Hair Loss - Telogen Effuvium

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

Describe your experience with telogen effuvium, including the suspected cause for your "sudden" hair loss.

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the white square:

What is telogen effluvium?

Under normal conditions, scalp hairs live for about three years (the anagen, or growing, phase); they then enter the telogen, or resting, phase. During the three-month telogen period, the hair root shrivels up into a small white "club," then the hair falls out. It is therefore normal to lose about 100 hairs every day, more of them on days when shampooing loosens the hairs that are ready to fall out. The hairs are then replaced by the body.

Sometimes people who worry about losing their hair start noticing hairs on their pillow or in the sink, not realizing that they've always been there. A close look at these will usually reveal the white club at the end, showing that these hairs were already dead. Normally, about 10% of scalp hairs are in the telogen phase.

There are several circumstances that produce a "shock to the system" that alters the hair growth rhythm. As a result, as much as 30%-40% of the hairs can cycle into telogen. Three months later, hairs come out in a massive shedding (effluvium), especially near the front of the scalp. These include

  • childbirth,
  • high fever,
  • sudden weight loss (crash dieting),
  • surgery,
  • severe illness,
  • severe emotional stress or loss.

None of these need be life-threatening, nor does hair loss usually follow them. (Moreover, it can happen after one pregnancy, but not the next.) But when the hair falls out, it's all over the place -- covering the pillow, clogging the drain, and so forth. Paradoxically, the more dramatic the hair loss, the better the prognosis, because when the body gets back into normal rhythm, most if not all of that hair comes back; these people need no special treatment. Normal shampooing can continue, because this only loosens hairs that were going to come out anyway.

Return to Hair Loss

See what others are saying

Comment from: Cindy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

I put the hair dye on my scalp July 17, 2013. Hair has been falling out to date which is now January 6, 2014. I bought Biosil which has helped immediately and continues to help less shed. Also my allergy doctor did diagnose it as allergic contact dermatitis and prescribed me a 4oz bottle of clobetasol shampoo 0.05% for the cost of $474.00 (yes, you read that right!) and a topical solution 4oz bottle for approximately $236.00 plus an $80.00 bottle of anti-histamines. It was months of agony and being terrified; lesson learned.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Cindy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

I had a very full-head of hair until I used a permanent hair color by L'Oreal called Sublime Mousse. I was very sick and my hair was falling out right and left. I lost half of my hair. I didn't take the allergy test but then again who does! Many women have told me they never take the allergy test but if you are sensitive in any manner I suggest the allergy testing for sure. The dermatologist looked through my hair and said you have male pattern baldness and telogen effluvium. I said no sir, I am having an allergic reaction to this hair color I'm holding in my hands. That's when all this started. Male pattern baldness is over a period of years not three months. I have pictures the same month where I have a head full of lush hair.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!