Telogen Effluvium: Symptoms, Cause and Treatment

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Posted on : November 13, 2021 | Category : All | Author: John Kahen

telogen effluvium

Telogen effluvium refers to a type of hair loss condition that occurs when you are stressed, shocked, or traumatized. This kind of hair loss usually appears at the top of the head. There is a difference between the Telogen effluvium hair loss condition and alopecia areata, another form of hair loss. Although a large amount of hair may fall out during Telogen Effluvium, the condition is not permanent and will last for a short while, and hair will grow again. 

In this post, we will learn more about Telogen Effluvium, including its causes, symptoms, and diagnosis. We are also going to tell you more about dietary changes that may help you stop them. 

What is Telogen Effluvium?

When a person begins to shed hair in large amounts and lasts for more than six months, he or she is said to suffer from Telogen Effluvium. Typically, this condition can be reversed. Only the top part of the scalp is affected by this condition, and it may age large amounts of hair. The patient will not lose all hair. However, the thinning areas may be visible. It is a form of hair loss where increased hair shedding or thinning occurs. Women are usually the most affected, and disturbance in the hair cycle is what causes it. The hair cycle has three main phases that include:

  • Growth phase (Anagen)  
  • Transitional phase (Catagen) 
  • Resting phase (Telogen)

Telogen effluvium is telogen phase-related. At any given time, 5 to 10 percent of a person’s hair is typically in the telogen phase. When someone is affected by Telogen Effluvium, fewer hairs enter into the next two stages because that anagen phase slows down. This causes hair shedding because this condition only allows about 30 percent of hair to move on to the telogen phase. 

What are the symptoms of Telogen Effluvium?

The first symptom of TE is thinning of hair at the top of the scalp. Although the thinning usually appears at the top of the scalp, it can also appear in the entire scalp. Some areas may be affected more than others if the shedding occurs all over the scalp. You will not lose all of your hair, nor will you experience a receding hairline when affected with TE. There are severe cases where symptoms of Telogen Effluvium include shedding of hair in other areas of the body, including pubic areas and eyebrows.

Also, you can read Best Foods for Amazing Hair Growth 

What causes Telogen Effluvium?

Hair loss caused by TE may be triggered in many ways, including:


When someone suffers from a physical trauma from a car accident, has surgery, or lost blood, Telogen Effluvium may be triggered. TE may also occur as a result of exposure to toxins such as heavy metals. Your hair follicles may be forced to go into a resting state due to the “shock” of the environmental change. Once in the resting state, hair doesn’t grow the way it is supposed to. However, the thinning won’t be as noticeable until one or two months are over, even though it happens quickly. You can go back to the normal state of growth if the environment is stable. Within six months, this kind of TE may resolve itself. This type of Telogen Effluvium can last for one year, and hair will return to its normal state if grown. 


Another common trigger of Telogen Effluvium is when there is a sudden change in the level of production of hormones. If there are fluctuations in the production of hormones, it may cause the resting state in the hair growth cycle to last longer than usual, just like in an environmental change. This type of TE often occurs in pregnant women, and when it does, it usually takes about 6 to 12 months after childbirth to resolve itself. 

Medications or medical treatment

Certain treatments or medication may also trigger Telogen Effluvium men hair loss. They include medications such as antihypertensive or other antidepressants. Other oral contraceptives may also cause this type of hair loss. If you didn’t have any kind of hair loss until you started using a certain medication, it might be a good idea to consult your doctor to understand whether the root cause is medication. If any of the medications is causing hair loss, the doctor may recommend other medicines with no hair loss effect. Various vaccinations or surgeries may also cause hair loss. They may shock your system, which will cause the hair follicles to go into a resting state. When this happens, it will take a few months for the hair to grow back as it used to 


Lack of vital nutrients or nutrient deficiency may also cause hair loss. If you lack some of the following vitamins and minerals, you may end up losing hair:

  • Zinc 
  • Iron 
  • Vitamin B-6
  • Vitamin B-12

You need to consult your doctor or dietician if you usually depend on vitamin supplements as your main source of nutrients. You may work with them to develop a healthy diet. You should not go with a crash diet because it usually causes telogen hair loss. 

Telogen effluvium treatment: What works?

Several ways are available for treating Telogen Effluvium, and they range from over-the-counter (OTC) medications to lifestyle changes. Before seeking out any treatment, you first need to know the root cause of your hair loss or what is triggering it – whether it is environmental, lifestyle choices, or hormonal changes. 

Focus on diet and nutrition

You may lack a sufficient supply of certain nutrients, vitamins, or minerals in your diet, which ends up causing your hair loss. Your doctor can conduct examinations to find out if you are getting sufficient zinc, iron, or vitamin D. Getting all the nutrients that the body needs requires you to eat a well-balanced diet with all the nutrients included.

Take care with hair care

If you have Telogen Effluvium, you need to take good care of your hair to maintain the amount of shedding hair. You can do this by using gentler hairstyles that don’t strain your hair strands. You can do this by avoiding curling, straightening, or blow-drying your hair until the condition improves or subsides. You can also inhibit hair growth by highlighting or coloring your hair frequently because it damages the hair. 

See More:- Get The Natural Hairline back with Hair transplant

Get help from the pharmacy

You can also resort to using OTC medications that can help you regrow your lost hair. Use a product with 5% minoxidil. This product is applied to the scalp once a day and works by prolonging the active growth phase of the hair follicle (anagen). 


You can also try to relax by avoiding the stress that can lead to hair loss. Management stress can either be through mindful meditation or journaling. You can also reduce stress by engaging in activities such as yoga and others that may help you clear your mind. 

Is there a difference between telogen and anagen effluvium?

Anagen effluvium is another hair loss condition that is quite different from Telogen Effluvium. AE can affect your hair more quickly and often causes severe hair loss. If you suffer from this kind of hair loss, you may experience clamps of hair falling out. AE is rampant in people who are using cytostatic drugs or who are undergoing cancer treatments. These drugs include antimetabolites or alkylating agents. Just like TE, AE is also reversible. Your hair will resume normal growth six months after stopping the chemotherapy. 


The most common cause of diffuse non-scarring alopecia is Telogen Effluvium. After a triggering event, a person experiences an immediate shedding of hair three months later. While chronic Telogen Effluvium can last longer than six months, the normal TE is usually self-limiting and lasts for less than six months. There is no specific treatment yet for treating Telogen Effluvium, and educating the patient about the natural history of Telogen Effluvium offers an important way to manage it. 

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