Telogen Effluvium (Hair Shedding)
It can be traumatic if you notice that you are suddenly shedding a lot more hair than usual, especially after brushing or showering. This could be due to a condition called Telogen Effluvium, the second most common cause of hair loss among women. Luckily, the condition is usually temporary, and in most cases your hair will grow back normally within a few months.
What is Telogen Effluvium and what are the symptoms?
We typically lose between 30 -150 hairs a day as part of our natural hair cycle. But sometimes childbirth, a severe trauma, rapid weight loss or a viral infection can cause a disruption to this process. Some of your hair may stop growing and go into its resting phase - also known as telogen – which lasts around three months.
The affected hairs will then shed at the same time, leading to noticeably thinner hair, usually all over the scalp. You may become aware of your hair falling out in increased amounts, especially after brushing or on your pillow.
We understand how this can be distressing, but as long as the underlying causes have been resolved, your hair is likely to revert to its original growth pattern within a few months.
What causes Telogen Effluvium Among Women?
Telogen Effluvium is not hereditary and can be triggered by a number of different factors, at any age, including:
- Severe physical trauma, such as a car crash, or having major surgery
- A stressful life event such as divorce or the death of someone close to you
- Sudden weight loss or extreme dieting
- Starting a new medication, including some anti-depressants
- Certain oral contraceptives
- Nutritional deficiencies, for example iron, zinc or vitamin B-6 and B-12.
How is Telogen Effluvium Diagnosed?
Hair loss can have complex causes and women sometimes find it difficult to get an accurate diagnosis from their GP. Dr Singh is a renowned Consultant Dermatologist and highly experienced in treating female hair loss. She will examine your hair and scalp and take a full medical history. Telogen Effluvium can usually be diagnosed from your pattern of hair loss and careful examination of the scalp using an instrument called a dermatoscope .
Dr Singh will also spend time discussing any lifestyle and emotional factors which may be causing the problem. It is important to pinpoint the reasons why your hair may be falling out, and blood tests may be ordered to rule out other causes of hair loss, such as a thyroid disorder or other hormonal imbalances.
Can Telogen Effluvium Be Treated?
Hair loss caused by Telogen Effluvium is temporary and, in most cases, resolves completely, without any need for treatment. Once the affected hair has fallen out, it will grow back as normal, usually over a period of several months. It may take up to a year for your hair to return to its full thickness and volume.
It is important, however, to understand the underlying causes of your hair loss and to make sure they are addressed, otherwise the problem can recur. Telogen Effluvium can become a long-term condition and is known as Chronic Telogen Effluvium if it lasts for longer than six months.
Dr Singh is dedicated to finding effective ways to manage any underlying conditions that may have triggered your hair loss. These can include structured psychological support, hormone regulation, or targeted nutritional advice. Taking an integrated approach, Dr Singh works alongside a highly specialised team of Consultant Gynaecologists, a Consultant Endocrinologist, and a leading Clinical Psychologist, to create a bespoke treatment plan for each individual.
Visiting Our Clinic
If you would like to find out more or make an appointment, please call us on 020 724 4200.