Information and Solutions for Men and Women

What is Telogen Effluvium?

Telogen effluvium hair loss occurs more often in women.

Telogen effluvium is a common form of non-scarring hair loss typically characterized by diffuse hair loss in response to a physiological or psychological trigger. These triggers can be caused by or related to a multitude of factors, from genetics to disease to the simple fact of aging. Often perceived as an expected outcome of aging in men (though still moderately stressful), it can be traumatic and even life-changing to many women when they experience hair loss, sometimes as early as in their twenties and thirties.168


There are three different categories of telogen effluvium:28, 169


Table 27: Categories of Telogen Effluvium

CATEGORIES OF TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM

TYPE

SYMPTOM

ACUTE
  • Hair shedding begins to increase dramatically within 2 weeks of trigger; shedding peaks in 6-8 weeks—during this time the percentage of hair in telogen phase increases from the normal 7-10%.
  • Hair loss tapers off over next 6-8 week period, and percentage of hair in telogen phase gradually decreases back to normal over that time.
  • Hair regrowth occurs over 4-6 months.
  • No changes in length of anagen (growth) phase.
REPETITIVE

(sometimes called chronic-repetitive)
  • Multiple triggers that occur at different times that can make it appear as if the hair loss is chronic instead of repetitive acute incidents.
CHRONIC

Differential symptoms are:

  • gradual shortening of the anagen phase
  • hair shafts that regrow are progressively shorter and thinner

These symptoms resemble that of male and female pattern hair loss.

Chronic Telogen Effluvium

Chronic telogen effluvium is a separate condition that seems to occur more commonly in women, usually occurring between the ages of 40 and 60. After an initial substantial hair loss it becomes a more gradual, fluctuating hair loss. The condition can continue over several years, but seems to stop on its own. However, the amount of hair usually does not return to pre-condition volume.103

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