Hair loss can occur for any number of reasons in patients of any age and gender. In fact, it is a very common and natural part of our bodily cycles, taking place daily to ensure the removal of older hairs and allow for the growth of newer, fresh hairs in our scalps. In a normal day, we can expect to lose anywhere between 70 and 100 hairs. These can be lost through brushing, drying and even lying on our hair, and is a consequence of the natural hair growth cycle. After hairs grow, they rest before being lost and beginning to regrow. This keeps hair looking healthy and thick, and it is deficiencies with this process that ultimately lead to hair loss. Telogen Effluvium, or TE is the name given to an unexpected trauma or levels of stress within the body, which causes hairs to revert to their resting stage before they were naturally supposed to.
With some form of trauma, as much as 75% of the hair in your head can be lost within the following three months. This usually appears as clumps of hair on the pillow, or in the sink, and is known as acute TE. There are many different reasons behind TE, including childbirth. Childbirth is not only stressful and shocking to prompt hair loss, it also creates a hormonal imbalance which can impact upon the hair and its growth. Additionally, disease of the thyroid gland can also bring on TE and result in apparently inexplicable hair loss in patients. Furthermore, certain medications including those for birth control can lead to TE and ultimately mild to severe hair loss in patients of any age. As certain causes may form part of a more serious condition, it is vital to firstly appropriately diagnose the condition, and ensure patients are treated effectively for the root causes of their problems.
After washing hair, the majority of loose hairs will be lost, and will not reappear until further hairs have entered their resting, or telogen period. For this reasons, most instances of TE will require no active treatments, and the effects will only be temporary as new hairs grow in the place of lost ones. By far the most critical issue concerning TE is the real reasons for the hair loss. If these can determined, the presence of more serious conditions can be highlighted and potentially tackled to afford longer term results as well as improve the patient’s overall physical condition.
If you are suffering from hair loss of any variety, it is vital that you do not self-diagnose TE. Although it is likely that this will be the cause if you have recently undergone some traumatic or stressful period, it is important to allow a medical professional to characterise your condition and identify any other symptoms which might suggest some more severe illness. Consult your physician immediately to rule out any further possibilities, and allow a professional opinion to determine the cause of your hair loss.