Telogen effluvium, a form of sudden hair loss, is one of our bodies’ many strange ways of responding to various types of stress. It results from an interruption in the normal hair growth cycle. It tends to appear 2-3 months after an extreme stressor takes place.
Whereas 6-8% of your hair follicles are always in the resting (telogen) phase at a time, this condition results in 30-50% of them entering the resting phase at once and staying there for longer than normal. The most obvious signs of telogen effluvium are excessive hair fall when you brush or wash your hair and obvious areas of thinning on your scalp.
If you’ve noticed this sudden excessive and clumpy hair loss, you’re not alone. Some estimates claim that cases of telogen effluvium are more than five times higher than average right now.
Why? It could all be due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
To better understand the connection between this condition and coronavirus, let’s dive into some of the more subtle signs that your hair loss could be due to telogen effluvium and what you can do to treat it.
1. Stress and Anxiety
Have you ever heard stories of people worrying so much that their hair falls out? While this may seem like nothing more than an old wives’ tale, it holds a lot of truth.
Hair loss is one of the many unfortunate ways our bodies respond to anxiety and major stress. The longer these heightened feelings remain, the higher your chance of experiencing telogen effluvium.
People all across the globe have noticed a sudden increase in stress and anxiety from the pandemic. Some have lost jobs, some have lost loved ones, and everyone has lost at least some of their sense of normalcy. It’s no surprise that such an impactful event on a global scale would result in an uptick of telogen effluvium.
2. Lack of Nutrition
Like the rest of your body, your hair follicles need a variety of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to stay healthy. These include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B-12 and other B vitamins
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Zinc and iron
- Essential fatty acids
Most of us get plenty of these nutrients through the foods we eat. If your diet is full of empty calories, though, you may be silently suffering from a nutrient deficiency. With so many of us stuck at home and stress eating our way through the COVID crisis, this is a very real possibility.
If you’ve noticed any of the symptoms of telogen effluvium, ask yourself about how your recent diet has been. Have you replaced your normal balanced meals with pre-packaged snacks and junk foods? If so, halting your hair loss could be as simple as modifying and/or supplementing your diet.
3. Sudden Weight Loss
While most people associate a poor diet with weight gain, the opposite can also be true. Many people, especially working parents, have found themselves struggling to cope with balancing their responsibilities during the quarantine. This leaves little time for preparing regular meals and resting, both of which can lead to sudden weight loss.
Unfortunately, rapid weight loss and/or calorie restriction are common reasons for telogen effluvium. Women struggling with this symptom may also notice their menstrual cycles change or stop as a result of the physical stress.
4. Hormonal Fluctuation
Hormonal fluctuations, such as those during pregnancy, are another common cause of telogen effluvium. Even so, they’re rarely the only cause. The other factors on this list—stress, sudden weight gain or loss, and poor diet—can all contribute to hormonal imbalances.
5. A Serious Illness
Last on our list of telogen effluvium signs is one that isn’t quite as subtle as the rest. Going through a serious illness of any sort puts unmatched loads of physical stress on your body.
That’s why it isn’t shocking that many patients who’ve recovered from COVID-19 are noticing hair loss a couple of months after their illness. The novel coronavirus can attack every organ in your body and send it into a system-wide panic response. There isn’t much official research data to support this conclusion yet, but as scientists continue to study the disease’s long-term effects, more reports of telogen effluvium keep surfacing.
Treating Telogen Effluvium Symptoms
The good news about telogen effluvium is that, unlike other hair loss conditions, it isn’t a life sentence. Provided you can remove the stressor that’s causing the condition, your hair follicles will eventually leave the resting phase and re-enter the growth cycle. Unassisted, this process can take anywhere from two months to a year.
As much as we’d like to, we can’t snap our fingers and make the pandemic vanish. That means that at least one large source of stress in our lives will be unavoidable until it runs its own course.
Even if you can’t remove this or other stressors, there are ways to help your body to cope. Now is the time to start listening to your body and putting your health first. Prioritize eating a balanced diet, taking COVID-19 precautions, and reducing anxiety through meditation, exercise, or counseling.
For some extra support, you can also take Tricovel, a telogen effluvium supplement. Its patent-pending formula with Biogenina® contains all the specific nutrients your hair follicles need to awaken from their rest. Tricovel supplements come in daily tablet form, but you can also use the fortifying shampoo to heal broken and brittle hair.
Have You Noticed These Signs of Telogen Effluvium?
If you’ve noticed these subtle signs of telogen effluvium along with sudden hair loss, don’t panic. Losing your hair can be frightening, but in most cases, it will regrow given enough time.
To support your hair follicles in their recovery and speed up the regrowth process, it’s a good idea to take supplements that provide all the nutrients your hair needs. That’s where Tricovel comes in—our nutrient blend with Biogenina® is clinically proven to reduce further hair loss, increase regrowth, and strengthen remaining hair strands. Visit our shop today to start your journey back to a full head of thick, healthy hair.