Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium is self-correcting. It is really not influenced by any treatment that can be given. However, gentle handling of the hair, avoiding over-vigorous combing, brushing and any type of scalp massage are important. You should also ensure a nutritious diet, with plenty of protein, fruit and vegetables.

Telogen effluvium (TE) is considered the second most common form of hair loss diagnosed by dermatologists. It occurs when there’s a change in the number of hair follicles that are growing hair. If this number significantly lowers during the resting (telogen) phase of hair growth, more dormant hair follicles will present. This results in TE hair loss, which typically isn’t permanent. Keep reading to learn what causes this condition and what you can do to treat it.

What are the symptoms of telogen effluvium?

TE first appears as a thinning of hair on the scalp. This thinning may be limited to one area or appear all over. If it does thin in multiple places, you may find that some areas are affected more than others. It affects the top of the scalp most often. Rarely will TE cause your hairline to recede. It’s also unlikely that you’ll lose all of your hair. In some severe cases, TE can cause hair in other areas to fall out, like your eyebrows and pubic region.

What causes telogen effluvium?

TE hair loss can be triggered in many different ways. These include:


Physical trauma, like being in a car crash, having blood loss, or having surgery, might trigger TE. Exposure to toxins like heavy metals may also cause this condition. This is because the “shock” of the environmental change causes your hair follicles to go into a resting state. When hair follicles are in a resting state, they don’t grow as they normally would. Although this type of TE can occur quickly, you likely will not experience any noticeable thinning until one or two months later. If the environment is stable, your hair can quickly return to normal. This type of TE usually clears up in less than six months. Your hair will typically return to its normal state within one year.


Experiencing a sudden change in hormone levels can trigger TE hair loss. Similar to an environmental change, hormone fluctuation can cause hair follicles to go into a prolonged resting state. If TE occurs during pregnancy, hair growth is usually restored within six months to a year after childbirth.

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