Top of Mind
By Crown Affair
Long name, simple explanation: telogen effluvium refers to temporary hair loss due to stress or shock to the body. The second most common type of hair loss, telogen effluvium can occur after major stress, physical trauma, extreme diet change or weight loss, and other changes to the body. Of course, like most frustrating side effects of stress, there is no quick fix for telogen effluvium, but we are big believers that knowledge is power, and the more you know the better you can take care. So let’s dive right in, shall we?
The name telogen effluvium comes from the telogen phase of hair growth. Normally, hair starts out in the anagen (or active growth) phase for about 7 years, then moves into the transitional catagen phase for 2 weeks, and finally enters the telogen phase, in which hairs rest for 2-4 months before falling out to be replaced by new hair. Under normal circumstances, 10-15% of our hair is in the telogen phase at any given time. But when changes impact our bodies like high cortisol levels due to stress, our hair growth hormones are suppressed and strands enter the telogen phase early. To give you a visual the average person loses about 100 hairs per day, while someone experiencing telogen effluvium will lose 300 instead.
Since telogen effluvium tends to become noticeable 2-4 months after a stressor occurs, it makes sense it’s been on the rise amidst COVID-19. A few community members have reached out asking if we have any magical products or tips to speed up the process, but truthfully the best thing you can apply is good old fashioned care. In our world that means meditating, giving yourself a gentle scalp massage, eating a balanced diet rich in protein, and appreciating yourself (and your hair) exactly as you are. Of course, whatever personal rituals help you feel most whole are the ones you should lean into first.
Image via @digitalf33ls