Telogen Effluvium is a common form of hair loss which happens when a larger than normal percentage of your hair follicles go into the resting phase and stay there – meaning old hair is shedding without new coming in as fast as usual. To understand the condition, you’ll first need some basic understanding of the hair growth cycle.
Each strand of hair goes through three distinct phases. The Anlagen Phase – the growth period when the strand will grow about ½ inch every 28 days, a phase that can last for 2-5 years. The Catagen Phase – a transitional period at the end of the Anagen Phase that lasts for about 10 days. Lastly the Telogen Phase – a 30-day “resting” phase during which your dead hair will be released and shed.
Normally about 80-90% of your hair follicles are in the Anagen Phase. Telogen Effluvium happens when this number drops and more hair follicles go into – and stay longer in – the Telogen Phase, where no new hair starts to grow from the resting follicles. This leads to the condition known as Telogen Effluvium, which is characterized by noticeable hair loss.
The Good News about Telogen Effluvium
As we have said before – hair loss is not caused by just one thing. Rather, it is the result of many things (often occurring simultaneously), such as aging, hormonal imbalance, illness, medications, poor circulation, scalp infections and more.
There are many reasons why someone might develop Telogen Effluvium, such as stress, poor diet, physical trauma, vaccinations or hormonal changes like those that happen to a woman just after giving birth. The good news is that it can be reversible.
How to Stop Telogen Effluvium
The best way to limit Telogen Effluvium is to have healthy hair inside and out. Here are some things you can do to keep both your body and your hair strong and healthy:
Make sure you consume plenty of vegetables, fruit and good quality protein. Choose organic as much as possible, to help avoid chemicals and toxins.
Get Enough Sleep
We all have a sleepless night here and there, but sleep is directly related to 3 hormones—cortisol, ghrelin and leptin. Too much of anything creates an imbalance—not to mention that your healthy eating habits will decline. Are you really going to make that green smoothie or prepare that healthy meal when you’re exhausted—or will you reach for sugary, fatty “comfort” and “convenience” foods? Sleep deprivation also increases stress. Have you ever noticed how it’s so much more difficult to cope or problem-solve when you’re tired?
Practice Stress Management
Stress is one of the biggest contributors to Telogen Effluvium, because it floods the body with those “fight or flight” hormones – wreaking havoc on our immunity, sleeping and eating habits, and just about everything else you can name.
Our hectic digital-age society can certainly make our pulses race and our minds active (usually when we’re trying to sleep). According to an article in Ad Week based on a report from the IDC (International Data Corporation) 80 percent of people between the ages of 18-44 check their Smartphones within 15 minutes of waking up. So find some quiet time every day—even if it’s just for 10 minutes—to meditate, pray, read or take a peaceful walk. Do whatever works best for you.
Keep Hormones in Balance
Know that anything can throw hormones out of whack– excess hormones in meat, sleepless nights, menopause and pregnancy. One way to keep them in balance is with good, healthy, “clean” eating that avoids hormones, chemicals, toxins and other unwanted substances.
Switch Your Medications
If you are noticing thinning hair, talk to your doctor and see if you can switch to another medication.
By now, we’re sure you realize that vitamins alone won’t do it. Yes, they’re important, but the follicle is a mini-organ that can be disrupted by all kinds of internal and external triggers—so follow our steps, keep that mane luxurious and avoid Telogen Effluvium.