stressed out losing hair

Stressed Out and Losing Hair? Demystifying Telogen Effluvium

Let's face it, life can be stressful.

Deadlines loom, bills pile up, and sometimes, it feels like everything is on your shoulders.

But did you know that chronic stress can manifest in surprising ways, including hair loss?

If you've noticed increased hair shedding lately, you might be experiencing Telogen Effluvium (TE).

What is Telogen Effluvium?

Telogen Effluvium is a temporary hair loss condition triggered by a disruption in your hair's natural growth cycle.

Usually, hair goes through three phases:

  • Anagen (growth phase): This active growth phase lasts anywhere from 2-7 years for most scalp hair.
  • Catagen (transitional phase): A short phase lasting a few weeks where hair growth slows down and the follicle prepares to detach from the blood supply.
  • Telogen (resting phase): This resting phase typically lasts about three months, after which the hair naturally sheds to make way for new hair growth. In TE, a stressful event disrupts this cycle.

More hair follicles than usual are pushed prematurely into the telogen phase, resulting in increased hair shedding 2-4 months later.

hair loss caused by stress

Causes of Telogen Effluvium

Stress is a primary culprit, but TE can also be triggered by other factors like:

  • Major illness or surgery: The body's healing response can disrupt the hair growth cycle.
  • Childbirth: Hormonal fluctuations after pregnancy can cause temporary hair loss.
  • Significant weight loss: Rapid weight loss can deprive hair follicles of essential nutrients.
  • Dietary deficiencies: Lack of iron, protein, or certain vitamins can contribute to hair loss.
  • Certain medications: Some medications, like chemotherapy drugs, can have hair loss as a side effect.

Symptoms of Telogen Effluvium

The most common symptom of TE is noticeable hair shedding, often exceeding the typical 50-100 hairs lost daily.

You might see increased hair fall in the shower, on your brush, or throughout the day.

TE typically causes diffuse hair loss, meaning hair thins all over the scalp rather than in a specific pattern like male or female pattern baldness.

Combating Telogen Effluvium: Managing Stress and Promoting Hair Growth

While TE can be frustrating, there are steps you can take to promote hair growth and manage stress:

  • Identify and address the stressor: Finding healthy ways to manage stress is crucial if stress is the trigger. Relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises can be helpful.
  • Maintain a balanced diet: Ensure your diet is rich in nutrients that support hair growth, such as protein, iron, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Be gentle with your hair: Avoid tight hairstyles that pull on the scalp and minimize heat styling tools. Use gentle hair care products and avoid excessive shampooing.
  • Consider supplements: While research is inconclusive, some studies suggest that biotin, iron, and omega-3 fatty acid supplements may promote hair growth.

However, consult your doctor before taking any supplements. Facing hair loss can be a significant challenge, but Wig Medical is here to support you on your journey to regaining confidence.

We recognize the emotional impact that hair loss can have, and our specialized wig services go beyond simply providing a product.

Contact one of our dedicated professionals today.

Telogen Effluvium hair loss

Five Things You Must Know about Telogen Effluvium

How long does telogen effluvium typically last, and is the hair loss reversible?

Telogen effluvium typically resolves itself without the need for extensive treatment.

The condition usually lasts for about three to six months, though this can vary depending on the severity and underlying cause. Hair loss from telogen effluvium is generally reversible.

Once the triggering factors (like stress, illness, or nutritional deficiencies) are resolved or managed, hair usually begins to regrow as usual. In most cases, the hair regains its normal fullness within six to nine months after the onset of shedding.

However, if the stressor persists or if the individual has chronic telogen effluvium, the shedding may continue longer and require further medical investigation and intervention.

What causes Telogen Effluvium?

Several factors can trigger this condition:

  • Physical stress: Surgery, major illness, or rapid weight loss.
  • Emotional stress: Death of a loved one, divorce, or job loss.
  • Hormonal changes: Post-pregnancy, menopause, or thyroid abnormalities.
  • Dietary triggers: Poor nutrition, sudden diet changes, or iron deficiency.
  • Medications: Certain drugs, including antidepressants, beta-blockers, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

What are the symptoms of telogen effluvium?

The main symptom is an increased rate of hair shedding.

Hair typically falls out more when washing, brushing, or styling.

Unlike alopecia areata, telogen effluvium does not result in complete bald patches but rather a general hair thinning across the entire scalp.

hair loss in men

How is Telogen Effluvium diagnosed?

Diagnosis generally involves a thorough medical history and hair pull test, where several strands of hair are gently tugged to see how many come out.

Sometimes, a scalp biopsy may be necessary to rule out other types of hair loss.

Blood tests might also be performed to check for underlying causes such as thyroid issues or nutrient deficiencies.

Can Telogen Effluvium be treated?

The good news is that telogen effluvium is usually temporary, and hair growth returns to normal once the underlying cause is addressed.

Treatment focuses on identifying and mitigating the triggering factor.

Options might include:

  • Stress management: Meditation, counseling, and exercise can help alleviate stress.
  • Dietary improvements: Ensuring a well-balanced diet rich in all essential nutrients, particularly proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Addressing medical issues: Managing any underlying medical conditions with appropriate treatments.
  • Hair care advice: Handle the hair gently, avoid harsh chemicals, and avoid heat styling to minimize further stress on the hair.

Your team at Wig Medical can help with providing a cranial prosthesis that is covered by insurance. We take prescriptions for wigs that can be an immediate solution.

Let us know how we can help!

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