The average human scalp has upwards of 100,000 hair follicles, and it’s usual to lose anywhere up to 100 strands per day. Anything significantly above this is considered abnormal. If you’ve been experiencing unusual and sudden hair shedding and thinning recently, you may be suffering from a condition called telogen effluvium (TE). It’s one of the most common forms of hair loss – read on to learn all you need to know about the condition, and get the lowdown on the most effective treatments for telogen effluvium.
What Is Telogen Effluvium?
TE is a type of hair loss triggered by changes in hair growth cycles. There are four cycles of hair growth: anagen (where hair grows), catagen (regression), telogen (resting) and exogen (shedding). At any time, around 85% to 90% of your hair is in the anagen stage while 5-10% is in the telogen phase. When TE occurs, more hairs move from the anagen to telogen phase. With as much as 30% of hairs resting, more follicles move into the shedding phase, so hair loss increases.
Telogen Effluvium Symptoms
The main symptom of TE is a rapid increase in hair loss. It’s usually seen when hair is washed or brushed – you’ll see more hair in the drain or on the hairbrush or comb. You’re also likely to see hairs on your pillow when you wake up. Up to 300 hairs a day can be shed, which can be a frightening experience as it can often seem like it is coming out in clumps. The second main symptom is diffuse thinning – while TE will not make someone lose all their hair, it can become noticeably thin all over. On occasion, another TE symptom is a tender and sensitized scalp, but this is not as common as the other two symptoms. The condition is usually temporary, lasting up to 6 months, but can also become a chronic or recurring problem.
TE is not fully understood; but is thought to be triggered by a range of causes.
- Physical or mental trauma – eg surgery, illness or a loss of a loved one
- Long term stress
- Dietary issues
- Sudden weight loss
- Reaction to medication
However, it should be noted that in around 30% of cases, no underlying issue can be found.
Who Gets It?
TE can happen to anyone, regardless of sex, age or race. It normally occurs within 3 months of a stressful mental or physical event. It isn’t in any way hereditary but is more common in women. This is probably due to women experiencing hormonal shifts during pregnancy and menopause, as well as giving birth – all major triggers of TE.
Can TE Be Treated?
TE usually resolves on its own after a few months and the normal hair cycles resume, but it can return or become a chronic condition if the underlying causes are not solved. It can also take many months for the hair follicles to recover and return to their natural volume. There is no cure as such, but there are options that can mitigate even acute telogen effluvium and encourage hair to grow again. Here are some effective treatments for telogen effluvium.
Diet & Nutrition
Getting your diet right is a great way to help your hair recover from TE, even if it isn’t the actual cause of the problem. A protein-rich diet is essential to give your hair the building blocks it needs to grow. Vitamin B6 and B12 are both key requirements for hair growth, while iron and zinc are also vital. Avoid restrictive diets that omit all these elements. Great supplements are among the most effective treatments for telogen effluvium. Hair Gain Gummies and Capsules contain the unique AnaGain™ ingredient which stimulates fuller and thicker hair at the root. Hair Gain also contains a fantastic blend of vitamins, minerals and aminos crucial for healthy hair growth from within.
If stress is behind your hair loss, you need to take urgent steps to reduce it. Regular exercise will burn off negative energy while releasing feel-good endorphins into your system. Head to gym or pool. Alternatively, take a brisk walk or jog. Mindful meditation, deep breathing exercises and yoga are also marvellous ways to destress and relax. There are many excellent apps you can use to help. Dealing with stress will aid hair regrowth.
Nourish & Hydrate
To begin the fightback against TE, you need to get your hair and scalp in the best possible condition. Regularly using a hair mask will nourish and hydrate, revitalising your locks and scalp. Hair Gain’s new Hair Mask is scientifically formulated to stimulate and nourish your hair and scalp, while making your tresses thicker and lustrous. It will help lay the groundwork while your hair regrows and reduce further loss, while making your hair stronger and shiner. Not only an effective treatment for telogen effluvium, but wonderfully relaxing too!
What To Leave Out
While you put change your diet, take the right supplements, destress and nourish your hair and scalp with a hair mask, make sure you love the hair you have by avoiding certain things too! Don’t wash your hair too often as even the mildest of shampoos can strip natural oils and moisture from your locks. Heat also does the same thing, so avoid heat styling your hair or at least minimise it. Similarly, severely limit colouring or bleaching your hair and eliminate it completely if you can – allow your hair the space and time to recover from TE.