Telogen Effluvium: Everything You Need to Know

Telogen Effluvium

Imagine trying to brush or pull your hair back into a ponytail and feeling a clump of it come off in your hands, that’s telogen effluvium. The average human loses approximately 100 hairs daily, but when it falls out in large amounts that could signal a problem.

Telogen effluvium is a condition in which certain sections of your hair are at a resting state, and begin to fall out in large quantities. Discover everything you need to know about telogen effluvium right here.

What Is Telogen Effluvium?

Telogen effluvium is a condition in which certain sections of your hair begin to fall out, for a number of different reasons.

It might feel like all of our hair is growing at the same rate, but it usually isn’t. This is why you might feel a little shaggy and unbalanced in between hair cuts.

When you come out of the barber or stylist, every hair is even and in place, and you may wonder why such an even cut can grow in so unbalanced. The science behind that is simple, our hair doesn’t grow back at the same rate.

Every hair follicle undergoes three different stages of hair growth that include anagen, catagen, and telogen.

The anagen phase of hair growth is the actual growth stage. The catagen stage is the stage in which hair follicles are transitioning.

The final stage of hair growth is telogen, which is the resting stage of the hair follicle.

It is estimated that approximately 5 to 10 percent of the overall hair on the body is in telogen at any given time in our lives. That means that approximately 90 to 95 percent of our hair is always growing but in different sections.

When telogen effluvium occurs, the rate of anagen has slowed and there are fewer hairs in the following two stages of hair growth. So when telogen phase occurs, there is actually 30 percent of our hairs in that stage, and this is when you start to see sections fall out in telogen effluvium.

It is not often a drastic falling out, but you may notice more hair in your brush or sink than usual. Read the top 5 myths about female hair loss before you lose any sleep over it.

Causes of Telogen Effluvium

There are a number of different reasons why telogen effluvium would occur. Childbirth is a very common reason, and many women after having a child may notice hair falling out in faster rates in the months following their child’s birth.

The American Pregnancy Association estimates that approximately 40 to 50 percent of pregnant women experience a form of telogen effluvium, which may also be considered telogen gravidarum after childbirth. It is a hormone-related hair growth spurt, and hair loss, through telogen effluvium when the hormones begin to balance back to normal states after childbirth.

Hair loss on brush

Other causes of telogen effluvium include stress, severe illness, a high fever, major surgery, thyroid problems, and some prescription medication.

After a sudden shock or stress to the system such as illness or surgery, the hair loss will begin to appear noticeable likely within 3 months. It could take up to 6 to 8 months following the stressor for hair growth to return to normal.

This is because the growth stage is approximately three months. So if you are losing hair after a shock or stress, you may not even notice it happening for a while.

If you start to notice it, think back to any major life changes or stresses that happened within the last three months or so. Within an additional three months, you can begin to notice your hair fullness return, as telogen effluvium is usually a temporary situation.

Put simply this is hair that is growing back, and time is often an excellent treatment for telogen effluvium.

Treating Telogen Effluvium

In most cases of telogen effluvium the best treatment is time, as regardless of what treatment you are using, you are literally waiting for hair to grow back. The only course of treatment for that is time, unfortunately, but telogen effluvium is nothing to be ashamed about.

In conjunction with this waiting period, look back to the stressor of the hair loss and you can begin making changes and adjustments from there. Talk to a doctor about it if this is something that really concerns you, and they can provide some help to speed the process along.

Because hair growth generally takes about three months for the follicle to reach the growth stage, that’s the kind of time you will likely be waiting. In the meantime, maintain a healthy lifestyle to promote balanced hormones and a thriving vessel in which your hair follicles can grow.

Sometimes addressing a nutritional deficiency is enough to stimulate hair growth. In many cases, iron deficiency is linked to telogen effluvium and you may need a tweak that is as simple as adding more iron to your diet.

If the hair loss problem is severe, your doctor can help you understand the hair replacement options that are available.

In some cases, counseling or medication to help you manage stress may also be an option.

Discover 5 foods you should be eating to keep your hair healthy.

Take Charge Of Your Health

When it comes to the hair loss condition known as telogen effluvium, there is no one size fits all answer. Generally speaking, however, this hair thinning is a temporary situation that will heal with time.

As with the regeneration of any new cell in our human system, the healthier our body is, to begin with, the faster new growth cycles in hair follicles will launch.

The important thing to remember is to not freak out, as stress on its own can alter hormone levels in a way that leads to your actual hair falling out. Keep calm and carry on, as the hair loss industry is now a 12.5 billion dollar industry and there are solutions out there for you.

Visit our hair loss blog to learn today how you can thicken hair in 9 steps.