Hair Loss /How long does Telogen Effluvium last?

how long does postpartum hair loss last




I am currently undergoing Telogen Effluvium for 2 months plus. SHedding started in Mid August.

Up till now, my hair is still shedding, like about 30 plus a day.

Although it has improved (used to be 50 plus to 70 a day when it started), I am still very disheartened by the sight of seeing hairs coming out during combing, with just gentle manipulation.

I would like to know, usually how long does shedding takes?

My hair is already thinning out, I doubt I am going to have anymore spare hair for TE soon.

I do see new hair growths everywhere.



A Telogen Effluvium is an increased shedding of hair about one month after something stressful which stops the actively growing hairs in their ANAGEN PHASE from growing normally and they go into the CATAGEN PHASE which means the hairs shrivel up and move up to the surface and fall out about one month after the stress. This falling out is called the TELEOGEN PHASE. Normally we lose 50 to 100 hairs per day and regrow the same number so there is an equilibrium of loss and regrowth, but after a severe stress a lot more hairs stop growing in their normal cycle and fall out and restart. This Telogen Phase can last as short a time as a week and as long as many months depending on the cause of the stress. If there was stress in July and you noted the shed in August then I would expect you have already gone through the Telogen Effluvium phase and now will have to wait another two to three months to see the new hairs which are forming in the newly formed follicles where the old ones were. Normal density may take a year. Hair only grows 1/2 inch per month so if your hair fell out due to a TE and is now normal ( 30 / day is normal) then you may have to wait one year to have new hairs 6 inches long and two years to have them 12 inches long.

From my Chapter 2 of my book "Hair Loss Answers" which can be read for free on my website:

Telogen Phase: After the hair follicle has stopped shrinking, it enters the telogen or “resting” phase, which lasts for another three months, or so. During the telogen phase the follicle appears inactive, and the hair shaft may also be shed during this period. Shedding hairs are a normal part of the cycle of hair growth. Shed hairs may appear on bedding, on clothing, in combs and brushes, and many shed hairs simply go down the drain after shampooing. The point is that some hair loss every day is normal.

At the end of the telogen phase, the hair follicle enters the anagen phase again and begins to grow back to normal size. A new hair bulb is formed and a new hair shaft begins to grow, and the cycle of hair growth continues.

While many fur-bearing animals have hair follicles with synchronized growth and shedding phases, in humans the growth phase of hair follicles are not normally synchronized with their neighbors. This means that the hair follicles on people’s scalps are in different stages of growth, regression, or rest at any given time. But because the anagen (growth) phase lasts much longer than the other phases, the vast majority (ninety percent) of hair follicles on people are in some part of the growth phase, while only a small percentage are in the catagen (regression) or telogen (rest) phase. Growing hairs are not easily shed; however hair follicles in the catagen or telogen phase shed their hairs easily.

On average, young

people with a full head of dark-colored hair have about 100,000 hair follicles on their scalp. Redheads often have slightly more than 100,000 scalp hair follicles, while blondes typically have fewer hair follicles. On average, about fifty to 100 hair follicles end the anagen phase each day, which is when the follicle begins to loosen its “grip” on the hair shaft, and the hair may be shed. Therefore shedding fifty to 100 hairs on any particular day is perfectly normal. Of course, about fifty to 100 hair follicles also re-enter the anagen phase each day, and begin growing new hairs as well, but this is less noticeable.

From Chapter 4:


Stress can cause a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. This condition is not caused by the general accumulated stress of ordinary interactions with people at home and at work, but rather by sudden severe emotional or physiological incidents. Severe stressful events can cause some or most actively growing hair follicles to prematurely shift into the regression phase, and then the resting phase, during which the hairs fall out easily.

There is usually a delay of a few weeks to a few months before the shedding is noticeable, but after this delay the shedding seems to occur quite suddenly. Because the shedding is delayed, this type of hair loss is often a mystery to the person suffering the condition. The stressful event that triggered it is frequently forgotten, and it is rarely thought to be connected with the “new problem.”

Examples of sudden severe emotionally stressful events include the death or terminal illness of a family member or close friend, marriage, divorce, and unexpected job loss. Severe physiological stressful events shock the body, and some examples are heart attacks, major surgery, and illnesses with prolonged high fever such as malaria, viral pneumonia, and severe cases of the flu.

In most cases of telogen effluvium, the hair follicles recover and soon shift back to the regular growth cycle.

However, repeated instances of telogen effluvium can result in premature hair loss in people predisposed to lose their hair late in life. The average growth cycle of a hair follicle takes about five years, but each follicle is “genetically programmed” for only a limited number of growth cycles. For example, if a particular hair follicle were “genetically programmed” for only ten growth cycles, after about fifty years that follicle would stop producing new hairs. When all the follicles at the hairline or crown of the head are “genetically programmed” this way, a receding hairline or bald spot appears after all the growth cycles for the follicles in those areas have been cycled through.

Each incidence of telogen effluvium uses up one “life” of the affected hair follicles. So instead of having a receding hairline or bald spot at age fifty, the hair loss may occur a few years earlier. This is not a significant issue if telogen effluvium occurs once or twice in a lifetime; however, accelerated hair loss can result from repeated severe stressful events, if each instance triggers a new round of telogen effluvium.

I had a patient who was totally bald when I met him at age seventy, and he had lost all his hair by age twenty-two. He had worked on the Panama Canal fifty years earlier, and for two straight years starting when he was twenty he suffered repeated bouts of severe fever from episodes of malaria. Each time he suffered from malaria induced fever he experienced telogen effluvium, lost what hair he had, and his hair follicles lost another “life.” After ten or fifteen malaria stress cycles, at the age of twenty-two, he had the hair he would have had at age seventy. Which unfortunately for him was no hair at all.


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