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  • Writer's pictureKate Holden

Why is my hair falling out?

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

Hair shedding can be alarming, especially when your hair starts falling out suddenly. You might have noticed that your hair feels thinner, that there is more hair in your hairbrush, in the shower or on your pillow.

In this blog, we’re going to talk about common causes of a condition called telogen effluvium, which is the name for general or diffuse hair shedding.

Telogen effluvium doesn’t look like clear areas of hair loss. If you can see a clear area of hair loss or a bald patch, this may be caused by a separate condition such as alopecia areata or pattern hair loss – visit our Hair Conditions page for more information on these conditions.

If you are worried about hair shedding and hair loss, book a consultation at Kate Holden Clinic for expert examination, diagnosis, and treatment plans.

What is hair shedding called?

The term for general or diffuse hair thinning is telogen effluvium. The term telogen refers to part of the hair growth cycle where the hair has stopped growing and is resting in the hair follicle. Effluvium comes from the Latin word for flowing or discharging.

In a normal scalp, approximately 10% of the hairs are in the telogen phase. However, in telogen effluvium, a larger number of hairs than normal are pushed into the telogen phase. This results in noticeable and increased hair shedding.

Telogen effluvium can be acute or chronic depending on how long the hair shedding lasts for.

What causes hair shedding?

The most common causes of telogen effluvium are:

  • Childbirth

  • Medications – for example contraceptive pills and antidepressants

  • Weight loss

  • Malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies

  • Surgery

  • Emotional distress

  • High fever and illness

  • Hormone imbalance

How is hair shedding diagnosed?

Telogen effluvium is diagnosed by thorough examination of your patient history and by ruling out any other potential causes of hair loss. A hair pull test and microscopic examination of your hair will also be performed. Blood tests may be requested to check for hormone and nutritional deficiencies that could be contributing to your hair loss.

How can you stop hair falling out?

Hair loss caused by telogen effluvium is temporary and tends to recover well after the cause of the hair shedding has been established and treated.

If you’re worried about your hair falling out, book a consultation appointment with the Kate Holden Clinic for professional examination, diagnosis, and treatment.

Visit the Kate Holden Clinic hair treatment centre in Manchester to see a registered trichologist.


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