Scalp, Hair and Nails

Picture of Telogen Effluvium

Picture of Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium is excessive hair loss that occurs after stress on the body due to childbirth, fever, infection, surgery, restrictive diets, thyroid disease, or severe chronic illness or emotional stress. Certain medications may also trigger the condition. The average person loses about 100 strands of hair per day. Telogen effluvium may result in the loss of almost 70% of the hair on the head. Hair loss occurs in the weeks or months after the stressful event.

Hair has its own lifecycle in which it grows, rests, sheds, and regrows. The resting stage of the hair cycle is called telogen. Telogen effluvium results when a severe stressor causes hair roots to enter the resting state (telogen), and new hair pushes the old hair out, causing hair loss. If the stressor that precipitated the hair loss can be removed, shedding usually slows down within about 6 to 8 months.

Image Source: "Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas & Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology"; Klaus Wolff, Richard Allen Johnson, Dick Suurmond; Copyright 2005, 2001, 1997, 1993 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights reserved.

Text Reference: "Telogen Effluvium Hair Loss." American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.