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Telogen Effluvium and Extreme Emotional Stress

Telogen effluvium is a temporary loss of hair that manifests during a period of extreme emotional stress in a person’s life. It can occur after a dramatic shock to the body, such as getting into a car accident. People of all ages can experience this type of hair loss and it can happen to both men and women. To understand why the hair stops growing after a traumatic event, it is crucial to understand the lifecycle of a hair follicle.

Anagen and telogen hair

Anagen hair refers to actively growing hair follicles. Anagen hair accounts for a full 85% of the hair on most people’s heads. The other 15% is telogen hair, which is in a resting phase. Hair will actively grow for four years and then rest for four months before being pushed out of the scalp by a new anagen hair. Because of this, we lose about 100 strands of hair every day, which is completely normal.

When the body experiences a shock or trauma to its system, about 70% of the anagen (active) hairs may revert to telogen (dormant). Thus, your hair growth diminishes by about 70% and will not replenish lost strands as quickly. According to DermNet, a number of events can trigger this event on your scalp, including:

  • Childbirth
  • Chronic illness
  • Surgery
  • Psychological stress
  • Iron deficiency
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Excessive exposure to the sun
  • Discontinuing birth control pills

Telogen effluvium will heal itself over time and eventually hair growth will resume as normal. To help your body with the process, doctors recommend not over-brushing your hair, giving yourself scalp massages, and incorporating more protein into your diet.

Get in touch with Trillium Ink

Telogen effluvium is temporary, but other types of hair loss are not. If you are experiencing male pattern baldness and are looking for a permanent solution, contact the team at Trillium Ink. We offer scalp micropigmentation (SMP) for men and women, which is a medical-grade scalp tattoo that imitates a natural-looking hairline. SMP is also effective in covering scars from surgery or hair transplants. Call us today at 425.238.1222 or fill out our contact form online.