Yes, telogen effluvium is reversible–but not immediately.
This type of hair loss occurs when more hairs than usual enter the resting phase of the hair growth cycle–then fall out at the same time.
While, even without treatment, it generally resolves in 6-12 months, it can still cause significant stress and anxiety.
In this post, we’ll explore the causes of telogen effluvium and discuss some effective treatments to help restore hair growth.
What is Telogen Effluvium?
The hair growth cycle consists of three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. During the telogen phase, which lasts about 2-4 months, the hair rests and eventually falls out to make room for new hair growth.
Telogen effluvium is a type of non-scarring hair loss that occurs when there is a disturbance in the normal hair growth cycle. More hairs than usual enter the resting, telogen, phase at the same time and then fall out at the same time.
Triggers for telogen effluvium vary. These include physical or emotional stress, hormonal changes, medications, and nutritional deficiencies.
The condition typically results in diffuse hair thinning rather than bald patches. Telogen effluvium can affect both men and women.
While telogen effluvium can be a temporary and reversible condition, it can still cause significant stress and anxiety for those experiencing it.
Causes of Telogen Effluvium
Telogen effluvium can be tricky to diagnose because it can be caused by a variety of factors. These include physical or emotional stress, hormonal changes, medications, medical conditions and nutritional deficiencies. Some common triggers include:
- child birth
- rapid weight loss
- nutritional deficiency
It’s important to identify and address the specific underlying cause of telogen effluvium in order to effectively treat the condition and prevent further hair loss.
Read: Hair loss after giving birth
Signs of Telogen Effluvium
The main sign of telogen effluvium is increased hair shedding, which can occur suddenly or gradually over time. This shedding may be noticeable in the shower drain, in the comb or brushing the hair, or on the pillow. The person starts to notice diffuse hair thinning.
Treatment Options for Telogen Effluvium
The good news is that telogen effluvium is often reversible and hair growth can return to normal, usually within a year, once the underlying cause is addressed. In addition to addressing the cause, there are treatment options which can accelerate hair regrowth for those who don’t want to wait for the condition to resolve on its own. These may include:
- red light therapy
- transepideral drug delivery with Alma TED
Read: Rogaine vs Revian Red
Chronic telogen effluvium
A rarer form of telogen effluvium is chronic telogen effluvium. It is more common in middle-aged women and sometimes does not have a clear cause. Chronic telogen effluvium starts abruptly and tends to fluctuate over years. Eventually, however, this also variant resolves on its own.
How to Prevent Telogen Effluvium
While it may not always be possible to prevent telogen effluvium, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. This includes managing stress levels, maintaining a healthy diet, addressing any underlying medical conditions.
Need help with hair loss?
If you do experience hair loss, seek medical advice promptly to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment options. Our board-certified dermatologist for hair loss can help. Schedule a consultation here!
Watch: What are the different categories of hair loss?