Hair loss can be a distressing experience, and it’s essential to identify the underlying causes accurately. One such cause is telogen effluvium, a condition that affects the hair growth cycle. But how can you distinguish it from other types of hair loss? In this guide, we’ll explore the key indicators and essential insights to help you determine if telogen effluvium might be the culprit behind your hair woes.
You may be interested: Chronic Telogen Effluvium, Symptoms and Treatments
About Telogen Effluvium
Telogen Effluvium is a type of hair loss characterized by the thinning and shedding of hair from the scalp. This hair condition was initially identified by Kligman back in 1961 as a disorder affecting hair follicles. Unlike some other hair issues, Telogen Effluvium typically arises after the body has undergone significant stress and is often a temporary problem. Importantly, even though hair loss occurs, the hair follicles themselves remain intact and have the potential to initiate hair regrowth.
The Hair Growth Cycle
To grasp Telogen Effluvium fully, it’s essential to understand the natural phases that every healthy hair goes through during its growth cycle. These phases are:
Anagen Phase (Growth Phase)
This is the period when your hair is actively growing. During this phase, hair follicles are productive and contribute to the overall length and thickness of your hair.
Catagen Phase (Transitional Phase)
The Catagen phase is a transitional stage that follows the Anagen phase. Here, hair growth slows down, and the hair follicles start to shrink.
Telogen Phase (Falling Phase)
The Telogen phase is where things become relevant to Telogen Effluvium. In this phase, hair is no longer growing and is in a resting state. It is during this stage that hair shedding can occur.
Telogen Effluvium: The Falling Phase Issue
The term “Telogen Effluvium” essentially means the loss of hair that is in the Telogen or falling phase. This is when the thinning and shedding of hair from the scalp become noticeable, often as a response to severe stress experienced by the body.
Recognizing Symptoms of Telogen Effluvium
To effectively address and manage this condition, it’s crucial to become familiar with its primary symptoms. Below, you’ll find the signs you might experience if you’re dealing with telogen effluvium.
Naturally, we all lose hair every day. On average, it’s about 50 to 100 strands, depending on factors like age, gender (men usually lose more daily), and individual health. However, when we mention “telogen effluvium,” we’re discussing an unusual hair loss in terms of both quantity and quality. This type of hair loss significantly exceeds the daily average. Interestingly, it often occurs during seasonal transitions, making it more common in the fall and spring.
The Telltale Sign: White Bulbs
Aside from the volume of hair falling out, it’s essential to notice how the hair looks during telogen effluvium. These hairs typically have a white bulb at their base, which might heighten concerns. Yet, this feature is a distinct characteristic of hair in the resting phase of the hair growth cycle.
Every hair follicle has its own lifecycle, marked by a growth phase (anagen), a pause in vital functions (catagen), and a resting phase (telogen). When follicles are in the resting phase, they are called “telogen hair” and do not produce any hair fibers. Thus, it’s completely normal for telogen hair, devoid of vital functions, to shed, causing telogen effluvium.
Duration of Telogen Effluvium
Excessive hair loss can be worrisome, leading to one of the most frequently asked questions for those experiencing this condition: “How long does telogen effluvium last?” To answer this, we must delve into the distinction between acute and chronic telogen effluvium mentioned earlier. Chronic telogen effluvium is the most persistent form of this phenomenon.
On the other hand, in most cases where telogen effluvium is associated with seasonal changes, it tends to resolve on its own within a few weeks. In simpler terms, telogen effluvium typically lasts for two to three weeks to a couple of months. However, if hair loss is excessively severe or persists for an extended period, consulting an expert who can diagnose the underlying issue is advisable.
Hair thinning is yet another symptom of telogen effluvium. It’s essentially the direct result of excessive hair loss. Normally, a healthy person has around 90% of hair follicles in the growth (anagen) phase, with only 10% in the resting (telogen) phase.
When the percentage of telogen hair dramatically increases, hair loss intensifies, leading to widespread thinning on the scalp. Consequently, the more aggressive the telogen effluvium, the greater the hair thinning.
In such cases, choosing specific hair products can make a significant difference by halting hair loss before thinning becomes highly noticeable and promoting hair regrowth post-effluvium. The Kmax Stimulating line, for instance, is ideal for combating telogen effluvium. It’s specially formulated with top anti-hair loss and stimulating ingredients like triaminodil, beta-sitosterol, azelaic acid, and B vitamins. The cleanser, conditioner, and spray lotions in this line aim to directly impact the hair follicle’s metabolism by preventing hair fall and encouraging the normal regrowth cycle.
Changes in Hair Color
Prolonged exposure to sunlight, a common occurrence during the summer, can naturally alter your hair’s color. The appearance of reddish or blondish tints is a result of sun-induced damage. Consequently, post-summer, your hair may become more vulnerable and harmed, both contributing factors to the onset of telogen effluvium.
When dealing with telogen effluvium, it’s not just about hair loss. The hair affected by this condition also loses its luster and appears drier. Your hair’s health and its attractive appearance are closely linked. Therefore, during this period, it’s common to observe increased dryness and reduced shine in your locks.
To restore softness and shine to your hair, the ultimate solution lies in a good hair conditioner. After shampooing, a conditioner can replenish the moisture and brightness that your hair craves to maintain its beauty and vitality. An excellent choice is Kmax Stimulating Leave-In Conditioner, which combines nourishing properties with a potent anti-hair loss and stimulating effect. What’s more, it doesn’t require rinsing, allowing the active ingredients in it to work intensively and for an extended duration.