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.(168)

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:(28169)


CATEGORIES OF TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM

TYPE OF TE

SYMPTOMS

ACUTE TE

Question: What are the symptoms of acute telogen effluvium?

Answer: Symptoms of acute telogen effluvium include the following:

  • 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 TE

(sometimes called chronic-repetitive)

Question: What are the symptoms of repetitive telogen effluvium? How is repetitive TE different than acute TE?

Answer: Repetitive telogen effluvium has the same symptoms as acute telogen effluvium. However, repetitive telogen effluvium has multiple triggers that occur at different times. This factor can make it appear as if the hair loss is chronic instead of separate acute incidents.

CHRONIC TE

Question: How are the symptoms of chronic telogen effluvium different than acute telogen effluvium?

Answer: Differential symptoms of chronic telogen effluvium include:

  • Gradual shortening of the anagen phase (as opposed to no changes in acute TE).
  • Hair shafts that regrow are progressively shorter and thinner.

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

Long-Term Effects of Chronic TE

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Chronic telogen effluvium 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.(31103)

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