This is a continuation of our discussion on hair loss in women…
Remember how our mothers always told us that stress could cause so many problems and make us feel terrible? As always, our mothers were right. For women, a severe illness, psychological stress, or having a baby are inciting stressful events that can cause physical effects. One of these effects is hair loss.
Usually 90% of our hair is in the growth phase, with 10% in the resting phase. Keep in mind that some hairs are always shedding in the resting phase, and it is usually a small and regular amount.
Telogen Effluvium (TE) is a condition of diffuse hair loss that is caused by an identifiable stressful life situation; three of those situations were stated above. In TE, 70% of hairs are in the growth phase and 30% in the resting phase. This results in about 3 times as many resting phase hairs being shed daily. The hair loss is gradual and diffuse and may be similar in appearance to the loss associated with the female patterned hair loss called Androgenic Alopecia (AGA).
With TE, a woman usually is aware of shedding, but with AGA, the loss is gradual, and shedding is not usually a complaint that is presented. Also with TE, the loss may not become apparent for several months after the stressful event.
To treat TE, you must first identify and resolve the stress the body has been subjected to. With pregnancy or an acute illness, the hair loss is usually self-limiting with complete recovery within 6 months after having the baby or recovering from the illness. When TE is caused from psychological stress, since the treatment and recovery can take some time, the hair recovery can also involve a prolonged period.