions or changes:
- Make sure you’re getting enough B vitamins (B6 and B12). Since virtually all sources of these vitamins are animal proteins, if you’re a vegetarian, you might need to take supplements.
- Add zinc. There are several vegetarian, even vegan sources for this vital mineral.
- Add lysine since this is an amino acid your body won’t produce on its own. Vegetarians and others might consider healthy nuts, eggs, and cheese. You can also find lysine in several types of fish and meat.
Above all, be sure to get plenty of sleep, and don’t let stress get to you!
Chronic Telogen Effluvium
Chronic telogen effluvium is a form of hair loss affecting the entire scalp. It has no apparent cause, and it tends to affect women between ages 30 and 60. Moreover, these are usually women with full heads of hair before it begins to shed.
Chronic TE differs from acute or short-term TE because it’s known to persist for years, not just weeks or even months. Chronic TE also can be accompanied by related conditions.
Psychologically speaking, the continual loss of hair can bring on fears of total baldness, especially in women. Of course, this only adds to the stress that might have been responsible for the condition in the first place.
Since chronic TE can go away eventually, those with this condition should be on the lookout for chronic telogen effluvium recovery signs such as new hair growth and better retention of existing hair.
At that point, affected individuals might want to consider speaking with healthcare professionals about diet and lifestyle changes to prevent future recurrences.
7 Telogen Effluvium Recovery Signs
Eventually, you’ll start to recover from TE. Here are some signs to watch for:
- Your hair starts to regrow evenly all over the scalp.
- Hair loss during washing or combing starts to taper off.
- Hair loss stops reoccurring (particularly in the case of chronic TE).
- You stop seeing the small white “bulbs” at the roots of lost hair.
- Your hair regains its shine and luster.
- Hair that had started to lighten in color might begin to darken again.
- Your hair fills out, and you have fewer and fewer noticeable bare spots.
Congratulations on your recovery! It looks like you’re ready to move forward from your TE episode or episodes.
As you can tell, there are several ways of treating telogen effluvium, and as soon as you start to notice the telogen effluvium recovery signs, you’ll breathe a deep sigh of relief.
Nonetheless, we should remind you that unnecessary stress while you have this condition could only exacerbate it needlessly. So why not grab a cool scarf or funky baseball cap and get on with your life.
You could even wear a wig if you’d prefer to blend in rather than stand out from the crowd. Whatever you decide to do style-wise, you’ll be making a statement about you, not the condition of your hair.
And while you’re waiting for your natural hair to regrow, why not check out our website in more depth to see what resources and advice we have to offer. You can discover some great information to help you in the future!