What is Telogen Effluvium and How Can You Solve It? A Q&A with our founder, Simone Thomas, of Simone Thomas Wellness answers your burning questions on causes of common hair loss and how to treat this.
It’s normal to shed around 100 hairs a day, but if large clumps are collecting in your shower or hairbrush, your hair may be crying out for help. Our hair can mean everything to us, from family heritage to a confidence pick-me-up. Seeing it shed can impact us both physically and emotionally. Fortunately, not all hair loss is completely beyond our control. Knowing the cause of your hair loss is the first step to finding a solution.
Read on to discover how you can combat one of the most common forms of hair loss.
What is telogen effluvium?
Telogen effluvium is a common form of hair loss that usually happens after stress, a shock to the system or a traumatic event. It disrupts your natural hair cycle and is characterised by an abrupt onset of hair shedding, usually within a few months after a triggering event. In a healthy person’s scalp, around 85% of the hair follicles are in the anagen stage, where they are actively growing. Normally, 5-10% of scalp hairs are in the telogen stage, the resting phase before they fall out.
Therefore, it is normal for you to lose up around 100 hairs per day through brushing, washing or during sleep. Telogen effluvium increases the number of hairs in the telogen stage to around 30%, which causes shedding to occur. So, what are the causes and what can be done to overcome this?
Telogen effluvium is usually brought on by a sudden shock to the system or a prolonged condition, such as stress.
The common triggers include:
Pregnancy and childbirth
During pregnancy, more hair follicles are in the growth phase, however for 3-6 months after these hairs will move into the telogen stage and shed profusely.
Chronic stress or constant stress experienced over long periods of time can lead to hair loss.
Depending on the procedure, length of stay in hospital and medications, surgery can be a shock to your body that can lead to hair loss.
Sudden weight loss
Weight loss or chronic calorie restriction can cause sudden hair loss.
Your hair requires certain key nutrients, like iron, B-vitamins, and zinc, to grow. A lack of these nutrients can impact your health and the growth cycle of your hair.
Underlying health conditions
Conditions such as autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders (hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism) and chronic illnesses can trigger telogen effluvium.
Who is affected by telogen effluvium?
Acute telogen effluvium can affect people of all ages, however chronic telogen effluvium tends to occur in otherwise healthy women between the ages of 30-60.
How do I know if I’m experiencing telogen effluvium?
If you have been experiencing frequent periods of hair shedding for more than 6 months, it may be telogen effluvium.
The condition is usually diagnosed by its clinical features, such as diffuse hair thinning across the entire scalp and/or body, rather than focal areas typical of alopecia areata.
Is the hair loss permanent?
Fortunately, telogen effluvium is generally reversible. Regrowth will usually occur after triggers of the condition, such as stress, are removed. It’s common for hair to grow back within 3-6 months after the causes has been dealt with.
How can I treat telogen effluvium?
Telogen effluvium will usually be self-correcting, however to speed things along here are some treatments that can help.
- Handle your hair gently, avoid over-vigorous brushing and styling
- Treat any underlying scalp or skin disorder
- Eat a balanced diet
- Find ways to reduce stress
- Supplement your diet to account for deficiencies and aid hair growth
Our Ginkgo Hair Care Plan has been expertly formulated to combat hair loss, especially hair loss as a result of stress.
Ginkgo biloba is a powerful botanical that can help to nourish hair follicles, improve circulation, and reduce inflammation, including on the scalp.
Combined with Everyday Wellness and Super Greens, our Ginkgo Biloba Hair Care Plan provides essential nutrition that can help regrow and strengthen your hair.
If you’ve been experiencing increased hair loss that you can’t explain, Simone Thomas Wellness can help you discover and treat the cause.
Book a consultation with our founder today and begin your journey to healthy, happy hair!