Hair loss caused by stress or a significant life event is known as telogen effluvium. The good news is that telogen effluvium is often a temporary condition that can resolve itself without the any type of treatment.
Everyone experiences some level of stress. But some types of stress may produce physical symptoms, such as hair loss. Telogen effluvium is the loss of hair that results from stress or trauma. It is characterized by hair loss that is greater than that which is normal.
You may be experiencing telogen effluvium when hair loss starts to become evident after a stressful event.
Some things that often lead to telogen effluvium can include:
- chronic illness
- a severe illness
- changes in diet
- coping with the death of a loved one
- getting a divorce
- losing a job
- starting a new job
- vitamin deficiency
- poor nutrition
- hormonal changes
When hair loss or hair thinning becomes noticeable after a “triggering event” like the ones listed above, you might be experiencing telogen effluvium.
What is Telogen Effluvium, and What Does It Do?
Everyone’s hair normally goes through a hair growth cycle. This cycle has three different phases. The phases are:
- The anagen phase is when your hair grows rapidly. It is a very active phase during which your growing hair pushes club hairs up and out of the hair follicle.
- The catagen phase is next, which is the period during which hairs stop growing for two to three weeks and form into club hairs. This is a transitional phase of hair growth.
- The telogen phase is next. This is a period of complete rest. This final phase is the period when hairs release from the follicles and fall out or “shed allowing for the completely formed club hairs to begin to enter the anagen phase.
This hair growth cycle occurs continuously, with approximately 75% of all hairs being in the active anagen/growth phase at any given time. Typically, less than 10% of hairs are in the telogen phase.
Telogen effluvium occurs when something pushes more than the normal amount of hair into the telogen phase. The “something” is usually a traumatic or stressful physical or psychological event.
Luckily, telogen effluvium is often a temporary condition and will resolve on its own. It often occurs and resolves during a 3 to 6-month period after the stressful event that triggered it.
What Are Some Signs and Symptoms of a Telogen Effluvium?
The most obvious symptom of telogen effluvium is the loss of more scalp hair than usual. What does this mean?
It is typical to lose around 100 hairs each day on average. When a substantial increase in shedding is observed three to four months following a traumatic experience, it is likely because of telogen effluvium.
What is a substantial increase in hair shedding?
Normally less than 10% of one’s hairs are shifted into telogen at any given time. During telogen effluvium, that percentage can increase dramatically. At least 25% is usually the percentage that results in a firm telogen effluvium diagnosis.
In addition to causing hair loss, telogen effluvium also has the ability to reduce hair volume and thickness. A hair growth resumes, and new hairs grow in, they may become finer and shorter in length. Telogen effluvium can result in long-term changes.
Symptoms of telogen effluvium can also include scalp itching and discomfort. Tenderness and unusual sensations in the scalp, known as trichodynia, are two additional symptoms that can indicate telogen effluvium.
Hair loss or thinning of any kind can also cause feelings of depression and low self-esteem. The emotional and psychological side effects of telogen effluvium can be worse than the hair loss itself. Unfortunately, the shock and sadness over losing your hair can also perpetuate the telogen effluvium.
Can You Minimize The Effects of Telogen Effluvium?
As we said, most telogen effluvium is temporary. It will usually begin to resolve a few months after it begins. There are some things you can do to care for your hair and scalp when you are experiencing telogen effluvium. Consider the following:
- When your hair is wet, it’s more delicate. So be careful when washing and drying it. Use gentle hair care products like shampoo and conditioner. Use a wide-tooth comb or brush.
- Tight braids and ponytails can harm hair follicles and induce more hair to fall out, and inhibit hair regrowth. Try to avoid any hairstyles that pull or tug on the hair.
- Scratching your scalp may irritate the hair follicles and cause more hairs to fall out. Avoid scratching with sharp nails or any other sharp objects
Call Riviera Hair Replacement if You Are Experiencing Telogen Effluvium
The sooner you address the signs and symptoms of hair loss, the more likely you will be able to avoid further damage and symptoms. Whether your hair loss is temporary or permanent, consider seeking hair replacement options from Riviera.
We offer a variety of options to clients who come to us because they are experiencing hair thinning or hair loss caused by telogen effluvium, chemotherapy, radiation, pattern hair loss, and other conditions that affect hair growth. Whether you want a full wig or a partial hair integration that maximizes the hair you have, Riviera can design and create the hair replacement solution that fits with your needs and lifestyle.
Whether we like it or not, our hair is important to us, and the way we look affects the way we feel. At Riviera Hair Replacement, we want to help you look and feel your best, confident self. Call us today at 516-364-0110 to schedule a free hair replacement consultation.