Finding out that your hair is falling out more than normal can be very daunting. Some cases, such as hair loss after childbirth , are quite common and do not cause much surprise. However, many people wake up one day and find that they have finer hair, or perceive that more hair has fallen on the pillow, on the clothes, that it remains on the comb or in the shower.
The problem can have several causes, but all have the same name. Telogen effluvium causes hair to enter the final stage of its life cycle prematurely and is the most common diagnosis of diffuse hair loss .
What is telogen effluvium?
Our hair goes through three different phases during its life cycle, called anagen , catagen and telogen (click to learn more about them). Most hair is often in the anagen phase, which is when the hair follicle is active and the hair is growing. The other phases are “off”: the hair to grow, is disconnected from the base of the follicle and is released from the scalp.
What telogen effluvium does is increase the proportion of hair that is in the telogen phase , the last one, when the hair is about to fall (by itself, when combing it, with contact with the pillow or pushed by the new hair starting to grow underneath). Generally, about 10-15% of hairs are in this phase of telogen effluvium, but the average can convert up to 30% .
This change usually occurs when our body goes through too great a shock . Some common causes of telogen effluvium are:
- Hormonal changes (postpartum period, changes in the use of contraceptive or hormone replacement pills, thyroid problems);
- A serious illness or physical trauma (high fever, serious infection, major surgery) and psychological problems ( severe stress , intense emotional shock);
- Nutritional changes (bulimia, anorexia, extreme diets, nutritional deficiencies, anemia, excess iron or vitamin A supplements );
- Some drugs (beta-blockers, anticoagulants, retinoids, some vaccines);
- Chronic diseases (lupus, kidney or liver problems).
It is believed that in cases of great physical or psychological stress , the body focuses all its efforts on its recovery and saves resources on some of the less important activities ( growing hair , for example!). Acute hair loss is usually noticed one to six months after the onset of the cause, so if your hair started to fall out too much, try to remember if you went through any similar situation in the last few months.
A special warning to mothers who suffer from hair loss after childbirth : Many women perceive the problem during the period they are breastfeeding, and believe that this may be the cause, but breastfeeding does not cause hair loss . What happens is that as there is this period of several months between the appearance of the cause and the loss of hair , many people end up associating one thing with another. What causes hair loss after delivery is a common hormonal fluctuation in late pregnancy , so practice easy breastfeeding! Still, keep in mind That esta During period your alime n tion Should be rich and nutritiousbecause your body is recovering from pregnancy and is producing milk for the baby (and indeed, nutritional deficiencies can interfere with telogen effluvium). Here we leave you a very complete guide on hair .
The appearance of the big picture follows the rhythm of the cause that triggered it : problems that you have suffered for a short period of time (an episode of high fever or a medicine that you take for a few days, for example) can cause a sharp fall of hair, while the most persistent causes (such as nutritional problems or chronic diseases) can cause hair loss to be slower and lasting, which generates cases of telogen effluvium considered as chronic.
Treatments to regulate the telogen effluvium period
Telogen effluvium can even cause severe hair loss, but fortunately it is reversible . When hormones stabilize after childbirth, hormonal imbalance is treated, nutritional problems are resolved, the body recovers completely from surgery or psychological stress is relieved, hair also stops falling out. And even in cases of chronic disease, although the condition does not resolve as quickly as in acute cases, it is good that you know that it will not progress to permanent baldness .
Still, the aesthetic impact can be remarkable , considering that hair that was cut “all at once” can take many months to fully recover (depending on hair length and growth time rate).
To speed up the recovery of the affected follicles, some doctors recommend the use of minoxidil (more information here) in the affected areas. There is no scientific evidence that the substance is effective in stimulating the growth of hair affected by telogen effluvium, but many users report positive results.
In more severe cases, a hair prosthesis (more information here) can be used to visually rebuild hair density as natural hair grows. The ideal models for diffuse hair loss are those that contain more open weave fabrics, allowing the passage of natural hair, which visually blend with those of the prosthesis and produce a very satisfactory aesthetic effect.
Importantly , the initial stages of some other types of alopecia (such as the classic androgenic alopecia and alopecia areata diffuse ) may resemble episodes of telogen effluvium. Therefore, it is important to carefully observe the progress of your case, to ensure the correct diagnosis and treatment. Suspicion of other causes, especially if hair loss does not stop for up to six to eight months.
Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.