Telogen Effluvium // Answering Your Questions

Telogen Effluvium // Answering Your Questions

Hi, if you are new here; my name is Steph and a few years back I suffered from Telogen Effluvium – a type of hair loss. I shared my story in a post called “Telogen Effluvium // My Hair Loss Story” if you would like to learn more.

On reflection of sharing my story, I was nervous and didn’t know if I was making the right decision; but I feel the post has highlighted the issue and numerous people have found my story and contacted me to speak about their experiences as well.

Some people have been asking similar questions, so today I thought I would sit down and answer some of the questions that everyone has been asking me over the past year.

Once again, I would like to stress that I am not a medical professional, nor am I an expert in this area. All things wrote on Steph’s World are from my own experience and research into Telogen Effluvium while I was going through the hair loss process. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is making my hair fall out?

If you read any article it will cite the following:

  • Childbirth,
  • Severe trauma or illness,
  • A stressful or major life event,
  • Weight loss and extreme dieting,
  • A severe skin problem affecting the scalp,
  • A new medication or withdrawal of hormone treatment.

They also note that around a third of people diagnosed with telogen effluvium, they never find the cause of the problem. For me personally, I had a hormone change 3 months prior to when the hair loss began, I have had narrowed it down to this. From my research, going back 3 months to see what happened or changed is the best way of narrowing down the cause.

Why is it not falling out in clumps?

Typically, Telogen Effluvium is not like Alopecia where sections or clumps of hair fall out, it is more spread out over the scalp. I did notice that it the hair would fall out more in areas (e.g. fringe, back, side) at anytime which I guess is to do with the hair growth rate.

My family member had hair loss, does this mean I will too?

Telogen Effluvium can affect anyone at any age and any gender. It is not linked to genetics.

Where did you get a diagnosis? Did you see a specialist?

I went to the Doctors when I noticed my hair was falling out more than usual, and they dismissed it as being ‘natural hair loss’. I went away and within a few weeks, I had returned to the doctors and asked for some blood test as my hairdresser suggested it could be anaemia or Thyroid issues.

My blood tests came back clear and the doctors ruled our other hair loss conditions such as Alopecia as my hair was falling out across my scalp and not in isolated places. I went away again disheartened that I hadn’t got any answers.

After at least 3 months of researching and visits to the doctors, I took in my own diagnosis of Telogen Effluvium. When speaking to the Doctor, he also agreed that this was most likely the cause of my hair loss.

How long will my hair loss go on for?

For me, the cycle was about 6 months for the hair loss and 6 months to start growing back, so in total it was about 12 months.

What did you use to make it grow back?

I tried switching to sulphate free shampoo; but in honesty, I don’t know if this worked. I just tried to use a light shampoo which didn’t get stuck in my hair. I also used Roots from Lush which is full of mint which can stimulate the scalp, which encourages hair growth.

When I noticed my hair coming through again, I swapped to New shampoo bar by Lush, as well as Big shampoo. I basically lived in Lush, mainly because the founder of Lush is a Trichologist.

Did your scalp itch when your hair was growing?

I wouldn’t say that my hair itched so much, but rather it tingled – like the sensation of pins and needles. I noticed it a few times on occasion and a few days later I would notice new growth.

Did your scalp burn at all?

During the whole process, I never felt as if my scalp was burning. I have had this question from a few people now, so it may be something which is common during hair regrowth.

Did you take supplements and vitamin tablets?

For a while, I took some hair & nails vitamins; but once again, I don’t think these actually worked for me.

Could you see your scalp?

At my worst stage, yes! I noticed my center parting was getting wider and my hair became so thin that I could see my scalp.

How much hair did you lose a day?

On a wash day, I would lose about 250-300; and on a regular day, I would lose about 100.

Did you notice small strands of hair falling out?

I can’t say that this is something I actually noticed, sorry. I think when it got to a point when I saw lots of baby hairs coming through, I focused on that and tried to keep my positivity up.

How did you cope?

I felt it was important to look after myself and my mental health while going through hair loss. I took to self-care and would have my nails done too. I tried to make myself carry on with everything I would usually do and wouldn’t let hair loss stand in the way for me.

How did you know it was ending?

I noticed that the rate of my hair loss started to slow down and noticed that baby-hairs appeared. It didn’t happen overnight though.

Did people look at you funny or did they mention your hair loss?

As I mentioned in my story, nobody would mention my hair loss. Strangely though, when my hair was growing back, people would ask if I had a new hairstyle.

How did you style your hair?

Every day I would get someone to plait/braid my hair for me. I found this was the best way to keep my hair from looking so thin. I did end up with a lot of baby stray hairs which didn’t fit into the ponytail, but that was ok.

How did you sleep with the hair loss?

I swapped out my pillow cover with a silk type one where my hair could slide over the pillow. I would also plait/braid my hair to sleep to save pulling on my hair.

Did you notice anything strange about your new hairs?

Actually, I did! My hair was coming through grey, and in honesty, they do still. People will say to me “shall I take that grey hair out for you” to my response “no thanks, it’s actually new hair growth”. The hair is just pigment-less and it does turn brown again. For a while, I was sporting an Anna (from Frozen) grey streak in my hair at the back.

My new hairs were flyaway and would not stick down however much I tried. The ones which were the most noticeable were at my crown.

New Hair Growth // Month 7 // Telogen Effluvium // Answering Your Questions by Steph's World

Hair Regrowth

Did you lose hair from anywhere else?

When I was researching hair loss, I saw it was common to lose hair elsewhere on the body – like eyebrows, eyelashes, underarms etc. I didn’t experience this, but I did notice that my nails were more brittle while going through the hair loss.

When your hair loss stopped, was it immediate?

It wasn’t immediate. I noticed it was starting to reduce and that I was getting more hair coming through. Some days it was more than others, but I noticed over a month that the hair loss had gone down considerably and this made me feel very positive.

Did your hair grow back as soon as it stopped falling out?

My hair was actually coming back while it was falling out. As you can see in the photos around month 4, my baby hairs were coming through on the sides and at my crown.

My hair now

This is how my hair is looking now. It is coming up to 4 years since my hair started shedding and nearly 3 years since I cut it into a Bob hairstyle to try and regrow my hair at the same length all over.

Is there something I didn’t answer?

Do you have any more questions? Drop me a message (Twitter or Instagram) and I will answer them as well as I can and I will also add them to this post.

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