About Hair Loss

Telogen Effluvium – Hair Restoration – Plano, TX

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Overview

Telogen effluvium is one of the most common types of hair loss. On average, 80-90% of the hair follicles on the head are active and growing (anagen state) and 10-20% are resting (telogen state). As a result, we normally shed between 50 and 100 hairs per day. In telogen effluvium, more than 25% of hair follicles are prematurely pushed into the resting state, as a result of the body’s reaction to a specific stressor. This results in excessive shedding and diffuse thinning that may happen abruptly. Styling may reveal areas of thinning, such as a wider part line or a thinning crown. TE usually presents itself 6-12 weeks after the insult began and can last up to 6 months, however chronic telogen effluvium can occur when shedding continues past this range and can last for several years. Plano, TX hair restoration surgeon, Dr. Joseph Yaker, offers nonsurgical treatments for patients suffering from this condition and will perform a thorough assessment so that a proper diagnosis can be made and a custom treatment plan put into place.

Causes

Causes of telogen effluvium include medical conditions such as thyroid dysfunction, iron deficiency, anemia, diabetes and hormone imbalances such as changes in estrogen seen soon after childbirth and with menopause. Others include nutritional disorders (crash dieting, anorexia, bulimia, nutritional deficiencies), severe physical stress such as acute illness, hospitalization, surgery or even severe emotional stress (i.e. sudden death in family). Some medications may also induce TE, by interfering with the hair growth cycle. These medications include blood thinners, medications for acne, cancer, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, epilepsy, depression and gout.  Hair shedding can also occur with starting, switching, or even discontinuing birth control pills that a woman has been on for a long period of time. Unfortunately, no cause is found in approximately one third of patients.

A physician can usually identify telogen effluvium through a detailed medical history including list of medications, and examination of the hair and scalp. The physician may also perform blood work, scalp biopsy and a gentle hair pull test, where small amounts of hair are gently pulled in order to determine if there is excessive loss.  

Treatment

Patients usually have return of their hair density within 12-18 months once the trigger has been identified, and removed or treated. If the cause of hair loss is due to medications, the patient may need to have a discussion with their physician about switching medications. Unfortunately for some, telogen effluvium is a mysterious chronic disorder and can persist for months or even years without uncovering the triggering factors or stressors. 

Nonsurgical Treatment

Telogen effluvium is commonly self-correcting and one must allow time for the body to recover following the specific insult. However, for persistent TE or if the causal factor cannot be identified, there are a few treatment options. Minoxidil (brand name: Rogaine®), platelet rich plasma (PRP) with placenta-derived extracellular matrix therapy, and low level laser therapy can all be used to slow hair loss and stimulate new hair growth. Dr. Yaker’s HairScan Plan will help track the progress of nonsurgical treatments to monitor if the hair is growing back effectively.