Telogen Effluvium usually presents as a diffuse hair loss, meaning coming from all parts of the scalp. Most commonly a woman will see increased shedding of hair. While it is normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs a day, during a Telogen Effluvium episode you can notice more excessive shedding. The telogen phase of the hair cycle is the resting phase, which is when shedding normally occurs, however, during a Telogen Effluvium either the telogen phase is extended or an abnormal number of hairs enter this phase. This can be caused by pregnancy, rapid weight loss, protein deficiency, emotional stress, physical illness, surgery, trauma, and some medications. Fortunately, it is usually reversible and complete regrowth occurs in about 1-2 years.
Treating Telogen Effluvium is really a two-step process. The first step is determining what is causing the “shock” to your hair. It is possible there was a singular insult like surgery, however, with more chronic issues like stress or medications, you will need to stop the injury to truly treat your Telogen Effluvium. The second step is to treat the hair loss to try and strengthen and rejuvenate your hair.
It is essential that women start treatment as soon as they notice excessive hair shedding or thinning. By the time the scalp is visible through the hair, almost 50% of the density in that area has been lost.