What is Telogen Effluvium?

Telogen Effluvium

According to dermatologists, telogen effluvium (TE) is the second most prevalent kind of hair loss they see in their patients. Telogen effluvium is the term used to describe a typical cause of temporary hair loss that occurs as a result of the excessive shedding or resting of telogen hair following a stressful event in one’s life. Because of the structure of the root, telogen hair is sometimes referred to as a club hair.

A distinction should be made between this condition and anagen effluvium, in which the hair losing is caused by the cessation of active or anagen hair growth caused by medicines, toxins or inflammation (eg, alopecia areata). Telogen effluvium is more common in women and it is most commonly found on the top of the scalp. In this post, we’ll look at the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and therapy of telogen effluvium, as well as dietary adjustments that may be of assistance in the treatment of the condition.

Who gets Telogen Effluvium?

Acute telogen effluvium can afflict persons of all ages and sexes, and it can be life-threatening. Women between the ages of 30 and 60 years old who are otherwise healthy are more likely to develop chronic telogen effluvium without a clear triggering event. A person is said to have chronic telogen effluvium if they have experienced bouts of hair loss on a regular basis for more than 6 months. Telogen effluvium is a condition that can be reversed in most cases.

It is important to note that a person suffering from this ailment does not lose all of their hair, although it may become noticeably thin. It affects women more frequently than men, and it is usually brought on by a disruption in the hair cycle.

What is the Cause of Telogen Effluvium?

In the hair follicles of a healthy scalp, around 85% are actively producing hair (anagen hair), while the remaining 15% are resting hair (telogen hair). It is possible that a few hair follicles are at the catagen stage. Hair follicles produce anagen hair for four years, then rest for around four months. The resting telogen hair is pushed out by a newly emerging anagen hair. There are up to roughly 100 strands of hair that fall out of the scalp’s natural hair cycle every single day. The following are examples of factors that can disrupt the hair cycle:


When you are involved in a car accident, suffer blood loss, or undergo surgery, you may experience TE. This illness may also be caused by exposure to poisons such as heavy metals. That’s because your hair follicles are forced to go into hibernation as a result of the environmental shift that has caused them to “shock.” During their resting condition, hair follicles do not produce as much new hair as they would in a typical growing state.

However, despite the fact that this type of TE might manifest itself fast, you are unlikely to detect any substantial thinning until one or two months after the onset of the situation. Hair can soon return to normal if the surrounding environment is stable. It is common for this type of TE to disappear in less than six months. The majority of the time, your hair will recover to its normal state within one year of treatment.


Hair loss in the TE pattern can be brought on by an abrupt shift in the body’s hormonal balance. Hair follicles can fall into a protracted resting state due to hormone fluctuation, which is similar to an environmental change. Within six to a year following delivery, hair growth that was stunted while pregnant will normally resume.

Medications or medical treatment

The use of antidepressants and other drugs, such as antihypertensives and oral contraceptives, might cause hair loss in some people. If you started taking a new drug before you noticed hair loss, you may want to talk to your doctor about the possibility. Once your symptoms have been evaluated, they may suggest an alternative treatment. It is possible that some procedures or immunizations can shock the body, causing the hair follicles to go into hibernation mode. Within a few months, hair regrowth returns to normal.

Severe Stress

Stress can cause telogen effluvium if it continues for an extended length of time. Three months after a stressful event, it’s not uncommon for people to notice thinning of their hair.

Poor Diet

Hair growth is dependent on essential nutrients such as protein, iron, B vitamins, and zinc. If a person’s hair is lacking in certain nutrients, the quality and quantity of their hair may suffer.

Sudden Weight Loss

Hair loss can occur as a result of drastic weight reduction or calorie restriction, such as in anorexia nervosa.


In addition to menopausal symptoms, telogen effluvium can be brought on by the hormonal changes that occur during this time.

Underlying health conditions

Autoimmune diseases, thyroid disorders, and hair loss are all examples of them.

How is Telogen Effluvium Diagnosed?

An examination of the hair that has fallen out is performed by a doctor in order to confirm the diagnosis of telogen effluvium. There are a variety of tests that can be used to diagnose telogen effluvium, including the following:

  • An examination of the diameter and length of the lost strands might help a doctor distinguish between this condition and the alopecia.
  • Determine how much hair is shedding by conducting a hair pull test.
  • A wash test can be performed to see how many hairs are removed from the wash cloth throughout the washing process.
  • Hair loss can be diagnosed with a blood test. Iron deficiency and thyroid issues may both be diagnosed with this type of diagnostic procedure.

A dermatologist may be able to diagnose telogen effluvium and provide treatment recommendations. Besides looking at the appearance of the scalp and any patches of baldness or more generalised hair thinning, they will also look at other markers of hair health such as hair thinning.

What is the Treatment for Telogen Effluvium?

The cause of hair loss determines the best course of treatment for telogen effluvium. The hair cycle should return to normal and new hair should begin to grow once the cause of the hair loss has been identified and addressed. Treatment options include:

  • Women going through menopause can benefit from hormone replacement treatment, which can address nutritional inadequacies
  •  Diet and non-surgical hair replacement.
  • Counselling services to help you cope with stress or distress

A person should strive to avoid using chemical or heat treatments on their hair because they can cause harm. They should also refrain from using heat to style or treat their hair, such as curling or perming their hair. The following are some dietary considerations:

  • Protein is essential for hair growth since it offers the necessary building blocks. Make sure to include lots of protein-rich foods like meat, eggs, fish, beans, grains, and nuts in your diet. Lysine, an amino acid, may be especially crucial for hair development.
  • Telogen effluvium may be connected to an iron deficit. Hair loss may be aided by incorporating iron-rich foods into one’s diet. Red meat, liver, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, and lentils are among them.
  • Supplementation may be recommended for a limited period of time until nutritional status improves.

A dermatologist or a trichologist can provide professional advice if necessary.


The hair loss caused by telogen effluvium is not permanent. It is expected that your hair will revert to its normal growth pattern within six months, but it may take anywhere from one year to 18 months before your hair resembles the way it was before the treatment. Consult your doctor if your symptoms increase at any point. They can assist you in determining the cause of your hair loss and in developing a treatment plan that is suited for you.


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