Rapid Hair Loss: Telogen Effluvium

Stress is something that affects our bodies in different ways, and can even cause considerable changes to our hair and scalp. The stress affects your body´s sebaceous glands, which are what produce the oil in your hair, the result is that it become dry and brittle. If the stress is serious enough, it could progress to sudden hair loss, which is noticeable when you begin losing clumps of hair.

The reason this happens is that your hair follicles stop growing new hair and move into a resting phase. Healthy people have about 10% of their hair follicles in a resting phase at any given moment, but when you experience severe stress, this can increase quickly to 30%. This is known as telogen effluvium, and it results in rapid hair loss. Telogen effluvium is the second most common cause of hair loss, after androgenetic alopecia (also known as male pattern baldness).

Any severe stress to your body can cause hair loss as a result of telogen effluvium. Some of these include:

  • Medical conditions such as high fever, a severe infection, iron deficiency, or thyroid disease. To stop losing hair due to telogen effluvium, the medical condition must be treated.
  • A sudden change in hormone levels. This can be brought about by many things, though the most common are pregnancy, menopause, or a change in birth control pills. In this case, there is no true cure other than time, and the hair loss could continue for 6 months to two years after the hormone levels return to normal.
  • Any kind of major surgery. Again, there is no cure other than time, but expect your hair to start growing normally within a few months.
  • A stressful event or a stressful string of events. Some examples are car accidents, the death of a loved one, and high stress jobs. The only way to treat this form of hair loss is to successfully deal with the stress, which could involve therapy, medication, or a change in lifestyle.
  • Rapid hair loss is only one of the many side effects that results from severe stress, which is why it is so important to learn how to manage stress. Just because your hair stops falling out does not necessarily mean your body is no longer under stress. It is a good idea to speak to your doctor to ensure you take the correct steps to treat the stress, and to ensure you that once you are no longer experiencing it, your body goes back to normal.

    Other possible side effects of stress include:

    • Sore Stomach
    • Lack of hunger
    • High blood pressure
    • High heart rate
    • Acid reflux

    If you’re having problems dealing with stress and can’t seem to grow back lost hair, there are other temporary solutions you can take until you’ve managed to deal with stress.  For example, women losing hair because of high stress can get real human hair extensions, which if done correctly, can help to hide thinning hair.  Check with your stylists for a consultation.

    Other options would be a wig or using hair products that help your hair to look more full. These may seem unnecessary, however, if you are losing your hair, this will exacerbate your stress, and make it harder to deal with.

    Of course, these are only temporary solutions, to be used until you solve your problems with stress.

    One Response to “Rapid Hair Loss: Telogen Effluvium”

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    1. robyn bryant says:

      Thanks so much I’m areally scared about this hair loss!

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