Hair loss conditions differ from person to person and are dependent on severalfactors like illness, diet, stress and hormonal imbalance. Some hair loss conditions go by the name “effluvium.” This affects different phases of the hair-growth cycle. Telogen effluvium is probably the second most common form of hair loss triggered by stress and crash dieting. Once the trigger is removed, there could be total regrowth in some cases.


Hair Facts

Hair follicles on the scalp go through different phases and do not produce hair fibers continuously. On average there are 100,000 hair follicles on the scalp. At any time about 80 percent to 90 percent of the hair follicles are growing hair and are in the growing or the anagen phase. The remaining 10 percent to 20 percent are in the resting or the telogen phase. Telogen Effluvium is the condition where the number of hair follicles producing hair significantly drops and there is an increased dormant phase resulting in massive shedding. Stress and severe dieting are some of the factors that can cause Telogen Effluvium.

Stress and Hair Loss

Stress is one of the major trigger factors for hair loss. It could be short-term stress like women giving birth to a baby or a physical trauma such as being in a car crash. Sudden changes taking place in the body put tremendous shock to the hair follicles and cause them to shut down until the body gets back to normal.

The more persistent the trigger, the more persistent the hair loss. Chronic stress and antidepressants can put a significant proportion of hair follicles in hibernation. These exert a negative effect on hair growth and in due course change the hair follicle’s biochemistry, making more hair follicles enter the resting state.

Dieting and Hair Loss

Both the body and hair follicles react to the physical stress of severely reduced calories or lack of necessary nutrients. When the body is denied nutrients, especially proteins, it shuts down the production of hair to save the nutrients in order to preserve the vital organs. Massive shedding does not occur immediately. In some cases people notice their hair loss is worse after they stop crash dieting. The hair lost may take up to a year to grow back as they have to go through a resting phase after the massive shedding. Extreme weight loss can also result in an increased production of male sex hormones called androgens. These hormones are destined to kill hair follicles. Once the hair follicles are destroyed, there is no chances for any regrowth.

Treatments

Removing the trigger is the best treatment. For example if stress is causing the hair loss, stress reduction is the solution. If antidepressants are causing the shedding, try switching to another brand. Try not to deprive your body from the proteins and nutrients it needs. Following a healthy diet, eating in right portions and working out would give great weight loss results without damaging your body.
Take hair supplements to kick start the dormant hair follicles.

Warnings

Consult a dermatologist before starting any treatment. Get a hair “pull “test or a scalp biopsy done to make sure that the hair loss is due to Telogen effluvium. There is no specific pattern of hair loss for this condition. In severe cases, the condition may mimic Androgenic Alopecia or baldness.Remember that regrowth can take months before you start noticing the growth.Take your treatment continuously and wait patiently.

References and Resources

Telogen Effluvium

Resources

Haircare Tips