Hair loss isn’t always an event that arises in expected forms. Most of us during the early stages of our lives often see older co-workers and acquaintances experiencing hair loss but also hair loss in family members. You start to consider “hey, mom or dad has hair loss so this could also happen to me.” Certain medications as well as medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy are widely associated with hair loss and when it happens, it is usually expected and something you can at least, somewhat emotionally prepare yourself for.
A wide variety of hair loss, however, can arrive in our lives suddenly and unexpectedly, without warning. The occurrence of childbirth, extreme emotional trauma, illness, or even stressful life events can trigger rapid hair loss into your reality of “now!” Hair loss that occurs in these situations is usually caused because of a disturbance of the normal function of your hair cycle. It is an atypical increase of the hair-shedding phase known as telogen effluvium.
What is Telogen Effluvium?
It is quite normal for us to shed 50 to 100 hairs, and sometimes even more each day as part of the normal telogen or “shedding / resting phase.” When functioning as it should, telogen only accounts for just 10% of all of our hair during normal shedding, but in telogen effluvium, it can increase to 30% or even more. This abnormal acceleration of daily hair shed each day causes a disproportional shift from the anagen “growth phase” to the telogen phase. The normal hair growth that automatically keeps the total number of hair consistent is disrupted, and the total number of hairs on your head no longer remains constant. Since the shedding has increased beyond your scalp’s capacity to keep up, noticeable thinning is the result.
What are the Symptoms of Telogen Effluvium?
Awareness of telogen effluvium happens when we see an increased amount of hair in our brush, in the shower, or even on the pillow in the morning. Styling one’s hair to cover the scalp becomes more and more challenging. In most cases, telogen effluvium displays no physical symptoms, but it can sometimes be accompanied by an unusual tenderness of the scalp known as trichodynia in some individuals.
While not an inherited trait, both men and women can experience telogen effluvium and hair loss typically commences about 3 months after the triggering event. This type of hair loss takes place diffusely, or all over the scalp and not in specific areas. If you suspect you are experiencing telogen effluvium, your friends here at Elite Hair Loss Solutions always recommend an official physician’s diagnosis before visiting our office for assistance with your hair loss.
Your diagnosis is almost always based on a visual inspection and your hair-shedding history, but a blood test may be recommended to eliminate other possibilities including an iron deficiency, or underactive thyroid. Stress and trauma causing a constriction of blood supply and poor vitamin assimilation can also be contributing factors to the adverse health of your scalp and hair. Poor nutrition or exposure to environmental toxins or chemicals should also be considered when assessing your thinning hair.
Okay, I Have Telogen Effluvium, What Can I Do About It?
Telogen Effluvium is temporary, however, if the underlying cause of your telogen effluvium has not been removed from your life, a chronic variant can be expected meaning a much longer hair loss experience. The resumption of normal growth phases usually begins to take place within about 6 months in most cases. Depending on the length of your hair before telogen effluvium, it will take many months for your overall hair volume to return.
The important thing to consider is no matter your diagnosis Elite Hair Loss Solutions offers a multitude of options to assist you in restoring your natural growth phases through natural plant stem cell based trichological and low-level light therapies or non-surgical hair replacement measures. Contact us to schedule your complimentary hair and scalp evaluation appointment.