Understanding Chronic Telogen Effluvium: Causes, Symptoms, And and More


A woman examining her hair surrounded by hair care products.


Are you noticing more hair in your brush than usual? Telogen effluvium is a common form of hair loss that causes significant shedding. This article will explore chronic telogen effluvium, detailing causes, symptoms, and how to effectively manage this condition.

Keep reading for insights on restoring your hair’s health and confidence.

Key Takeaways

  • Chronic telogen effluvium is a kind of hair loss where you shed more hair for over six months. It mostly happens to middle-aged women.
  • Too much hair shedding can be due to stress, not enough good food, and big changes in hormones. Looking after your health may help stop the shedding.
  • Doctors use tests like checking what you eat, blood tests, and looking at scalp samples to figure out if you have chronic telogen effluvium.
  • You could use special shampoos or medicines on your head to help slow down the hair loss. Sometimes doctors also suggest eating certain foods or taking vitamins.
  • If you think you are losing too much hair, talk with a doctor. They can tell you why this might be happening and how to help fix it.


Understanding Hair Growth and Hair Loss

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The hair growth cycle consists of three phases: anagen (growth phase), catagen (transitional phase), and telogen (resting phase). Telogen effluvium is a form of diffuse hair loss that occurs during the telogen phase, leading to excessive shedding.

Understanding the intricacies of these phases is crucial in comprehending chronic telogen effluvium and its impact on hair health.


The Hair Growth Cycle


Hair grows in a special pattern. It starts with the anagen phase, when hair is growing. This part can last for years. After that comes the catagen phase, which is short and when hair stops growing.

Then, hair enters the telogen phase where it rests. Normally, after some time in this stage, hairs fall out and new ones start to grow from the same hair follicles.

Knowing about these phases helps us understand why we lose hair sometimes. When too many hairs enter the telogen phase at once and fall out quickly, it can lead to problems like chronic telogen effluvium.

This kind of shedding makes people worry because they see a lot of hair coming out every day.

If you’re losing more hair than usual during the resting or telogen phase, talk to a doctor who knows about hair issues. They can help find out what’s going on and how to deal with it.


What is Telogen Effluvium?


Telogen effluvium happens when more hairs than normal enter the resting phase of the hair growth cycle. In this phase, called telogen, hairs stop growing and eventually fall out. Usually, a person sheds about 50 to 100 hairs a day as part of this natural cycle.

But with telogen effluvium, shedding can be much more—upwards of 300 hairs a day.

This condition is often set off by things like stress or illness. Drugs, changes in diet, and emotional trauma can also play a role. Your body reacts to these stresses by sending signals that push more hairs into the resting stage faster than usual.

Then after about three months, those extra resting hairs start falling out all at once which leads to noticeable thinning on your scalp.

Chronic Telogen Effluvium: An Overview

Chronic Telogen Effluvium is a long-lasting form of hair shedding that predominantly affects middle-aged women, with a prolonged and fluctuating course. It lasts for more than six months and can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life.

Understanding the underlying causes and potential treatment options is essential in managing this condition effectively.

Defining Chronic Telogen Effluvium

Chronic Telogen Effluvium is a type of hair loss where your hair falls out for a long time. Usually, it happens to middle-aged women and goes on and off for a while. Your hair has a cycle: it grows, rests, then falls out.

This condition messes with that cycle and more hairs than usual go into the resting phase. That’s why you see more hair coming out when you brush or wash it.

It can be pretty worrying to deal with this kind of hair loss. But knowing what chronic telogen effluvium means helps you find the right way to tackle it. Researchers think changes in the hair growth stages cause this problem.

If your hair has been falling out too much for over six months, you might have chronic telogen effluvium. A doctor can do tests like looking at how much hair collects after washing or taking tiny samples from your scalp to be sure about it.


Epidemiology and Who is Affected


Chronic telogen effluvium is a hair loss condition that often hits middle-aged women the hardest. This kind of hair shedding lasts for more than six months and can come and go, making it hard to figure out what’s happening.

Both men and women can have this issue, but it’s more common in females. Many times, people don’t even realize they’re losing more hair than normal because it’s not obvious at first.

It doesn’t pick based on race; anyone can be affected by chronic telogen effluvium. Knowing you’re not alone in this struggle might make a difference as you look for ways to manage your hair loss.

Let’s explore what could be causing your chronic telogen effluvium next.

Causes and Triggers of Chronic Telogen Effluvium

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Chronic Telogen Effluvium can be triggered by a variety of factors such as stress, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal changes, and environmental influences. Understanding these causes is crucial in identifying and addressing the underlying issues leading to excessive hair shedding.


Stress and Emotional Trauma


Stress and emotional trauma can trigger chronic telogen effluvium, causing excessive hair shedding. The body’s response to stress hormones can disrupt the natural hair growth cycle, leading to more hair entering the shedding phase.

Seeking ways to reduce stress and manage emotional well-being is crucial in addressing chronic telogen effluvium. It’s essential to address the underlying cause, including stress reduction, as part of the treatment plan for this condition.

Natural hair shedding occurs at certain times during the year and often increases due to changes in hormone levels influenced by variations in daylight exposure.


Nutritional Deficiencies and Diet


Addressing nutritional deficiencies is crucial for managing chronic telogen effluvium. An inadequate diet lacking essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, and biotin can contribute to hair loss.

It’s important to focus on a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins to support healthy hair growth. Incorporating nutrient-dense foods like lean meats, legumes, nuts, and leafy greens can help combat dietary deficiencies that may be exacerbating hair shedding.

Furthermore, considering the impact of malnutrition on hair health is vital when dealing with chronic telogen effluvium. Nutritional supplements and adjustments in one’s dietary intake may play a significant role in addressing the root cause of this condition.


Hormonal Changes and Medical Conditions

Hormonal changes and medical conditions can play a significant role in chronic telogen effluvium. Research suggests that changes in hormone levels, such as thyroid hormones or prolactin, may lead to more hair follicles entering the resting phase.

Additionally, chronic illnesses like inflammatory bowel disease or systemic lupus erythematosus can contribute to hair shedding. Medical history and diagnostic tests are crucial for understanding the impact of hormonal imbalances and underlying health conditions on hair loss.

Recognizing these potential triggers is essential for developing effective treatment plans tailored to address specific hormonal and medical factors contributing to chronic telogen effluvium.

By understanding how your body’s internal processes and medical conditions can influence hair health, you can better navigate suitable treatment options and achieve improved outcomes.


Environmental Factors


Triggers for chronic telogen effluvium can also stem from environmental factors. Exposure to ultraviolet light, toxins, and pollutants can spark this condition. Some medical studies show that natural hair shedding increases during fall and spring due to hormonal changes linked to variations in daylight exposure.

It is important for individuals experiencing hair loss to be mindful of their surroundings and limit exposure to potential environmental triggers as part of managing chronic telogen effluvium.

Environmental elements, such as ultraviolet light and toxins, play a role in triggering chronic telogen effluvium. Studies have highlighted how natural hair shedding peaks in the fall and spring due to hormonal changes connected with variations in daylight exposure – something worth keeping in mind when managing this condition.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Chronic Telogen Effluvium

A close-up of hairbrush, comb, and fallen hair strands.

Excessive hair shedding, thinning hair, and decreased hair volume are common symptoms of chronic telogen effluvium. If you want to learn more about how to recognize and manage these symptoms, keep reading for valuable insights and practical tips.


Excessive Hair Shedding


Excessive hair shedding, a common sign of chronic telogen effluvium, refers to an increased amount of hair falling out during the resting phase of the hair growth cycle. It often leads to noticeable thinning and decreased hair volume.

In chronic telogen effluvium, this shedding persists for more than six months, affecting mostly middle-aged women with varying intensity over time. Shed hairs in this condition are typically telogen hairs, recognizable by a small bulb of keratin at the root end.

Addressing excessive shedding can involve identifying and managing underlying triggers like stress or nutritional deficiencies along with implementing care routines focused on gentle handling of hair and scalp health maintenance.


Thinning Hair and Decreased Volume


Thinning hair and decreased volume are common signs of chronic telogen effluvium, a condition that leads to excessive shedding and reduction in hair density over time. This can be distressing for individuals experiencing it, impacting their self-esteem and confidence.

Understanding the underlying causes and triggers such as stress, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal changes, and environmental factors is crucial in addressing these symptoms effectively.

By recognizing the early indicators of thinning hair and reduced volume, individuals can seek appropriate diagnosis and treatment to manage chronic telogen effluvium before it progresses further.


Widespread Hair Loss Patterns


Chronic telogen effluvium can lead to widespread hair loss patterns, causing thinning all over the scalp. It often results in excessive shedding and reduced volume, impacting the overall thickness of the hair.

This condition is characterized by diffuse hair loss rather than specific bald patches, affecting individuals for more than six months and predominantly seen in middle-aged women. Various triggers like stress, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal changes, and medical conditions can contribute to this pattern of extensive hair thinning.

Understanding these patterns can help identify chronic telogen effluvium and guide towards appropriate diagnosis and treatment options needed to address this form of alopecia.

Diagnosing Chronic Telogen Effluvium

Diagnosing Chronic Telogen Effluvium involves a thorough medical history and physical examination, along with various laboratory tests and scalp biopsy to rule out other underlying causes of hair loss.

Differential diagnosis from other hair loss disorders is also important in determining the appropriate treatment plan.


Medical History and Physical Examination


To diagnose chronic telogen effluvium, the doctor will ask about your medical history and any recent stress or changes in your life that could be triggering the hair loss. They will also conduct a physical examination of your scalp and hair to observe any patterns of thinning or shedding.

In some cases, they may also perform laboratory tests or a scalp biopsy to rule out other potential causes of hair loss, such as hormonal imbalances or nutritional deficiencies. Thorough history-taking and clinical examination are crucial for accurately identifying chronic telogen effluvium and determining the most effective treatment approach for you.

It’s important to communicate openly with your healthcare provider during the medical history and physical examination process to ensure an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.


Laboratory Tests and Scalp Biopsy


After the medical history and physical examination, your healthcare provider may recommend laboratory tests and scalp biopsy to further understand chronic telogen effluvium. These diagnostic tools provide valuable insights into the underlying causes of your hair loss. Here are the key points related to laboratory tests and scalp biopsy for chronic telogen effluvium:


  1. Hair Wash Test: This test involves collecting shed hairs over a specific period to assess the rate of hair shedding.
  2. Trichogram: A trichogram is a non-invasive technique that examines hair follicles under a microscope, offering insights into the hair growth cycle and potential abnormalities.
  3. Phototrichogram: This test utilizes specialized photography to analyze individual hair strands and assess their characteristics, such as diameter and density.
  4. Scalp Biopsy: A scalp biopsy involves obtaining a small sample of scalp tissue for microscopic examination, aiding in the diagnosis of certain scalp conditions and identifying potential underlying issues contributing to hair loss.
  5. Laboratory Investigations: Blood tests may be conducted to evaluate factors such as hormonal levels, nutritional deficiencies, autoimmune markers, and other systemic conditions that could be linked to chronic telogen effluvium.

Differential Diagnosis from Other Hair Loss Disorders


In diagnosing chronic telogen effluvium, healthcare providers differentiate it from other hair loss disorders such as androgenetic alopecia, inflammatory conditions like alopecia areata, thyroid disorders, and exposure to toxins.

This distinction is crucial as these conditions can also present with similar symptoms. Understanding the specific characteristics of chronic telogen effluvium helps in accurately identifying and addressing this particular type of hair loss.

Identifying the unique features and triggers involved in chronic telogen effluvium aids healthcare professionals in providing tailored treatment plans that address its specific causes.

Treatment Options for Chronic Telogen Effluvium

Addressing the underlying causes of chronic telogen effluvium is essential, including managing stress and emotional trauma, addressing nutritional deficiencies through supplements and diet adjustments, utilizing topical treatments and medications, as well as exploring alternative therapies and stress management techniques.

These treatment options aim to support hair regrowth and manage the condition effectively.


Addressing Underlying Causes


Identifying and addressing the underlying causes of chronic telogen effluvium is crucial for effective management. Factors such as chronic stress, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and environmental influences can disrupt the normal hair cycle, leading to excessive shedding and thinning.

Research has linked stress and dietary problems to changes in hair follicle biochemistry, underscoring the importance of managing these factors. By addressing these triggers through stress-reduction techniques, balanced nutrition, and seeking medical evaluation for any underlying health conditions, individuals experiencing hair loss can take proactive steps towards improving their condition.

Furthermore, understanding that chronic telogen effluvium is often triggered by various factors allows for a more comprehensive approach to treatment. This includes establishing standard guidelines for therapy and dosage of medications tailored to individual needs while emphasizing patient education on disease management.

By proactively addressing these factors and seeking appropriate guidance from healthcare professionals, individuals can optimize their efforts in managing chronic telogen effluvium effectively.


Nutritional Supplements and Diet Adjustments


Addressing underlying causes can also involve making nutritional supplements and diet adjustments to support healthy hair growth, as deficiencies in certain nutrients can contribute to chronic telogen effluvium. Here are some important points to consider:


  1. Iron plays a vital role in carrying oxygen to the hair follicles, so include iron – rich foods like lean meats, lentils, and spinach in your diet.
  2. Zinc deficiency can lead to hair loss, so consume zinc – rich foods such as oysters, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
  3. Vitamin B6 and B12 are essential for healthy hair growth; ensure you incorporate poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, and fortified cereals to get these vitamins.
  4. L – lysine is an essential amino acid that supports collagen production; include foods like meat, fish, dairy products, and legumes rich in this nutrient.
  5. Avoid excessive intake of supplements as high doses of certain vitamins and minerals can be toxic and may worsen hair loss.
  6. Consult a healthcare professional or a nutritionist before starting any new supplement regimen to ensure it’s safe and effective for your specific needs.

Topical Treatments and Medications


After addressing nutritional supplements and diet adjustments, exploring topical treatments and medications is crucial for managing chronic telogen effluvium. Here are some effective options to consider:


  1. Topical corticosteroids: These are commonly prescribed to reduce inflammation in the scalp and promote hair regrowth.
  2. Minoxidil (Rogaine): It’s an over-the-counter medication that can stimulate hair follicles, aiding in new hair growth.
  3. CNPDA (Calcineurin inhibitors): These drugs can be effective in reducing inflammation and helping with hair regrowth in chronic telogen effluvium cases.
  4. Vitamin D analogs: Some studies suggest that these topical preparations may help improve hair loss associated with certain conditions.
  5. Hair growth serums and lotions: Several products contain biotin, caffeine, or other ingredients that claim to promote hair growth when applied topically.
  6. Essential oils: Some individuals find relief from hair loss by using essential oils like rosemary oil or peppermint oil, which may have purported benefits for stimulating hair growth when massaged into the scalp.
  7. Scalp massage techniques: Regular scalp massages can enhance blood circulation to the hair follicles, potentially promoting healthier hair growth.
  8. Anti-inflammatory shampoos: Shampoos containing ingredients like ketoconazole or coal tar may help reduce inflammation on the scalp, which could contribute to improved hair growth.
  9. Laser therapy devices: Low-level laser therapy has shown some promise in promoting hair regrowth when used as a topical treatment for chronic telogen effluvium.
  10. Nutrient-infused scalp treatments: Some specialized products combine vitamins and minerals designed to nourish the scalp and support healthy follicle function.

Alternative Therapies and Stress Management


After considering topical treatments and medications, it’s important to explore alternative therapies and stress management techniques. Here are some effective strategies for managing chronic telogen effluvium:


  1. Stress Reduction: Engage in activities that promote relaxation, such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or mindfulness practices. These techniques can help lower stress hormones that may contribute to hair loss.
  2. Dietary Supplements: Consider incorporating vitamins and minerals that support hair health, such as iron supplements for addressing deficiencies and vitamin supplements like vitamin A for promoting hair growth.
  3. Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Adopt a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, regular exercise routine, and adequate sleep to support overall well-being and potentially improve hair health.
  4. Support Networks: Seek out emotional support from friends, family, or support groups to cope with the emotional impact of chronic telogen effluvium. Sharing experiences with others can provide comfort and understanding during this challenging time.
  5. Professional Counseling: Consider consulting with a mental health professional if the emotional impact of hair loss becomes overwhelming. Counseling can provide valuable tools for managing stress and coping with the psychological effects of chronic telogen effluvium.
  6. Mind-Body Therapies: Explore complementary therapies like acupuncture or aromatherapy to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels, which may positively influence hair growth.
  7. Holistic Approaches: Embrace holistic approaches such as scalp massages or herbal remedies under the guidance of healthcare professionals to promote scalp health and boost circulation to the hair follicles.
  8. Self-Care Practices: Incorporate self-care activities into your routine, including hobbies you enjoy, spending time in nature, engaging in creative pursuits or art therapy to alleviate stress and enhance well-being.


Managing and Coping with Chronic Telogen Effluvium

Once diagnosed with chronic telogen effluvium, it’s essential to seek psychological support and find coping mechanisms to manage the emotional impact of hair loss. Additionally, adopting gentle hair care practices and exploring different styling techniques can help in maintaining confidence and self-esteem while dealing with this condition.


Psychological Impact and Support


Chronic telogen effluvium can have a big effect on your emotions, leading to stress and lower confidence. It’s crucial to get support from healthcare professionals like dermatologists and psychologists who understand the physical and emotional aspects of this condition.

Coping with chronic telogen effluvium might involve learning stress-reduction techniques and getting counseling to help manage the impact of hair loss on your feelings. Psychological support is very important for helping you handle the challenges of coping with chronic telogen effluvium and its effects on mental health.

Understanding how it impacts you emotionally is key for creating treatments that address both the physical and emotional parts of this condition, giving you better ways to cope and see things more positively.


Hair Care Tips and Styling Techniques


After understanding the psychological impact and finding ways to cope with chronic telogen effluvium, it’s important to learn about effective hair care tips and styling techniques. Here are some practical suggestions to help manage and improve the appearance of thinning hair:


  1. Use volumizing shampoos and conditioners to add fullness and texture to your hair. Look for products containing ingredients like biotin, panthenol, or rice protein that can help strengthen and plump up individual strands.
  2. Be gentle when towel – drying your hair to avoid causing additional breakage. Instead of rubbing vigorously, pat your hair dry with a soft towel.
  3. Avoid tight hairstyles that put excessive tension on the hair follicles, such as tight ponytails or braids. Opt for looser styles that minimize pulling on the roots of the hair.
  4. Consider using lightweight styling products like mousses or volumizing sprays that can give your hair added body without weighing it down.
  5. Experiment with different partings or layers in your hairstyle to create the illusion of more volume and thickness.
  6. Invest in a good quality wide – toothed comb or brush specifically designed for detangling wet hair to prevent damage while combing through any knots or tangles.
  7. Protect your scalp from the sun by wearing hats or scarves, especially if you have noticeable thinning in certain areas.
  8. Embrace natural textures and consider air – drying your hair whenever possible to minimize heat damage from blow dryers and styling tools.
  9. If you choose to use heat styling tools, apply a heat protectant spray beforehand to shield your strands from potential heat-related damage.
  10. Seek advice from professional hairstylists who specialize in working with clients experiencing hair loss; they can offer personalized style recommendations tailored to your specific needs.



Chronic Telogen Effluvium is often caused by stress, nutritional deficiencies, and hormonal changes. Recognizing the symptoms, such as excessive hair shedding and thinning hair, is crucial for early diagnosis.

Treatment options include addressing underlying causes, nutritional supplements, topical treatments, and stress management techniques. It’s important to seek professional guidance and support while managing this condition.

Understanding these factors can help individuals make informed decisions about their health and well-being.


1. What is chronic telogen effluvium and what causes it?

Chronic telogen effluvium is when you lose more hair than normal from your scalp for a long time. Things like stress, iron deficiency, thyroid disease, some medicines like cancer drugs or anticoagulants, and health conditions can cause it.

2. How do I know if I have chronic telogen effluvium?

If your hair is thinning all over your head and not in just one spot, you might have chronic telogen effluvium. A doctor can do a simple hair pull test to see if this is why your hair is falling out.

3. Can things I eat or my lifestyle make my hair loss worse?

Yes, not eating enough iron-rich foods or having too much stress can lead to losing more hair. Also, diets that don’t give you all the nutrients you need like vegetarian diets without enough iron can contribute to hair fall.

4. Are there treatments that help with chronic telogen effluvium?

Doctors suggest eating a healthy diet with plenty of iron and sometimes offer medicine to help balance hormones or fix the problem causing the hair loss.

5. Will my hair grow back after treating chronic telogen effluvium?

Most of the time, once the cause of the stress on your body stops or gets treated properly with health care guidance, your hair will start growing back normally again.

6. Is pattern baldness related to chronic telogen effluvium?

Nope! Pattern baldness in men and women happens because of genetics mainly while non-scarring alopecia forms like this condition are usually due to other causes such as emotional distress or lack of needed nutrients.


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