What Is Telogen Effluvium?

An average person has about 100,000 hairs currently on their head. The hair’s purpose is to protect us from the elements that may harm our bodies. It regulates the temperature by insulating against cold and conserving body heat.

A person sheds 50 to 100 hairs a day on average, and causes of hair fall can include weight loss, fever, or childbirth. Hair shedding also happens to people who underwent an operation and are recovering.

In some cases, hair loss is hereditary, and age can also be a factor. When a person ages, hair growth slows and causes hair to thin out.

Telogen Effluvium is one type of hair loss condition that can affect people of all ages. To know more, here is everything you need to know about this common hair loss condition.

What Is Telogen Effluvium?

Telogen Effluvium is the name for temporary hair loss caused by excessive shedding. This condition happens after a stressful or traumatic event.

This temporary condition of hair loss occurs on the top of the scalp. A person with telogen effluvium symptoms may experience hair thinning. Disturbances to the hair cycle trigger this condition.

Dermatologists diagnose this hair shedding condition. People with chronic telogen effluvium experience hair shedding for more than six months. One characteristic of this condition is it is generally reversible.

A person with telogen effluvium won’t lose all their hair, but hair thinning may become more visible.

Hair Cycle and Telogen Effluvium

The hair cycle has three phases. The first phase is the anagen or growth phase, where the cells in the root of the hair divide rapidly.

New hair forms and pushes the hair follicles out, and hair grows about 1 cm every 28 days. Scalp hair remains in this growth phase for two to six years.

The second phase is the catagen, which lasts for about two to three weeks. About 3% of all hairs go through this transitional stage.

Growth stops in this phase. The outer root sheath shrinks, then attach to the root of the hair. Club hair forms after this phase.

The last stage, which is the telogen phase, accounts for 6% to 8% of all hairs and lasts for about 100 days. Here, the hair follicle rests and, the club hair formation finishes.

When you pull a hair on this last phase, it reveals a solid white material. A person sheds 25 to 100 telogen hairs each day.

At any given time, many hairs go through these phases. The scalp goes through these stages of growth and shedding.

Understanding the hair cycle gives knowledge on how telogen effluvium works. With this type of hair loss, regrowth usually comes after.


How does a person get a telogen effluvium diagnosis? Diagnosis usually comes from its clinical features. Dermatologists examine a person’s scalp and check the symptoms.

One indicator is when hair thinning involves the entire scalp. In some cases, telogen effluvium affects body hair. A gentle pull test reveals a significant number of telogen hairs.

A hair pull test allows dermatologists to assess the patient’s hair shedding. More than 10% of hair pulled in a bundle states an unusual number. A strand or two is common for a hair bundle with 50-60 strands.

Dermatologists use a trichogram to confirm the diagnosis. More than 25% of telegram hairs in a trichogram prove the presence of telogen effluvium. A microscope identifies club hair or telogen effluvium.

In rare cases, the dermatologist makes use of a scalp biopsy. They take tissue samples from the scalp to test for inflammation or fibrosis. The formation of fibrous connective tissues indicates scarring.

For cases with unknown causes, blood tests can reveal underlying conditions.

Causes of Telogen Effluvium

Losing hair is a part of the hair growth cycle. Causes of hair loss can include unhealthy lifestyle choices. The hormonal change also affects the shedding of hair for some people.


Poor diet affects hair growth. The lack of nutrients in what a person eats can affect the quality and quantity of hair. Nutrients including protein and iron aid in hair growth.

Calorie restrictions cause hair loss through the loss of nutrients to the scalp. The lack of nutrients disrupts hair growth. The effects of nutrient deficiency go away after six months of nutritional stability.


One-third of Americans live with extreme stress. If exposed to stressful situations, it could result in telogen effluvium. Hair loss happens three months after a stressful event.

Weight Loss

Sudden weight loss causes hair to fall. The rapid change in weight causes physical stress. This event signals hair follicles to move into an inactive stage.

Hormonal Changes

For women who have gone through childbirth, hormonal changes can cause hair fall. For three to six months, women experience hair loss after pregnancy. This condition is post-partum telogen effluvium.

Menopause is another cause of telogen effluvium. The change in estrogen levels results in hair loss. Luckily, hair loss caused by hormonal imbalance is reversible.


Autoimmune diseases may cause telogen effluvium. Conditions that affect the thyroid gland can cause hair fall too. And again, regrowth is possible once the patient receives treatment.


When a person goes through surgery, they may experience hair fall. The medications and nutritional status affect hair growth.

Telogen Effluvium Treatment

Telogen effluvium treatment depends on what is triggering it. Once the patient gets their diagnosis, treatment may begin. Hair growth starts to normalize, and the hair cycle continues.

Addressing the nutritional deficiencies through proper diet helps in telogen effluvium treatment. Patients can eat food that contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. The list includes eggs, leafy greens, and seeds.

For patients who experience hair loss because of stress, counseling can help. This type of stress management addresses anxiety and reduces stress levels. It improves the patient’s general health and wellbeing.

Treat Telogen Effluvium Today

That’s all you need to know about telogen effluvium. Remember that regrowth usually occurs after addressing the triggers of telogen effluvium. Treating the root of what causes shedding decreases hair loss.

Contact us for tips and guidance in managing telogen effluvium. We offer solutions to counteract hair loss and prolong hair life. Our team will be glad to help you with all the things you’ll need for hair care.

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