Losing a significant amount of hair at any one time can be concerning and even scary. Not only does it make you worry about your physical appearance, but it can also raise questions about your overall health. If you have ever found yourself staring fearfully at the shower drain because it is coated in what feels like half your head of hair, or you are frequently finding clumps of your hair on your pillow, you likely have telogen effluvium.
What is Telogen Effluvium?
It sounds pretty scientific and intense, but telogen effluvium is a condition that most of us will encounter at some point in our lives. Indeed, telogen effluvium is one of the most commonly diagnosed hair conditions by dermatologists. When hair growth is normal and has not been disrupted, about 90% of the hairs on your head are in the actively growing phase, called anagen. The remaining 10% of hairs on your head are in the brief transitional phase called catagen, or in the resting phase called telogen. Normally, the anagen phase lasts on average between 2-4 years whereas the resting phase lasts about 3 months. At the end of the telogen phase, hair falls out so new hair can begin to grow. People with normal hair growth lose between 50-100 hairs a day. When a person has telogen effluvium, daily hair loss can triple to nearly 300 hairs a day.
In telogen effluvium, there is some form of trigger in your body that forces around 30% of the hairs on your head to switch into the telogen phase prematurely. What this means is you will experience significant hair loss about 3 months after your body has encountered some sort of stressor that causes this condition. Because of the way the hair growth cycle occurs, hair does not fall out instantly when there is a trigger. Rather, it just stops growing and begins to rest, ultimately shedding and making way for new hair growth.
What causes telogen effluvium?
There are a number of factors that can cause you to have telogen effluvium. Typically, it is some form of stressor that causes your hair to immediately transition to telogen.
- Surgical procedures
- Major physical trauma such as an accident
- Extreme mental or emotional stress such as grief
- Abrupt hormonal changes including childbirth and menopause
- Thyroid conditions including hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
- Use of certain medications such as some birth control pills and some antidepressants
- Severe illness such as an infection, virus, or high fever
- Blood disorders including anemia and iron deficiency
- Extreme weight loss, especially in a short period of time
- Major changes to your diet
Some cases of telogen effluvium can be much more severe than others. Indeed, some people may notice only subtle changes to their hair whereas others may be more severely affected. The extent to which you will experience hair loss will be highly individualized and can be based on the severity of the cause of telogen effluvium. Hair loss from telogen effluvium can last about 6 months. After 6 months, most people report their hair growth is restored.
Is there a way to prevent Telogen Effluvium?
The best way to prevent, and treat, telogen effluvium is to identify and fix what is causing your hair loss. Frequently, hair loss from telogen effluvium is triggered by stressors that are out of your control, such as major physical and emotional trauma.
If you know you are going to experience a trigger, such as childbirth or surgery, you can prepare ahead of time by making sure your body has plenty of good nutrients that support hair health, including foods high in vitamin D, zinc, and iron. Similarly, be kind to your hair. Do not do any harmful treatments such as bleaching, dying, or getting a perm if you know you may have telogen effluvium in a few months. Finally, if your hair loss is caused by a health condition, treat the underlying health condition so that your hair health is restored. For example, if you have hypothyroidism seek treatment from an endocrinologist who can monitor your thyroid hormone levels and treat you with the best dose synthetic thyroid medication for your body.
How can I quickly regrow my hair?
Because hair loss from telogen effluvium can be largely out of your control, it can be a frustrating effect of a challenging personal experience. While there is no remedy that can prevent active telogen effluvium from happening after you are exposed to a trigger, there are strategies and hair products that can help with hair regrowth.
Relax - Reducing stress can have incredible benefits for your hair, and even your overall health. There are many ways to cope with stress. Firstly, identify sources of stress in your life and strategize how to improve, or remove those stressors. Secondly, adopt some relaxation therapies such as meditation, yoga, journaling, etc.
Diet and hydration - Provide your body with the best nutrients so that you have enough fuel to regrow healthy, strong hair. Getting plenty of water is key to hair and skin health.
Hair products -
Finding the right products can help speed up the hair re-growth phase, prevent further hair loss, and restore health to your hair and scalp. You can browse over-the-counter remedies at your local pharmacy. Many people commonly try minoxidil (Rogaine) to treat telogen effluvium because it is widely available. Minoxidil can be effective in restoring hair growth in certain hair loss conditions. However, it is not an effective solution for stimulating regrowth after hair loss caused by telogen effluvium. Indeed, most products do not successfully stimulate hair follicles after telogen effluvium save for a few products that contain the most cutting-edge pharmaceutical technology in dermatology.
If you are looking to quickly re-grow your hair, DS Laboratories has created the most effective, high-performing hair stimulating shampoos and conditioners. The Revita and Revita.CBD Shampoo and Conditioner lines contain unique hair stimulating compounds including:
- Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) blockers
- Powerful hydrating molecules
- Amino Acids
*The Revita.CBD shampoo and conditioner contain 150 mg of broad-spectrum cannabidiol to fortify your hair. Broad-spectrum CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6).
Where no other products on the market can combat stress-related hair loss, the Revita, and the Revita.CBD shampoo and conditioner lines counteract stress-induced hair loss. Furthermore, these state-of-the-art formulas are suitable for all hair types and can even enhance the volume and density of healthy hair. Therefore, if you know you are likely to have telogen effluvium, such as with postpartum hair loss, you can start using the Revita shampoo and conditioner in advance to lessen your hair loss after delivery. Most of us will likely encounter a trigger that can cause telogen effluvium. To avoid extreme hair loss and make your hair the healthiest it has ever been, use the Revita and Revita.CBD shampoos and conditioners for daily use, even when your hair and your body are healthy. You can shop for the entire Revita and Revita.CBD lines here.