Telogen effluvium - What are the symptoms? What causes it? And who suffers from it?
This page answers these questions, and then explains how to treat it.
Obviously you first need to find out exactly what type of hair loss you have.
doctor should, of course, be able to help confirm this through:
But you can also get a pretty good idea of telogen effluvium symptoms from the photos below.
First, notice how the hair has thinned out substantially, causing the scalp to show through. However, you can also see that there are no areas of complete baldness as is the case with some other types of hair loss.
Also notice how the hair loss is spread out evenly across the whole scalp.
That’s a typical telogen effluvium symptom. In fact, that's why this type of hair loss is also known as "diffuse thinning" or "diffuse hair loss".
Diffuse thinning is something my own techniques can successfully treat - Question 12 in the FAQ page explains more.
It's caused by a disruption to the normal hair growth cycle. This repeating cycle includes anagen (the growing phase) and telogen (the shedding and resting phase).
If you're in good health, up to 90% of your scalp hair will be in anagen at any one time. The other 10% is mostly in telogen. This hair then falls out and within a few months the whole natural cycle starts again.
So, if you have a full head of hair and no hair disorder, what this basically means is that you’ll lose about 100 hairs per day as part of your normal, natural hair growth cycle.
But, if you’ve got telogen effluvium, you could lose a lot more than 100 hairs per day.
That’s because, far more than the usual 10% of your hair is being forced into telogen.
So the big question is…
Many things can do this, including the following six:
1. Nutrition – Some nutrients are essential if your natural hair growth cycle is to continue as normal. Only very small amounts might be needed, but if your body doesn’t receive a regular supply, the health of your hair can start to suffer. So, if you often eat unhealthy food, and your nutrient supply is inadequate, then you could be asking for trouble.
And drastic dieting can also cause problems - If you go on a crash diet, you
could find yourself not just losing weight, you might start losing hair
2. Hormones - Sudden hormone disruption can cause several types of hair loss. So, clearly, it’s very important to maintain balanced hormone levels. But, that's easier said than done. How do know when you’ve got a hormone imbalance? A few potential causes are quite obvious (such as pregnancy and the menopause) but many others aren't.
3. Illness – Clearly there’s never a good time to suffer hair loss. But, being ill can often take its toll on your hair as well as your body. And, whilst the health of your body is obviously your main concern, the health of your hair can often have a huge psychological impact. And, if you’re seriously ill, it’s important to have a positive mindset, not a negative one.
4. Medication - If you’re taking powerful drugs to combat a serious illness, you might find yourself suffering serious side effects too. Many conventional medicines work on a "magic bullet" principle – targeting a specific disease to produce an immediate effect. But, there can be consequences, and your hair growth cycle can get thrown out of whack.
5. Injury – An injury can cause shock and stress. And when your body is stressed, your hair can be the first to show it.
6. Stress – There are many types of stress (physical, chemical, emotional, etc). And any of these can adversely affect hair growth. That’s because, during the stress response, your peripheral circulation (i.e., to your skin, hair follicles, etc.) can quickly get interrupted and blood flow diverted inside your body. So, if you suffer chronic stress, you could develop chronic hair loss too.
Looking through the list above, it's easy to understand why women suffer this type of hair loss more than men. For example, women are far more likely to go on a crash diet than men. And they're much more likely to get pregnant too!
But, since the growth cycle of hair is the same for everyone, men can be affected by this condition as well.
From these many different causes, three types of telogen effluvium can develop…
CTE is very common in women. In fact, along with androgenetic alopecia (genetic hair loss), these two conditions account for almost all cases of female hair loss.
CTE is caused by an iron deficiency, and can often develop through poor nutrition, heavy bleeding during periods, or both.
Note: You can learn the best way to treat CTE on the next page.
If a serious event in your life takes place, any severe shock it causes could lead to a sudden increase in hair loss.
However, it might be difficult to pinpoint the actual reason for the hair loss because, as I've already mentioned, there can be a few months delay before shedding starts after hair has been forced out of anagen and into telogen.
With this disorder, as much as 70% of the scalp hair can be forced into telogen and then start to fall. That’s a lot of hair!
Note: This condition can easily be confused with alopecia areata because both can cause rapid hair loss.
Hair loss after pregnancy can be caused by a number of things, including hormone imbalance, thyroid conditions and immune system disorders.
Learn about three different types of postpartum hair loss, as well as what action you can take, by reading: Postpartum Hair Loss.
Once you know what type of telogen effluvium you have, you can then go about trying to stop it. Follow the three-point plan below to deal with it the most effective way:
1. Deal with the underlying cause – whether it be stress, a nutritional deficiency, a recent pregnancy, etc., once you’ve identified the reason behind your hair loss, try to take appropriate action against the underlying cause.
2. Give it time - it can take quite some time to correct. This might vary from six months (CTE) to 18 months (postpartum telogen effluvium).
3. Start using hair loss products? If, after giving your body sufficient time to correct the problem on its own, your hair is still not growing properly, start thinking about using hair loss products, and bear in mind the following…
If you’re not seeing any real improvements by the time you should have, you could have some other type of hair loss as well.
This is quite possible. In which case, it can be very tricky to diagnose – you would definitely want to see your doctor for tests.
However, whatever the reason why your hair growth has not recovered (or, if you feel you need to do something immediately to help your hair growth anyway), start simple and affordable.
My own natural approach to hair loss has been well-received by both men and women, including those with different types of hair loss.
For example, here's a testimonial from a lady who had telogen effluvium…
This is page 1 of 2.
Read next page? Chronic Telogen Effluvium.
Note: Always consult with a doctor to identify which type of hair loss you have and how best to treat it.