Telogen Effluvium: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 8/10/2021

Telogen effluvium is a hair loss condition in which the body experiences a shock or change that causes more hair to fall out than normal.

Signs and symptoms are primarily an increased loss of hair. It often manifests as a light thinning of the hair, usually on top of the head. In some cases, the loss is significant enough to cause bald spots, while other cases are milder and may not be as noticeable. People with telogen effluvium often notice hair falling out when brushing or washing their hair, or they may discover hair on their pillowcase.

Causes of telogen effluvium

There are many possible causes of telogen effluvium, including certain medications, stress, fever, extreme weight loss, hormonal changes, postpartum hormonal changes, iron deficiency, infection, ingestion of heavy metals, trauma, surgery, and low protein intake.

Other telogen effluvium symptoms and signs

  • Bald Spots
  • Hair Falling Out When Brushing or Washing the Hair
  • Light Thinning of the Hair, Typically on Top of the Head


It is normal to lose 100-150 hairs per day. See Answer

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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.