Telogen effluvium is a form of diffuse hair loss that occurs during the ‘telogen’ or ‘resting’ phase of the hair growth cycle. Telogen effluvium can be either acute or chronic depending on the cause and the severity of the disturbance. Diffuse hair loss usually takes place 8 – 12 weeks after the event that triggered it, so you may not always connect the two. If you notice excessive hair shedding, look back a couple of month for possible causes.
On average, it is ok to lose up to 100 hairs a day provided they are growing back. However, telogen effluvium can result in as many as 300 hairs being shed in a 24 hour period.
What Causes Telogen Effluvium?
Telogen Effluvium can be caused by a wide range of factors including, but not limited to, iron deficiency, ferritin (stored iron) deficiency, protein deficiency, shock, rapid weight loss, stress, a high fever, the stomach flu and pregnancy.
Treatment for Telogen Effluvium
Telogen effluvium resulting from short-term illness, such as a high fever or stomach upset, will usually resolve itself. However, chronic telogen effluvium due to nutritional deficiencies often needs to be treated with appropriate nutritional supplements. Blood tests can be very helpful in diagnoses and should always be carried out if you have noticed increased hair loss for longer than 4 weeks.
Hair lost during telogen effluvium almost always grows back once the underlying issue has been resolved.