When I was in my early 40s, my hair suddenly started falling out. I learned that I had a condition called telogen effluvium.
A Guide to Dealing With Excessive Hair Shed
I am a woman in my early 40s. About a year and a half ago, I was met with a surprising health issue that seemed to come out of nowhere for me. My hair started falling out suddenly—with no apparent explanation. I learned, after going to the doctor as well as reading as much as I could on the subject, that this is something that happens to many people and can be not only physically alarming, but a horrible mental game as well.
Over the past year, several doctor visits, and much research, I have acquired quite an arsenal of useful information that I would love to share with others who may be dealing with this problem. It is not an easy fix for certain, but there are many things one can do to help alleviate the symptoms of rapid, all-over hair loss, or more specifically, hair shed, as they wait for it to pass.
Telogen Effluvium Is Usually Temporary
If you truly do have telogen effluvium (rapid, unexplained hair loss), or are experiencing what seems like a more than usual amount of hair shedding that endures over an extended period of time, the good news is that yes, it likely will resolve in time. Most cases do, as stated in the abstract Diffuse Hair Loss in an Adult Female: Approach to Diagnosis and Management, found in the National Institutes of Health Library of Medicine’s online resource. Typically, the condition subsides within 6 months of onset.
In my own darkest hour, however, this opinion was less than comforting to me as I found myself facing the reality that not only is there a general lack of information on this subject, but it is sometimes vague, and it often suggests the condition is medically untreatable. This was difficult to accept and became my motivation for offering what I have found and sharing my own experiences in working towards stopping—or limiting—hair loss.
Defining Telogen Effluvium
What Exactly Is Telogen Effluvium?
First, I would like to define telogen effluvium, because there are several types of hair loss and I can only speak to this particular type. (See the video I've included, which discusses the specifics of telogen effluvium.)
As I learned in the article on Medscape, "Telogen Effluvium: Background," this condition results in hair loss which is uniform (not patchy)—so much so, that an overall thinning of the hair is soon visible. The loss of hair is obvious and spontaneous, and the hairs fall out from the root with a tell-tale white bulb often visible at the end. You find fallen hairs all over: in the drain, and when you brush your hair, or just as you are standing still. One may wonder if it is in their head, but this is soon ruled out as the hair fall continues and a reason seems elusive. It usually does not last beyond 6 months and you will never reach the state of complete baldness.
Unfortunately, my experience lasted much longer and is still occasionally present today. Two years later, it has become chronic, as explained in WebMD’s article, "Telogen Effluvium and Other Effluviums." Because I have a long-term case, I feel the information I am able to offer is even more comprehensive and represents the combination of bits of wisdom from several sources on this subject. At this time, I am happy to report that I am miles from where I was during this dark period of my life, and my hair is steadily, although slowly, returning to a normal state. Most very likely, yours will as well.
Some Potential Causes of Telogen Effluvium:
- Hormonal imbalance
- Low thyroid disease
- Systemic disease
- Allergic reaction to a food or product
- Traumatic physical event (sometimes relating to a prior fever)
- Traumatic loss
- Deficiency of a nutrient or vitamin, such as vitamin D3 or iron
- Too much vitamin A
- Lack of protein
Although feelings of direness accompany this problem, as at first, not much seems to help, I must assert that there are things you can do to minimize your hair loss and which will help you feel a little more proactive in dealing with this problem, in general. However, do not expect a definitive cure-all, as sadly, it often doesn't occur that way. Rest assured, that time is your best friend in dealing with telogen effluvium, and although this is difficult to accept, in the end, you will likely admit this as well. This said, here are 10 positive and empowering things you can do if this is happening to you.
Strategies to Minimize Hair Loss:
Here are some common strategies that can help to minimize hair loss:
- Take biotin
- Check your vitamin D3 levels
- See a doctor to rule out more serious health issues
- Make sure you are not taking too much vitamin A
- Take a multi-vitamin
- Eat more protein
- Rule out allergies to certain hair products or foods
- Reduce the use of chemicals on your scalp
- Reduce stress levels
- Handle hair with care
- Wash hair every other day
- Avoid products containing keratin
1. Go to a Doctor
The first thing I have to strongly suggest is to go to a doctor. There are several diseases that are symptomatic with hair loss and you need to rule them out. These include hormonal imbalances, systemic illness, thyroid problems, and lupus. The doctor will run a blood test panel checking for deficiencies, disease, or other issues. My doctor did not believe me at first. She thought that perhaps it was in my head, but within a few months, she was proved wrong and so much of my hair was gone.
I was referred to a dermatologist who gave me the courtesy of listening and caring. You should seek a doctor that will truly try to understand and acknowledge your difficulty. This is imperative to keep up your own mental stamina as you traverse this issue. The dermatologist diagnosed me as having telogen effluvium and offered to give me a scalp biopsy. However, I did not take this option. It would be useful in confirming the diagnosis, but since there is no real treatment, that is as far as it would take me. I opted out. The most difficult part of this experience is living with the fear that your hair loss will be permanent or will eventually be complete. That is why telogen effluvium patients so desperately seek help.
The Emotional Side of Hair Loss: Don't Give Up!
2. Try to Determine a Cause
Potential causes for telogen effluvium can include a recent physical trauma (including having had a baby or a fever illness) or occurrence of a traumatic event or loss which happened in the few months prior to the onset of shedding hair. A deficiency could be a cause, such as a vitamin deficiency, a protein deficiency, or an iron deficiency. Many believe hormonal changes could be a cause as well. An allergic reaction to food or a reaction to a product could perhaps have brought on an episode of telogen effluvium. Stress could also be the culprit.
Determining a cause, if you can, is a first line defense because you can remove the problem. However, I must warn you, a great majority of people can never say for sure what the cause was. I am among these people. Although I have my suspicions, I don't have 100% certainty. I did experience a great loss just prior to my hair loss and then, after and during the loss, I experienced continued bouts of more-than-normal stress. It is difficult to control stress in life today, so removing a stressor is not always a plausible solution.
If you can determine, however, what initiated the onset of your hair falling out, you should do everything you can to eliminate this stimulus as soon as possible to more towards healing. See the video to the upper right about the emotional side of hair loss. It outlines why finding a cause can be so important in your fight.
3. Take Vitamins and Add Protein to Your Diet
Telogen effluvium is a sign perhaps that your body is in need of some nutrient that you are missing. It is a good reason to amp up your health, regardless if this is a primary cause of your hair loss or not.
Make sure you are eating enough protein and getting the proper amount of iron; eat healthfully. Consider taking a fish oil supplement to amp your body’s vigor, and try a vitamin for hair such as Super Hair Energizer. This did seem to help things for me after a month or so insofar as new hair growth was concerned.
However, I do have to add an important warning. Do not overdose on any one vitamin. I am referring especially to vitamin A. Too much vitamin A, in fact, could be the cause of your problem! I was taking both a multi-vitamin and eating Luna Bars for women to improve my nutrition and this was giving me more than the recommended amount of vitamin A which can be toxic… especially to hair! If you happen to be sensitive to vitamin A, this could perpetuate your cycle of hair loss rather than help it. As suggested in several articles I came across, including "Does Vitamin A Cause Hair Loss?" this could have contributed further to my problem or at least hindered my recovery from it.
4. Take Biotin
One vitamin that needs to be mentioned in its own section (because of its importance) is biotin. Begin taking daily biotin supplements immediately upon hair loss. It will improve hair and nail health, which won't hurt you during this struggle. It should make your hair grow faster and give it a nice, healthy sheen, so you may want to consider this one for life! It will not, however, stop your hair loss. But it is a positive step you can take toward building your hair back up for the future. See what Dr. Oz says about biotin in the video below and how it is imperative to your hair health.
5. Try Vitamin D3
I believe vitamin D3 was the crux of what helped me. I read so many materials on telogen effluvium and finally, something resonated with me one day. Vitamin D3 supports the processes in your body including, and most relevantly here, the cycles of your hair.
There are 3 phases of hair growth as explained in detail in the article "Pathophysiology of Telogen Effluvium," which I read on Medscape. Telogen is the resting phase of hair, when a hair that is done growing remains at rest in the follicle before it is pushed out by a new hair. In telogen effluvium, a majority of hair remains in this phase longer than the usual 3 months and are not properly followed by the growth phase. I feel that D3 helps your hair cycles transition between phases. In telogen effluvium, or at least in my particular case, I experienced shortened cycles. I would have anaphase, or a growth phase, and then a long period in the telogen phase. It was far before it was time to enter this phase, and I would stay there too long. This resulted in an inordinate amount of my hair being in the telogen phase at any given time. (Only about 10-20% should be in this phase at any given time according to sources like WebMD.) The D3 allowed me to get back to the normal phase more quickly, which truly helped me.
It was a godsend, I believe. I strongly encourage anyone who is perplexed with this problem to try a D3 supplement after consulting their doctor. It is not usually dangerous to take a D3 supplement, but one should check with a medical professional just to ensure the safety of this recommendation in each individual scenario. I do not pretend to be a doctor! I read in the article "Vitamin D and Hair Loss," at Livestrong.com, and the Dermatology Online's Journal article, "Does D Matter? The Role of Vitamin D in Hair Disorders and Hair Follicle Cycling," that Vitamin D3 could help in transitioning your hair's cycles from one phase to another.
6. Massage the Scalp
Another thing that seemed to help me was massaging my scalp gently. I would put pressure on my scalp and, without moving my fingers through my hair, but by keeping them firmly in place, I would manipulate the scalp. I think this helped to stimulate a change and it felt good!
7. Treat Your Hair With Kid Gloves
If your hair is falling out to the degree that mine was, you will not want to touch it too much. If I had brushed my hair, I think it would have all come out. I gently shampooed my hair and cut down to doing so every three days at the worst point. (See the Dr. Oz video below on how to have healthy hair.) This was actually healthy for my hair, and I am glad to have started this habit. I also did as little as possible to style my hair or pull it back. I did not go to the salon because I think their treatment could only have resulted in the most unimaginable loss of hair. These are the fears of someone suffering from this problem. I only colored my hair when absolutely necessary and I did so with semi-permanent dye to reduce the chemical effect on my scalp should my problem have been a result of a hair dye allergy.
8. Trim Your Hair Often
Trimming my hair often helped to make it appear thicker. Because of biotin, your hair will grow faster, so you may need to trim quite frequently.
9. Stop Using Harsh Products, Such as Keratin and Dyes
When I began my battle with this condition I had strong suspicions that keratin was the culprit, and perhaps, initiated my problem. Avoid harsh chemicals like keratin in your everyday hair regimen. They are stronger than you think and you could have a counter-indication to them. Never get a keratin treatment. You can read online about the problems with hair loss that so many have experienced following such treatments. In my case, I was using a daily keratin shampoo and conditioner. I believe it may have been just too harsh for me. I began checking all my hair products and surprisingly, keratin was a main ingredient in so many of them. The ironic part is that keratin is touted as a means of improving the health and beauty of your hair. If you are having trouble with hair fall, I strongly recommend cutting out this use of this ingredient in your hair care regimen.
Also, during the time you are experiencing increased hair loss, be very careful of the way you color or highlight your hair. If you can cut it out altogether, I would recommend this option. Telogen effluvium does happen to women after they have a baby. This is thought to be due to the trauma that their bodies experience during birth or to the drastic change in hormone levels that occur. It begins about a month after birth. If you are young, and have no grays, lay off the chemical processing until you return to your normal hair cycles of growth and fall. If however, you are like me and have grays, you may not want to forgo coloring. As an alternative I use Natural Instincts semi-permanent hair color. It is less harsh, and I color my hair myself to ensure the gentlest touch, less I lose more of what I do have!
10. Remain Positive and Have Faith
Telogen effluvium is said to resolve on its own over time. I have had a struggle with this problem for almost two years now, but it is finally getting better. I no longer experiencing so much hair loss and there are so many new, short hairs sprouting out of my head that there is no way I could ever doubt that I truly did experience severe hair loss those many months ago. If you truly have telogen effluvium, be confident that this issue does resolve. It takes time, but it does resolve. Especially if you follow the above strategies to amp up your health, things do get better. Remember that most people see improvement within 6 months, and for more severe cases like my own, perhaps it will be an ongoing issue that you can hopefully manage in the long term.
Be Careful of Options Like Rogaine
My personal opinion is that I do not think one should jump too quickly into using hair regrowth products on the market (such as Rogaine and the like). Such treatments can come with new sets of problems and symptoms that the person taking them must then deal with as well. Make sure you know exactly what you are getting into before you make any flash decisions about buying and using these products. They are definitely helpful for some types of hair loss, but perhaps, not the best solution for all individuals. Insofar as telogen effluvium is concerned, you may not need such interventions in the end so make this decision very carefully if you are leaning toward such an option. Again, be sure to get the advice of a medical professional.
Further Resources on Telogen Effluvium:
If you would like to read more about potential causes of telogen effluvium hair loss, you may find the following resources helpful:
- The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology's website: Telogen Effluvium Hair Loss Article
- Web MD: Hair Loss Health Center Page on Telogen Effluvium
- American Hairloss Association: The Effluvium Page
- Web MD: Women and Hair Loss: Possible Causes
Review of Important Information on Telogen Effluvium
After trying the “tricks" above, a better understanding of telogen effluvium may help you the most, as it will assist you in truly dealing with this issue and understanding that it could be a few years before you are completely through this rough patch. (No pun intended.) Here are the basic facts I have garnered about telogen effluvium. They are reinforced in my article, “Telogen Effluvium: What Finally Helped Me,” which I wrote as I was just stumbling out of the most difficult times of this condition. You may also want to read my article “Telegen Effluvium: Waiting for it to Pass,” if you would like further detail on my journey and what emotions you may be feeling, as well as sources for more information.
- Telogen effluvium is an upset in the normal cycling of your hair growth and fall out patterns.
- It can lower your self-esteem and try to steal your thunder, but you will come through.
- It usually resolves on its own after a period of time.
- Chronic telogen effluvium occurs when it goes beyond 6 month’s time but is less common than a normal six-month recovery.
- Keeping a healthy attitude is the most important thing as you deal with this difficult situation.
- Amping up your general health can only aid in restoring your hair, emotional wellness, and body, to a healthy state.
Good luck! I truly wish you well and hope to encourage you in your struggle with this very real problem. Better days ahead!
ABC News Interview With Dr. Oz: How Hair Reflects Your Health
How common is telogen effluvium?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Leslie on August 09, 2018:
Hi Amie! I just want to say that after reading your story, it sounded just like me. I started to see a little more than normal hair fall back in March. It wasn't much, so I didn't think anything of it. Then at the end of June, I got my hair cut and highlighted. Within the 2 weeks of that my hair suddenly thinned out a lot and the shedding increased dramatically. I started to see my scalp and was crying every single day. I have always had very thick, full hair. So, to have this happen to me was devastating. I've had more than normal stress in the past year, but nothing I could pinpoint as being the cause. I saw a dermatologist and she, without really looking at my head, said it was Telogen Effluvium and to use Rogaine, which I won't do. Since reading your article I've started to take Vitamin D and Biotin. I haven't noticed much of a difference and my hair still looks thin. I do have a few questions for you. One, how much vitamin D did you take? Did you also take the Biotin and Hair Energizer vitamin at the same time? I've always taken a multivitamin. Can I take all of these other vitamins on top of that? How long was it before you stopped seeing your scalp? Did the thickness of your hair ever come back completely? I'm so sorry for all of the questions, but I feel myself freaking out every day and I really don't know what to do. I do plan to see a second dermatologist, but that's all I have planned so far. Any guidance you have would be great. Thank you!
Leslie on August 02, 2018:
Hi Amie! You're story sounds exactly like mine. I've lost alot of my hair which has always been thick and wavy. Now it looks lifeless because it's thinned out so much. My derm said TE from stress. I started losing hair in march but not enough to pay attention. Then got my hair cut and highlighted at the end of June. Suddenly I started losing more hair at a faster rate, lots of thinning especially around the hairline. I can see my scalp! I've cried alot over the past couple of weeks. It's been a nightmare. All of my blood work came back fine too. Reading your story has given me a little hope. I do have a couple of questions. Were you taking the super hair energizer, biotin, vitamin D, and a multivitamin all at once? If so, how much of each? I'm really hoping to find a way to get my hair to stop falling out and to grow new, thick hair again.
Beaver 16 on April 16, 2018:
Started to shed hair dramatically 4 weeks after my brand of Levothyroxine was changed! It appears that this brand more than any other causes massive hair loss! Stopped taking Levo 4 weeks ago and hair loss is less but I have lost about 60% of my shoulder length hair and I now have serious roots as I am too afraid to dye it. This has been an emotional roller coaster and impacted massively on my general well being as I am obsessing about hair loss.
Bikram on February 02, 2018:
I am 20 year old and I experienced severe hairfall about six month ago..then I shaved my hair and that seemed effective but after 6 month again I am experiencing hair fall....and my symtoms are similar to telogen effiluivim... I want to know how long does the hair keep falling in telogen effilivium...plz answer me..
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on January 08, 2018:
My friend, I am so sorry all this has happened to you! My opinion is that it certainly could have been the flu that started this. Your hair is not critical to life, so if you're body is trying to heal itself it can save energy by not "worrying" about your hair, so absolutely, this could have caused it. I hope you are seeing better days. I know how hard it is to lose your hair. Please know things will get better. Hang in. We don't know how strong we are until we've gone through hard times. Hope you have found some good people to care for you in your life! There are caring friends out there to give you love!!!!!!
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on January 08, 2018:
I am so sorry it took me so long to respond to this post - I hadn't been on in awhile! I do hope things are going better for you. Sounds like you have had so many changes and been through so much stress. I hope being home with your parents has helped things to normalize. I do notice every now and then that I just go into a cycle of a little hair loss again, but I try to just stay calm and things work themselves out. Time is your friend. Good luck and know i am wishing you all the best!!
Bette MANN on September 12, 2017:
Thank you so much for this article. It has been 6 month s since my journey started and today for the first time I can say that the fall out has stopped and I can see regrowth. It is only a quarter of a n inch but it is there. I am 73 but feel like I am 33 and I am fighting this. I beat cancer. I will beat this. Thank you so much for this article. ..it has been immensely helpful.
Lynda 66 on September 01, 2017:
My hair is falling out for over six months . My thyroid is controlled, I may need hormones. I take D3 And a multiple vitamin. I am clueless what to do from here. I've lost 50% of my hair. What do I say to a doctor to check? My hair has stopped growing. How I can force it to go back to the growing process to untick my hair
Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org on August 30, 2017:
Hello everyone....unfortunately for me it's for more than 5 years still the condition is same though I have tried so many streams of treatment but things are not getting better,
It's just m spending my hard earned savings blindly with a hope of improvement....please help me.
Deb on August 17, 2017:
I am going through this terrible hair loss right now. My hair has always been something that people complimented me on. It is long and curly and usually pretty nice. My Dad died about 4 months ago and then I had a horrible illness with a super high fever which put me in bed for a week. My Dr. thinks it was those two things that made my hair fall out. I have probably lost half of my hair and can clearly see my scalp in the front. It is very dismaying. This happened to me one other time in my life when I gave birth to my daughter but it recovered and I'm hoping it will again soon.
Jasmine on July 31, 2017:
Thank you for your article. You made me feel so much better. Can I email you with questions?
tara sundara on July 27, 2017:
annie thanks for sharing your story. My hair loss started about two and a half yrs ago when I started to work out for real using the Tracy Anderson method. I've been vegetarian my whole life and I think already suffered from mineral, iron and b12 deficiencies although by body did not show it. I was in my late 20s and now am in my early 30s. I've always had a lot of hair so I did not notice the excessive sheddinga t first but adter about a year and my middle parting was noticibly larger and there was a small bald patch on my crown. I cut down on exercise and started taking supplement and doing all sorts of natural remedies. Some days it feels like my shedding is less other days not so much. I do see new hairs but not as many as I'd like. I feel
like I've tried everything - eating meat is not possible for me but I am trying to eat more eggs. My last hope is a supplement called msm i hope it will help. Any tips would be appreciated.
Diana on July 13, 2017:
Anonymous on June 03, 2017:
Thanks this article was helpful and being it was written about a month ago is refreshing
Carol1956 on May 29, 2017:
Hi....My problem started 5 weeks ago, Since then I have lost 1/2 my hair..It is a nightmare...Even though we may all be under stress, or whatever, usually you can paint a smile on your face and get out in the world...how can you do that when there are physical signs that all is not well....My hair has always been long and thick...but most importantly ..strong...you could throw anything at my hair and it would take it...In Feb I had double pneumonia and nearly died...I was on intravenous drugs for 8 days to save my life, then a 2 week course of very strong oral antibiotics...I coped with being sick, on my own, in a foreign country, and I thought I was coping ok...I thought I was strong...I lost all of my family during this time and this very nearly destroyed me...but I battled on...I was very depressed, but no one knew...and I kept everything to myself.... I thought I had gotton over it, and then my hair started to break off and fall out...with such alarming speed it has taken my breath away....My confidence is shattered...I cry , all the time, and that cannot be helping...The last 2 years have been really tough, but I have coped..I cope with anything...thats the problem...but this losing my hair has shook me rigid..My hair is now just under my ears....very thin....and every day it seems more is falling out....The hairdresser says its not falling out at the root because she sees no bald spots...My scalp occasionally itches....but only in this past 5 weeks....I dare not scratch...When I had pneumonia I had a very high fever, I was all alone, and it was by a pure fluke that I was found in my house, in bed...I had only hrs to live when I was found...my hair was matted as I had not got out of bed for over a week...After 4 days in intensive care I was moved to the ward...I had some strength, not much, but I thought if I covered my hair in conditioner, and combed through the mass of matted hair I could at least save it...I did that...my hair was fine....it took hours and hours, but I managed it....now 3 months later I have lost so much of my hair it is scary...Was it the Pneumonia, was it that I was alone for over a week at the house knowing that I could not get help, and that if no one came, I would die...was it the falling out with my siblings because they did not bother to see if I was ok, just left me there to die.....was it trying to un matt my hair when I was so ill...I just dont know...All I know is that the way I feel now, I wonder what on earth the point was getting saved...I feel so depressed, its beyond words...I dont want to go outside the door....I am losing my business because I just cant function without crying...and you know ...this isnt a vanity thing....it really isnt...Its just that I have gone through so much this year, and just when I thought that I was going to get better, and that I could regain strength and walk again without having to stop every other step...just when I thought this was all in the past, my hair falls out...I mean really !!!!..Is it just some cruel twist of fate, some sick joke, someone up there saying....right, youve lost your family, your home, your business, now your going to lose the one thing that you always liked about yourself, your hair....I know people are far worse off than me...I appreciate that...but the point is I am alone...Usually when something traumatic happens to you you have the love and support from your family...well I dont have that....Im not feeling sorry for myself...just stating a fact....it makes the whole situation so much harder to deal with....I have read all these comments...and there is a glimmer of hope....When tho I have read it can last for 6 months I know that my hair situation will be so bad by then I might as well not have any...The hairdresser obviously had never heard of TE...neither had I...I was looking on google and came across this site...Iv had blood tests done today....I get the results in a week....I ma hoping and praying that this dosnt get much worse, I am losing the will to live already....anymore and I will feel like giving up....
sarahcharlotte on April 16, 2017:
I'm so glad I found this article. I wish I found it ages ago.
I'm 24 years old and in January 2016 all my hair started falling out. Three months before this, I was presenting a research paper at a national conference which was extremely stressful. I am sure this was what caused my hairs to be pushed into telogen, and for them to fall out 3 months later. I had diffuse thinning all over my head and I was already dealing with severe social anxiety at this point, so when my hair began to fall, I got depression and I was in a very dark place. I had also moved cities for work and was all alone, and my boyfriend and I were doing distance, so it was a terrible year for me. Previously I had been a very proud, strong, confident girl. I was so scared to wash my hair, that I never went to the beach or exercised and I just put my hair into a bun everyday for work and used heaps of dry shampoo. I simply bought a baby soft hairbrush, and tried to just deal with it. I eventually got used to it. I think it was around June 2016 when my hair stopped falling out, and then probably August when I noticed hairs starting to sprout- I was so happy!
January 2017 I moved away from Sydney and back to my parents house in the country because life was too stressful for me in Sydney alone. In March 2017, my hair began to fall out again. It is now April 2017, and the thinning is starting and I am not sure what has caused this. I don't know if it was a change of environment, if it was my stress/cortisol axis turning off (anxious to not anxious), a thyroid issue or hormonal (I have been taking Microlut for 24 months and apparently this can cause hair loss). I had a blood test yesterday.
I have never been formally diagnosed by a derm, but due to my history of anxiety I am sure it is TE. I just don't know why it has come back!! I am also on a progesterone-only minipill (Microlut) which apparently causes hair loss.
Has anyone had any experience with hormonal TE? Maybe my oestrogen has plummeted (I know this can trigger TE). I just hope I don't have too much androgens on board- I have heard low oestrogen + high androgens can cause it. I am also getting acne which makes me think it's hormonal.
I am going to try Biotin asap!
Thanks to everyone who has posted their personal stories! Please provide ANY information you can :)
Please stay strong everyone and remember you are all beautiful! x
Tina on February 16, 2017:
Lissy 1973. I feel you and I are twins. My nightmare mirrors yours 3 years later. I hope your doing better and things have improved
Alexandra on December 06, 2016:
I think I may also be going through TE and I'm doing many of the things you suggested to combat it. However, I was wondering, how much vitamin D3 did you take? Also, I've heard of keratin treatments involving heat causing hair loss, but what kind of information did you find to suggest keratin shampoo/conditoner/etc could cause it? I've been using a leave-in spray that contains keratin so I'd be interested in learning more about that.
Thanks so much! I really appreciate your post.
Katherine on November 28, 2016:
Hello, i'd like to say thankyou for this article it has really reassured me. I have been experiencing excessive hair loss for a year now from the effects of anxiety and my hair is not half as thick as it used to be and i'm finding it difficult to deal with as i'm only 17. I get a few visible new hairs coming through often but they are falling out after only about a month or less of growing and they aren't all over my scalp. I am hopeful though that this will ease up soon and my new growth sticks around as it has been going on for so long. I'm not sure though as i can't just get rid of my anxiety. I was wondering if the longer my hair loss lasts will my follicles stop the ability to grow hairs anymore, meaning i will never have hair as thick again?
Also i have noticed the new hairs have been growing in with much decreased diameter to my usual thick strands. I was wondering if you knew anything about the effects of telogen effluvium on strand diameter. Will this be the permanent thickness of my hairs now or will they get increasingly thicker as my hair cycles get back to normal?
Also I am considering trying a Redensyl serum and Pantogar pills as they both are specifically for telogen effluvium and i was wondering if you know anything about these products and their effectiveness.
Also do you have any specific tips for my situation? Thanks!
TK on November 17, 2016:
Thank you for the article! It does give me some hope. I went to the dermatologist for hair loss that has been happening for about a year now. She is unsure if it female pattern or telogen effluvium. I am hoping for the latter. But she told me to start on Rogaine.. I am hesitant to do this at this point. Currently I have no bald patches just an overall thinning with it being most noticeable on the top and front and at the part. Is this how your hair loss was?
I think I know what caused it, I was on a DIM supplement and had some estrogen dominance symptoms. I stopped this a few months ago, but after being on it for almost a year. Do you think it is just a waiting game? I just don't want it to get any worse! I have also read that Rosemary essential oil works just as well as a Rogaine. Have you tried this?
Thank you for any help :)
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on November 07, 2016:
Hi Jessica! I am so sorry you are dealing with this. I know it is very scary and heartbreaking! I am sorry that stylist did that to you. Although I am not a doctor, I do feel that perhaps that was the event that began all this (and that it is TE), since it does seem to be when it started. The best thing you can do is get healthy, like you are doing, and try to relax. Sometimes, once the shedding starts, we do tend to notice it more and become obsessed with thinking about it! I think you should try to just move forward and live your life and I am sure it will soon return to a normal cycle. The balls on the end are good - because it means each of those hairs will grow back! Perhaps when they are not present, it could be that those pieces are breakage? Did you get tested for thyroid? My guess would be that you were traumatized at the salon and need to recover. Give it time and try to remain as confident as possible that this will soon be a memory. The best thing for you would be to keep up the vitamin D and try to remain as stress free as possible. I know that is hard, but in a great majority of cases, this all just passes! Good luck!
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on November 07, 2016:
Anna, I wish you luck and I know someday soon this will all be in your past and you will be encouraging other women in the same way. It is difficult to really see new growth right away. In the following weeks and months, I am sure it will be apparent. The best thing to do is try to relax as much as you can and enjoy life as normal as you can. So many people go through this at some time in their life. Try to get as healthy and lead as stress free a life as you can. You are not alone!!!!!
Jessica on October 19, 2016:
I have a few questions and am wondering what your take on them is. I'm a 22 year old female and have always had very long hair (to my lower back), I experienced a brief period of hair loss a few years ago that went away as fast as it came.
Fast forward to July of this year I booked an appointment with my usual hair stylist who did our usual (which i only do a max of twice a year) overall toning, trim and treatment. However, when she did it this time she teased my hair which she has never done before, her assistant proceeded to wash my hair and spend nearly 40 minutes raking through my hair while wet trying to remove the tease, needless to say by the time I got home that night I was very tender headed and my scalp was fire red which lasted along with a burning sensation for almost 2 weeks.
By the end of those 2 weeks I started to experience all over excessive hair shedding (from the root I could see a little white bulb on the end of it). I went to my doctor in August and had multiple tests done including thyroid, vitamin deficiencies and all over blood count. Everything came back normal with the exception of my vitamin D being SLIGHTLY low. She confirmed my scalp was inflamed and recommended a ketaconazole shampoo.
Moving into September I was still experiencing the same amount of daily hair loss and decided to consult a dermatologist. She also confirmed my scalp was still inflamed although the redness had subsided weeks ago, she then recommended I stop using the shampoo since I was seeing no difference and told me to make sure I'm getting my 60 grams of protein a day as well as iron. I've since made an active effort to upkeep my protein and purchased a 18mg iron supplement I plan to start taking. I also purchased a hair regrowth formula pill from amazon called Vie Naturelle that includes 5000mg of biotin daily. I've been taking the regrowth pills for a week now and there's no difference in my hair loss. Most days I keep it up because every time it's down it's constant shedding and I can't bare to see how much I'm loosing.
It's now October (over 4 months) and I'm still experiencing daily excessive hair loss, it's becoming devastating to me. If I could just get the shedding under control I would feel so much better. Every time i touch my hair I experience shedding and in the shower forget about it. My question to you is do you think this sounds like TE? Could the shedding really have been caused by the very rough stylist and is it possible to have experienced the shedding that soon after? How long did it take for your shedding to stop? Also I'm not noticing the white bulbs on the shed hair now, did you experience that as well?
I appreciate any response, thank you so much.
Anna on September 09, 2016:
Thank you for writing this. I have felt so alone during the past 6 weeks and now I know I am not. I suspect my TE started a little more than 6 weeks ago but I didn't take notice until the morning I was putting gel on my roots and found a handful of hair on my hands when I was finished. Horrifying! The worst was the morning I felt hair running down my back as I rinsed it in the shower. I have lost a tremendous amount of volume and the top is starting to look thin. The shedding has decreased to a closer to "normal" amounts but it still more than my normal.
I guess my point in all this (besides just sharing with someone who hasn't heard me talk about it a hundred times!) is how soon after the shedding did you start to see regrowth? I feel like I'm not seeing anything and it been weeks. Sure I have some 1"-2" hairs but no new sprouts or stubblely hairs. I look every day and nada.
I have started a daily multi vitamin, iron every other day, biotin daily and flax seed oil every day. The hair I have looks better than it did when this first started but still no new growth. I will definitely buy D3 tomorrow.
Again, thanks Amie and also to everyone who is sharing their tips and stories.
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on July 27, 2016:
Hello Julie! I am sorry it took me so long to respond; I just noticed your comment. First of all Julie, so many women experience this and I do understand how distressing it is. Please know that every strand of hair that falls out from TE, does grow back! You may just have to give it some time and figure out how to best style your hair to make you feel the best you can. I use loreal color vibrancy (I have colored hair) and that works great for me. Lately I have been using Living Proof Full hair products (shampoo, conditioner and then the FULL styling cream - it comes in a trial kit at ULTA) and those work really great!!!!! Please don't lose hope. Once you accept what happened you can move on and move toward things getting better. It will happen!!!!!!!! Try to relax and minimize stress. Good luck and know I am sending love and understanding!
Julie on July 09, 2016:
Thank you so much for writing this amazing article. Your story has really instilled some hope in me. I'm a brand new sufferer of what I'm suspecting is TE... I've been shedding mass amounts of hair in the shower, as well as when I style, or even just touch it. I wake up to strands on my pillow and I'm finding tumbleweeds in my bathroom and bedroom. Although I haven't been suffering from this for long, I'm already noticing my hair lacking the density it used to have (my hair has always been thick). I don't have health insurance, so I've yet to see a doctor to formally diagnose the issue, but everything I've researched so far has led me to believe that I'm experiencing TE. Whether it's acute or chronic is still unknown, as I've only been enduring this for about a month. I've decided to go in and get some blood work done if the situation doesn't improve within the next couple weeks, but until then I'm treating this problem of mine as if it is TE.
I've always used the Nexxus hair care products, but upon reading your warning about Keratin and other harsh ingredients, I inspected the label of my shampoo bottle and sure enough, Keratin was present. I'd like to do whatever I can to tame my excessive shedding, so I want to find a safe shampoo brand to use. I would love and appreciate your opinion, what shampoo do you recommend? Also, I've been washing my hair every other day... Do you think I should try to extend the days between washes? It's become harder to extend washes, because my hair will take on a greasy appearance, and I no longer feel safe throwing my hair into a bun for long periods of time due to the shedding. But if you think waiting longer between washes is beneficial for my hair, I will give it a try.
Thank you so much for your time!
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on May 16, 2015:
Thanks, Denise. I am sure all your info will help so many others. People should continue helping each other with this mentally challenging issue! My best and so happy for you.
denisem5469 on May 14, 2015:
Thank you, amiebutchko. By the way, my son has always taken a multivitamin, calcium and Vitamin D. We added iron every other day and also Biotin every day. I'm not sure if these helped but they sure didn't hurt. He started a topical steroid cream but there's no possible way it would have worked by now. (We will continue to use it until his hair has come in completely.)
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on May 13, 2015:
DeniseM1969, I am celebrating with you right now! Congrats on the GREAT development! I am So.Happy.For.You.Guys. Phew! All my best and happiness! Good times ahead and great info. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us!
deniseM1969 on May 12, 2015:
Hello, everyone! I wrote in about 8 weeks ago about my son who is dealing with suspected TE. He never had a biopsy but his derm told him the 'timing' was right for it to be TE. He had surgery in November '14 and we noticed some hair loss starting in Feb '15. He lost about 40% of his hair all over his scalp but had bald spots on the top of his head and in the back above the neck. He plays sports and his sports goggles fell right across the area above his neck and the top became bald after wearing a lacrosse helmet. (I suspect the hair was fragile and the rubbing of the band and the helmet made it fall out.) I took him back to his dermatologist at the beginning of April and he said it was now alopecia areata because of the bald areas. He also said he's never seen TE in a child (my son is only 8). He was the one who diagnosed it as TE 2 months earlier so I wasn't happy with this appointment. I took him to a second derm who also said he suspected alopecia and there was no guarantee it would ever grow back. Anyway, fast forward a couple of weeks and I noticed new hair growing all over!! He has a full 1/4" all around the hairline where it started receding. He also has thin hair growing on the top of his head. It's not enough to cover the areas but it's a good sign! So, I believe it was TE afterall. Today is 6 months after surgery. I'm hoping it continues to grow in thicker by the time school starts next Fall. Thanks for the advice I was given on this page. Best of luck to everyone!
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on May 11, 2015:
Claire! Thank you so much, from me for validating what I really thought was a problem (the keratin!) and for others, in helping add more value to this article by affirming that keratin may really be bad for some people! So glad you are seeing better days!!!!! All my warmest and gratitude and best.
Claire on May 11, 2015:
Thank you for this article, which helped me when I felt at my lowest dealing with TE.
I had TE for just over a year. Huge amounts coming out when washing and brushing, then shedding all over the house! It was horrible. I used to enjoy a long soak, but it was no fun sitting in hairy water.
I lost about 25 percent of my hair, but have that same 25 percent as baby hair/ fuzz (up to 4 inches now) so I never looked thin on the scalp, my hair also got very dry and wooly looking.
I went to see my doctor, (had tests, all fine) and she said it was stress related and that i should reduce it (easier said than done) but I've had the same stress for 13 years and it's never caused hair loss before!
I read this article and it was light a light went on! KERATIN! I'd been using it to make my hair healthy as I was planning to go a lighter shade. Keratin shampoo and conditioner and schwarzkopf keratin spray. I immediately stopped using them and saw a difference in a couple of weeks.
All seemed okay until I went to the salon and I forgot to mention I was avoiding keratin. It was in a leave in conditioner they used and sure enough the next time I washed my hair handfuls came out.
I have been keratin free since then and my hair shedding has returned to normal. Also I have lost the dry, woolly look now too. I do have a halo of baby hair all over which looks a bit weird, particularly over my ears when I tie my hair up!
I just wanted to say, THANK YOU FOR THIS INFORMATION!!! It saved my hair and my sanity! I also want to reassure others that TE does stop and if you are using Keratin, STOP!
Thank you again, good luck to you all,
I followed th
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on May 01, 2015:
You know, I did notice when this happened to me that there were shortened cycles of hair loss, hair loss slow and growth and then hair loss again for awhile after it happened. It continued to space out though. Be assured, with TE, you will not go bald! Things will get better. It takes what seems like a long while, I know, but in two years you will be looking back on this as if it were in the past. You still may go through little bouts seasonally, but believe it or not, it really gives you so much inner strength in the end. You care less about things and you find love of yourself that you didn't know you had before. Because, we are more than hair! But, it is a very mentally hard lesson. I still struggle at times with fear that it could come back, but that is when you seek some calm and know that it is calm that will help things get better.... this, and just some time. All my warmest and support.
Jaime h on May 01, 2015:
I wrote back in November. Still losing my hair along with eyebrows, lashes and oddly enough nose hairs. Went to a few dermatologists and they all agreed telogen effluvium. I think I set off a new round because of being so anxious over losing my hair. My hair is definitely thinner but no bald spots. My shedding has definitely calmed down a bit but still is shedding more than normal and its 8 months this week. I am losing new growth now too.
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on April 21, 2015:
Thank you so much for your comment, Zephy! I have to say, that is why I wrote this article. Because it happened to me just like it sounds like it happened to you and there really was no good info out there to comfort me. It is a very mentally hard thing to go through but because it really isn't a "health risk" in the full medical sense (it resolves on its own and it doesn't really cause further sickness), doctors I think, shrug it off. But I know it can truly be a huge barrier to wellness. Hang in. Time goes by fast. You will be a better, stronger, deeper person for this experience. Good luck and my best!
Zephy on April 17, 2015:
Add Your Comment..Dear amiebutchko, thank you so so much!! This is the best article out there and you gave me hope again that my hair will regrow. When the doctor told me it was TE I thought that was the worse diagnosis possible because there was no proper treatment. This article has helped a lot. I'm only 18 and have always had really thick hair, when I started losing it I felt like I was losing my one defining feature. No one took me seriously and I felt so alone. this article has really helped, I hope my hair starts regrowing soon though. Thanks again!
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on April 13, 2015:
Lissy1973, I am so sorry that the doctor treated you that way. I don't understand how doctors can be so cold either or why this condition doesn't get them more motivated toward action. It effects so many people! I think this is malpractice, really. I want you to be able to find another doctor to speak with. I am just concerned that it could reflect other medical conditions, even though, the stress of all this can certainly contribute to the occurrence itself. It is just torture not to know, I understand. While it was happening to me, I was just thinking, if just someone could help me, I could save the hair I had! But you know, it all just slowly, slowly got better, or I began not to care as much because of mental exhaustion and that might have helped. It's hard to know what is going on, I understand that feeling. Anyway, please don't give up. Go to a big teaching hospital if you can and seek some good advice/opinions. Putting your mind at ease does go far toward resolve, I believe. You can't live like this. You deserve some peace. I wish I could give you a hug. Remember, you are so much more than your head of hair! My support, Amie
Lissy1973 on April 09, 2015:
Well I went back to the dermatologist this morning and was basically told a biopsy wouldn't be necessary. This was a new dermatologist and basically told me the results wouldn't matter. That if it was telogen effluvium my hair would grow back and if it wasn't there wasn't a treatment they could offer. So he said just come back in 6 months. Said no reason for me to be upset or cry. I just felt terrible and couldn't believe he was so cold. I guess I'm just going to stay away from doctors and just trust God that whatever is meant to be will be. I freak out every time I look in the mirror so I'm trying to limit that. He said I had lost a good 30 percent of my hair, but it shouldn't be a big deal. I wasted my time and money and feel worse now than before I went. And I have lost most of my hair in my right temporal area and now some in my front hairline, in addition to general thinning on the entire top of my head.
Lissy1973 on April 08, 2015:
I've lost all the hair in my right temporal area and two different dermatologist have said its TE. I still have my doubts and I am going to have a biopsy in the morning. I'm still losing almost 200 hairs a day and this has been since December. I've read TE can also bring on other problems which are more permanent. I would just like to know. That way I can wait it out or cut my hair and buy a wig. I'm tired of being stressed out and crying every day.
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on April 08, 2015:
I am so sorry you are dealing with this super frustrating and very heartbreaking issue. I am a mom. I can't imagine how difficult this is for you, but I can say that you seem like such a wonderful advocate and caregiver to your boy. He is so lucky to have such a wonderful parent guiding him through this. You will figure it out and this will be in the past. I think you should seek help from another doctor. I am not sure if this would be TE or alopecia. I am sorry you are being so confused by all this - I do know how that feels as I felt that way when I was desperately trying to find answers for my own situation. Can you go to a doctor at a big, reputable teaching hospital? They will have more experience with larger groups of individuals and most certainly can provide you with better answers based on greater experience. Would your son consider getting a crew cut? I know that is an obvious answer to the short term of this, but I think it looks cute on boys and might make him feel better about the whole thing in the short term. I am hoping this will work itself out for him and if it is TE, it certainly could. Don't lose faith!
DeniseM1969 on April 02, 2015:
I wrote about my son a few weeks back. He was diagnosed with telogen effluvium in Feb which was a few months after getting his teeth pulled. Teeth were pulled under anesthesia back in Nov. I noticed hair shedding around Jan/Feb. We went back to the dermatologist yesterday and I'm very frustrated now. NOW he says it's alopecia because he has a balding area on the top of his head. He says TE doesn't cause a bald area. It's not completely bare but pretty close. There are a few hairs still in that area. Although the doctor claims it's alopecia he also says he's never seen a case of alopecia that looks like it. He also says he's never seen TE in someone at the age of 8. The only way to know the difference is to do a biopsy. Unfortunately, he explained the process to my son and he was so anxious and refused to do it. The dr said he didn't want to cause more anxiety so the biopsy wasn't necessary. He wrote a prescription for a steroid creme to use. Has anyone had balding areas due to TE? This started after my son started playing lacrosse and has to wear a helmet for it. The dr says it's impossible for the helmet to rub the hair out. I feel like I"m at square one again. Almost 5 months after getting his teeth out and 3 months after shedding started and I see NO new growth. I feel so sad for my son and feel so defeated. Thanks for listening!
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on March 29, 2015:
Lissy1973, do the biopsy. If nothing else, it will give you peace of mind. When you confirm it is TE, you will perhaps not worry as much. I do understand. This happened to me and even now, I go through periods of more hair fall, but I am just so much more accepting of it now. You will not go bald with TE. And although 4 months seems like a long time, you have to realize it may take up to 2 years for things to get to a point where you can say your hair is somewhat back to a normal head of hair because the hair has to grow back. You have to realize that maybe you will just have to shift your hair styles and the way you think about your hair for a period of time in your life. Embrace this as a journey to make you a stronger, deeper person. Here's the good news: every hair that falls out with TE grows back! It just takes awhile to see it because they are going to be short hairs for awhile! I have like bangs now which are all new growth hair! It is kind of comical. I can only say this because I am at this point I know. BUT YOU WILL BE TOO. People don't love you because of your hair. And time goes by very fast. So many women go through this to some degree in their lives. This is just an experience you have to face and deal with. Again, so sorry it is happening and you have every right to have all the feelings you have. Just remember, things will improve and you're going to be ok again. All my best and support.
Lissy1973 on March 28, 2015:
I'm 4 months into this now. Still shedding. My hair looks horrible and I see people looking at it. I've always worn the same style, but find that impossible now. I can't sleep and have no appetite. It was just the right hairline and temporal area but now it's moving to the center and left. I feel like I'm losing all of my hair. I wonder if I should have a biopsy to be sure it is THE. But then two different dermatologist told me it was and nothing is wrong with my bloodwork. I feel like my hairs texture has changed too. I'm just so embarrassed and feel like this nightmare is not going to end. I feel sorry for my husband and kids too. I don't want to go anywhere or do anything. I'm wondering if I'm even going to be able to keep on working. I'm seriously considering s leave of absence. No one knows how bad hair loss is until they've actually been through it.
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on March 28, 2015:
Oh Debbie, I am so very sorry for all you are going through and all the loss and hardship you have been dealing with for the past three years. My heart really goes out to you and you must know what a strong woman you are to have held up through all of this and to have accomplished what you needed to do to take care of the business of life. It is certainly no wonder your body is reacting to events in your life and yes, we woman do have to do so much to our hair to remain looking and feeling (what we feel to be) "acceptable" - at least in our own minds! It is important to keep in mind that you probably look so much better than you think you do as far as how much hair you do have. Men in your office may not even notice about your hair! But I know all to much that it is how we perceive ourselves in this that is so damaging and which perpetuates stress! Try to take care of your mental wellness as much as you can, being kind to yourself and not setting such high standards. Give yourself a break, if you will. I know TE can be so painful and the very scary thing about your post is that I got my hair colored with Redken color just before this happened to me! Isn't that interesting? Anyway, I ended up just coloring my own hair with natural instincts after this happened for awhile. I felt it was gentler and I was gentle when I did it. Good luck. Try the olive oil to help your scalp and give it time. Time is the most important thing and you will have your hair again. You have my best and my support.
Debbie on March 26, 2015:
I cannot thank you enough for your postings. I just happened upon them and you are so right that there is not that much information out there for those of us suffering from this. I know that I have TE as I have had terrible loss and trauma, losing my husband 3 years ago, taking over his business, travelling 3 hours round trip a day to work and not eating properly at all, basically not eating protein or meat for far too long I am realizing now. My life has been a whirl wind of taking care of business and not myself for 3 years and now I am paying for it with TE. This past Fall I decided to change hair dressers and switch to Redken color (I had always used Redken Color Protect shampoo) and I believe that this change has added to my condition. On my last hair color 2/10/15 the stylist allowed an assistant to mix my color and I should have said that I wasn't happy with that and that I noticed a sensation when she put it on but she had other clients in the salon - well this girl burned my scalp with far too high a developer and I have been in agony with scalp pain and such major shedding and breakage since then. This disease affects you in so many ways and I know stress and trauma and inproper diet were my causes and I am trying to fix those but the stress and anxiety of what is happening to your hair is so overwhelming at times. I have been living at the supplement store lately trying to figure out what to take to fix the issues. I do take extra Vitamin D3 daily as my D levels had been low. I was also just told that MSM is also good for hair so I just started taking that. I am also adding Biosil to water 2-3 times a day as well as a 5000mg Biotin supplement for hair, skin and nails. My hormones and thryoid were checked and all was fine. A month ago I decided that it was time for me to go back to work as I had finally taken care of all personal matters since my husbands passing and it was at this point that I realized that my hair was coming out so rapidly, breaking off, coming off just to the touch, major amounts in the shower etc. I always had a full head of thick hair and I cannot believe what my hair is like now. I am so worried about going back to work where I worked for 25+ years in a mainly male dominated office as I know my hair is such a mess and I am afraid to have it colored. I am trying to hold off coloring for another month and plan to find a stylist who uses organic color or I seriously consider purchasing a wig. I also just purchased a LaserCap in desperation, used it twice and then I must have used a shampoo (have been buying so many products to find the right one lately) and it set off my scalp such that one night I was in such agony I kept changing pillows so I stopped using the Laser Cap in fear that it caused the reaction but I know that wasn't it. Not only am I dealing with the TE hair loss it has been accelerated by the damage at the hair salon and I am so upset. I don't dare trying Nioxin on my scalp. So sorry for this long post, it helps to know that from what you are saying there is light at the end of the tunnel and I guess we just have to find what works best for us all in this predicamnet. I am so worried that my hair will ever be the same and/or I will lose it all. Thank you again for sharing your story with us!
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on March 18, 2015:
Good luck ahu89. Please try to get healthy and trust in your body. I hope you will be through this ordeal soon.
Amy from Canada on March 17, 2015:
Thanks Amie for such a great article! I was completely terrified when I noticed how much shred I was going through and order Rogaine immediately. Now I am not even confident how well Rogaine will be. Would it really speed up my growth. Or am I gambling with a nature process. It is still tempting, I'll see how I feel when it arrives. After reading this article, I have start taking D3 and brought a scalp massager. I'll definitely try olive oil before showers! Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am being hopeful and see some grow by my sister's graduation in end of May. Fingers crossed!
@lissy I am in the exact boat as you! I am female and just turned 26. I have been going through terrible hair shedding. I don't have a healthy diet and went through a period of being bulimic in December. I am definitely seeing all consequence of it right now and yes I am really fucked. I have noticeable bald spots on the top and areas of my parts are thinning out. My bangs have suffered greatly. The only thing I can think of is to move on and be health with life. Take some time to focus on myself. My friends have told me I am idiot but yeah they are totally cool with my hats. I have started wearing hats everywhere, work, gym, such a pain. Thankfully I live on my own. I am here if you want to chat.
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on March 16, 2015:
Lissy, you honesty sound just like I did when this happened to me. I did lose it at my hair line in the front. You should see me now! It is two years later and I have all these short hairs! Yours will grow back. Don't worry. Time is your best friend. That is great news your friends say they can't tell. I am sure they really can't. You just really become very sensitive and paranoid and kind of obsessed with the whole hair thing. I know. I felt the same way. Just be healthy, try to trust in your body and know you will return to normal soon. It may seem like a long time, but in two years, this will be really be behind you. With TE, you do not go completely bald. I think the hair fall areas can be different for different people. Please, keep your chin up and keep the faith. It is not permanent. Every hair that falls out will grow back. My warmest regards and support.
Lissy1973 on March 16, 2015:
How long will my hair continue to fall out? I can't see any re growth at all. Is there a time period for the regrowth to happen? It's been almost 4 months. It's really hard to cover up. Do you think I should have a biopsy to make sure? All my blood work is fine. It's mainly effecting my right side, I have like no hair in my temporal area and now I can tell a difference in my front hair line. If I look close I can see my scalp, but others can't due to me trying to cover it up. I get sick on my stomach every single time I wash my hair. I hate looking in the mirror because I know how my hair should look. Is it normal just to effect the front area? Or maybe that's what I notice most. My friends say they can tell some, but I don't know if they just don't want to hurt my feelings. I really am considering taking a leave of absence. That's how bad this is bothering me. I'm so glad you are here to talk to.
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on March 16, 2015:
Denise, I am so sorry you and your son are going through this. I am hoping the other children are being kind to him - they usually are at that age! I would be a little apprehensive about Rogaine because I think it might have some side effects. Perhaps consult your doctor first on that. It might take awhile for all this to resolve, but within a year things will be so much better. I know that seems like a long time right now. I just rubbed the olive oil on the hair I had in the morning - you can even rub it onto the scalp and massage it a bit. It really makes the hair that is there so much healthier too. I left in on only about 20 minutes and then washed my hair. I feel like that was around the time things started getting better for me so that is why I always recommend it, however, TE just resolves on its own in time, so it could have just been when my body was ready to kick back into getting better. Good luck with this. I haven't tried the spray, but perhaps it would be a good thing to try! Would he ever consider just getting a crew cut as the weather gets warmer? All my best wishes for a quick resolve to your issue. You have support from afar!
DeniseM1969 on March 16, 2015:
@amiebutchko, my 8 year old son is dealing with TE right now. How did you use the olive oil? Put it on once a day or twice a day? Did you wash it out after a short time or let it stay on your hair? How soon after did you notice a difference? I just called my son's dermatologist to see if he is too young to use Rogaine, however, I googled it and realize it takes months to work anyway. I'm looking for something to kick in soon. He had surgery 4 months ago and has bare spots on the back of his head where the band from his sports goggles rub on his head and now is losing a lot on the crown from his lacrosse helmet.
Anyone try the sprays that are supposed to put a 'fiber' in your hair? Do they work well and do the wash off if you sweat? I'm desperate to try anything with him!
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on March 16, 2015:
I do feel like it sounds like TE. There is definitely a very good reason why you were so stressed, and that could definitely cause TE. I understand how you feel and how awful it makes you feel. You have to try to relax. It will come back. It will take some time, yes. Perhaps find a way that you can style your hair or wear a hat or headband or scarf that you can live with, or consider getting a wig. You need to just get yourself through this part. Better days are ahead. With TE, the hair does grow back. Try the olive oil on your scalp. I really thought that was a turning point for me. Good luck and know you have support out here. I am so sorry you have to go through this. I do know how very hard it is.
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on March 16, 2015:
Melissa, I am so sorry you are going through this. I know it is awful. I went through a very similar thing. But I assure you, with Telogen Effluvium, there could be so many reasons it happened - you may never know exactly why. It could have been a fever or a virus! It will pass. It may take a long time, but it will pass and your hair will grow thicker. It may take up to 2 two years to feel back to normal, but with every hair that falls out, another will grow back. This happens to so many people. Try olive oil and to focus on what is important in life. I know it is hard, but know you have support out here!
Lissy1973 on March 15, 2015:
I noticed my hair was thinning in December, mainly on my right side, temporal area. In January it was worse so I went to a dermatologist. I did hair counts for three weeks. Because I had a couple of numbers above 200 he told me I had TE. Basically told me to lose the stress or lose my hair. My 15 year old daughter was pregnant and has since had the baby. In February I went to another dermatologist for a second opinion and she also agreed TE. My hair is so thin on top, especially on the right side. It looks like I don't even have a hair line anymore. I am embarrassed and don't even like going places anymore. It has completely changed my life. I wake up at night and feel my hair to see if it's still there. I'm seriously considering taking a leave of absence from work. My top, especially bangs, are the worst effected. Does this truly sound like TE? My stress is now due to my hair. No one understands why I am so depressed and it's so frustrating.
Melissa on March 15, 2015:
I noticed my hair was thinning in December. I looked different in pictures. Then in January it became so bad I went to a dermatologist. He had me do hair counts over a three week period. Because some were over 200 he diagnosed me with telogen effluvium. Told me to either lose the stress or lose my hair. I did get another opinion from a dermatologist in February. She also agreed with the diagnosis. I am losing hair mainly in my right temporal area and on top. I have very little hair left there. They didn't biopsy me so I wonder if they are correct. This is destroying my life. I cry daily and wake up at night to feel to see if I have hair left.
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on March 06, 2015:
Denise! Good luck with this. I know it must be hard for him. But if it is TE, which it sure sounds like it is, it will grow back. Try olive oil, too! That made a big difference for me and makes your hair really soft. Thank you so much for your comments and as you said, to the other commenters as well. All my best.
DeniseM1969 on March 05, 2015:
Thank you for your article. My 8 year old son is experiencing TE right now. He was under general anesthesia in November for oral surgery and we noticed his hair thinning around January. He saw a dermatologist in February who didn't run tests but said the timing was right for TE since he had his teeth out three months earlier. I still notice shedding and there is no new hair growth where he lost hair on his head. (He has a few obvious areas where it's severe plus just thin all over,) However, I notice new hair growth on the back of his neck where it was shaved when getting his hair trimmed. I'm not sure if that's a sign it's going to grow on his head soon or if it's a sign that it's something other than TE. Anyway, I'll see if I can find a biotin that is safe for children and hope it helps. By the way, we just started using essential oils and Nioxin treatments on him. I'm not sure if they'll help but they're worth a try!
Thank you to all who contributed to the comments. It helps to know others have gone through this.
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on January 19, 2015:
Thank you so much for reading and providing your feedback. I know it helped me when I was going through this to know there were others out there experiencing the same thing. I definitely am back to normal now with my own hair volume in general, but still go through little cycles where there is fall out. However, all in all, I have to say I believe that this condition does just pass in time. My other articles were on Yahoo Contributor Network, which unfortunately doesn't exist anymore. If I republish these elsewhere in the future, I will provide the links as soon as I do! Good luck and my warm regards.
blondegirl on January 18, 2015:
Hi! This article is so helpful! I've viewed it so many times now...I think it's the best out there! I'm on my second experience with TE. My hair came back afterwards with the addition of lots of protein (advice from my hairstylist). This time, it's taking so much more time for my hair to grow back. I'm looking for ways to style it (besides going too short) until the volume returns. I tried the links to your articles, but couldn't find them. If you post them again, could you send the link? Thanks so much for your insight!
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on November 17, 2014:
Thank you so much for your comment and I am so sorry you are going through this difficult thing. I do understand as it happened to me. It sounds like you are a strong person and the fact that you are in acceptance is wonderful and will help pull you through. It will pass. It took me what seemed like a long time to get to the other side, but I finally feel I am there now. Time will help! My links are not live anymore because the Yahoo Contributor Network shut down recently. I am going to try to get them up elsewhere and will send you the links as soon as I do! Good luck!
Jaime h on November 17, 2014:
I've been dealing with te for 11 weeks now due to severe emotional stress. And more chronic stress followed this event. I just recently noticed my eyelashes have been falling out. Made another appt with derm tomorrow about that. I have found your website very helpful. I'm in the acceptance stage of this. First was denial. Followed by anger, then grief and now acceptance. I wanted to read your articles about going through te and waiting it out but both links don't see to work. Are they still active? Can you send me the links to them?
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on October 14, 2014:
Mary, I am so sorry you are experiencing this. I know it is very difficult; please know there are so many people out there experiencing the same thing, or something similar. It could be the keratin shampoo - I really do believe some people just have a sensitivity to the harsh chemicals in those products. However, go see your doctor to rule out any other factors just to be safe. And good luck with the d3. I hope it helps. Try using olive oil on your scalp, too, at night! It is very nourishing!
mary on October 13, 2014:
Hi everyone thank you for this information I have this excessive shedding its been 22 days and I have 2 round bald patches in my scalp
I think the reason why I'm suffering this is the keratin shampoo I've last month.. Before the shedding occur I experienced head ache. I want to try this vit d3 hope it helps to reduce the shedding
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on October 06, 2014:
Hi Lusaka! I think it is a very good sign you have shorter hairs, showing regrowth for sure, and yes, the same thing did happen to me! I think that the reason they seem to fall out, too, kind of cyclically, is because your cycles of hair growth and fall are shortened. They are kind of hyperactive. They are switching too fast, but at least, they are switching, so this is good. I think eventually, they are going to get longer and longer (between growth and fall). At least it shows your body is adjusting itself. I promise, if you wait until a year, and even the year and a half mark, things will seem improved. It does take so long for those short hairs to grow back though, so you just have to give it time and try to be calm. I am so glad your levels are more normal. You are on a good road! Sorry you are going through this though. I know how hard it is mentally!!!!! Try using olive oil in your hair to condition. I put it in in the morning for an hour before I shower. Then, just wash out like normal. I swear it makes your hair grow faster! Or at least, seems it! You can add a little coffee in it if you want to see some cool darker highlights, too! My best in healing!
Lusaka on October 04, 2014:
Hi thank you for this article. I've been suffering with this problem for about 18months possibly longer. There's a few questions I have for you. Firstly did you experience lots of regriwth whilst still shedding? My hair has so much regriwth but seems to just keep repeating itself. I have so many 6 inch hairs (or there about) falling out each day it must be the regrowth.
I have been treated for vitamin D deficiency and for the last 6 months its been of the correct level and I'm currently taking iron supplements as my ferritin was only 7 last year. A blood test in August showed my ferritin to be up to 125 now. I've had all my levels of thyroid and hormonal bloods taken and they are good. I don't have loss that is noticeable to others yet but it is to me and it's affecting my everyday life. Any advice on the regrowth/ shorter hairs falling out appreciated and also when did you realise things were getting better? Less shedding or just generally looked better? Thanks in advance.
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on September 14, 2014:
Snow, thank you so much for adding to this discussion!!! That is great information. I'll have to check that out! I think it is so important to pool our collective knowledge on this subject. There is just not enough help out there for this problem, and so many people seem to experience it. Any new possibilities help so much.
Snow on September 14, 2014:
Another thing I've been reading about that is promising is typical melatonin! Check it out! Studies are pretty significant! Just ordered some.
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on September 01, 2014:
Dear Jamie, first let me say I am so very, very sorry you are going through this. You should not feel worthless or guilty! Anyone going through this would understand that it is a horribly difficult thing, especially if it happened to someone as young as you. I so want this to be in your past. I am worried you might have an underlying health issue, but it is true the low vitamin D could do it, or hormones, or stress or the changing climates. It is so hard when you don't really know the cause. My friend tried rogaine and said it worked for her. But before you try something like that, try this. It sounds strange, but put olive oil in your hair. Maybe in the morning, put a little olive oil gently through your hair and on scalp, and wait about 20 minutes to an hour (while you drink your coffee!). Then shampoo. I wouldn't go with any expensive shampoo, because they might have harsh chemicals, especially the redken. Just use a shampoo you like. Then condition. Try to get your hair very healthy this way. Wash every other day, using the olive oil when you wash. It makes your hair so soft and healthy! Take biotin and maybe up the vitamin D even a bit more to 5000 iu. Wait this out. It is going to turn around, but it might take after the year mark. You are getting close to that. And try not to be stressed out. If you want to add some volume, try and use natural instincts semipermanent hair dye. It might give some thickness to your strands, but as with everything do it gently. Again, I am so very sorry this is happening to you. I understand how you must feel, but remember inner beauty is the most important thing and I can tell how much of that you have! I am sure it doesn't look as terrible as you think, and know your hair will be normal again some day. Just do go to a good regular doctor for a regular physical and see what else you can find about any deficiencies. Make sure they are caring and care about you. Good luck and I wish I could help you more! All my best and check back in!!!!
Jamie F on August 31, 2014:
Dear amiebutchko, thank you for your very informative article. I currently have a similar issue like this. I'm 18, from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and currently doing my tertiary studies in Melbourne, Australia. My hair loss began last December. It wasn't very obvious back then because I had very thick, long and dark hair which was the only thing I am proud of myself. I had thick hair like my father and my sister had fine hair like my mother. My mother thought that I was thinking too much and she got me the Joico Moisturising shampoo to reassure me. However, my hair continued to fall out and I told my dad about this issue. He brought me to a hair specialist located back home called Holistic Hair Care Centre. The kids shampoo they recommended for me was around rm200+ (aud 70), condition for aud 20+ and the most expensive item, protein ampoule that costed a whopping aud 3500! They were pretty rough with my hair whenever I went there for treatment sessions. I would see a bunch of my hair in their palms whenever they blow dried my hair which made me fear of letting anyone else handle my hair, so roughly. And I have regretted going there since then mostly because I felt that I have "wasted" my father's money on products that didn't help me at all because my hair would continue to block the drain in my bathroom and also full of hair strands on my room's floor. My hair loss had become much more worse since arriving to Melbourne, probably due to the completely different climate. I was recommended by the student welfare at my college to do a blood test, to see if I had any vitamin deficiencies that are causing my hair loss. I did one in May, was told that I was low on vitamin D and had to get a OsteVit D capsules that contained 1000 IU of Vitamin D3 twice daily due to my low levels. I was in the normal range for other vitamins. Two months later, my hair was overall thinner throughout the scalp and I would collect handfuls of my hair strands in my room's carpet when I clean it weekly. And there were more in the shower stall, toilet tiles, and kitchen area which really made my heart break seeing the amount of hair not on my scalp anymore. I prayed to god everyday, asking to cure my hairloss but it never happened. I did another blood test two weeks ago, thinking that my hairloss can be caused by hormone imbalance since I'm still a teenager and my period was never on time since my hairloss started. My results came back and I had very low amount of prolactin. It was 99L when the normal range should be 110-560 mIU/L. My DHEAS was a little high too, it was 9.2 out of 1.0-11.7umol/L. The doctor had advised me to either visit a hair specialist or start taking oral contraceptive pills to regular my period cycle. I've read online reviews saying that going to a hair specialist didn't work for a lot of people and it was very costly too, like the one I've been to back home but I know that taking oral contraceptive pills has its own side effects too. I've never tried rogaine/minoxidil as it doesn't guarantee to work for everyone. A few days ago, I've read online articles saying overall diffused hairloss can be caused by DHT. I went to hair products shop and asked for the recommended products for hair loss which they responded with Nioxin and they said it may cause your hair to dry out and doesn't guarantee to help too which wasn't quite helpful either. I'm currently using Thursday Plantation's Tea Tree Shampoo as it soothes my scalp and I wash my hair once in every three days. I used to wash my hair everyday but because of the amount I have of now, I daren't do anything too much to it. I've also tried using Shiseido's Vita Voltage Shampoo which did give my already little hair volume but it made me grew pimples along the lines of my scalp! So, I've switched back to the Tea Tree Shampoo to be on the safe side. I am currently debating whether to splurge my allowance on Redken's Intra Force System 1 (I've never dyed my hair or chemically treat it before) and on Scalp To Hair Energise Shampoo (which is also for natural hair) but both are also pretty costly. I've spent a lot of my parents money on countless "reducing" hair loss shampoos but it never worked for me and I feel so, so guilty about this everyday. I know that studying overseas is already very costly but the money spent to resolve my hair issue are wasted too. Because of my hairloss (tomorrow will be my 10th month of going though this) I feel so worthless everyday because I've lost the only thing I am proud of myself, my hair. I just really want a good start for adulthood but it'll never be fair or equal for everyone but this issue did really impact me. I would feel really self-conscious whenever the wind blows or when tying up my hair would show visible scalps on the sides of my head. What would your advise for my next step to cure this be? Should I get the Redken/Scalp To Hair shampoo or go to see a specialist? I'm very sorry for this very long comment and I hope you don't mind. Thank you for taking your time reading this. Your advise will really mean a lot to me. :)
Sharon on June 05, 2014:
Thank you so much for the suggestions! :)
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on June 02, 2014:
It is so difficult to know how to best wear your hair. Certainly, there are hair styles that will make your hair look fuller. Please see my article, How to Make Thinning Hair Look Fuller at http://voices.yahoo.com/womens-health-beauty-thinn... Also, lately, I have noticed that pulling a small section right at the top front hairline straight back and putting it in a small clip works well because it covers the thinning at the top and it allows you to kind of fluff out the sides with your fingers. I think it looks fuller this way because the ends of the hair pulled back as well give the illusion of more hair. If you have brown hair, you can put a little brown mascara on the roots where your hair is pulled back and this also makes the hair look thicker, as well as acts as a kind of gel to make your style hold. All of these things are very gentle on your hair, so as to reduce more hair fall. I think the pony tail sometimes end up pulling out more hairs. At least it did for me! Good luck and know I am thinking of you and hoping things get better for you very soon!
Sharon on June 01, 2014:
What hair style do you suggest? My hair is so thin, I see my scalp and I have no idea how to style it so I have been gently putting it into a pony tail with a hat on. Help!!
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on May 15, 2014:
It is just so hard to know for sure why telogen effluvium comes and goes like it does! It has been a year and half for me since I started having the problem and things have gotten so much better, but there are definitely times when I experience little hair shedding phases. I recommend you just keep doing what you're doing, take your vitamin D3 and biotin, and keep a positive attitude. It definitely could be seasonal hair shed as well. Ironically, I am experience the same thing right now, and although it is difficult, you just keep your chin up and know it will pass.
bwynnafred on May 15, 2014:
So I had telogen effluvium after I had severe mono and thyroiditis for 9 months after the fact. The rapid hair loss stopped around the time my body began to heal from the thyroiditis. It's now been 9 months since the hair shedding has stopped and I definitely have a ton of new growth and it's catching up to my longer hairs. However, I have a question. In the last two weeks I've noticed a little more hair fall (not nearly as much as with the TE), but of course I'm on high alert. Could this just be a less severe shedding since technically the mono is still in my system until June? Is it seasonal hair shedding? I just don't want to lose the progress my hair has made. I oil my hair, take the vitamins and have not used dyes on my hair ever and rarely use heat tools. If anyone could answer my questions that would be great!
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on March 25, 2014:
Dear LMJ, that is so much to go through and I am glad you are getting better on all fronts. I am sure your hair will come back to normal in time. I know it is a hard thing to deal with, and you sound like you already have been through so much. It takes a long time, but mine started looking a little fuller after the year point. It does just take awhile and may go through cycles of getting better and then seeming like it might be falling out again, but time usually is the best thing. Definitely ask your doctor if you can try the D3 and Biotin as daily supplements. Really, I feel both of those things really help. The biotin helps your hair grow faster and the D3, I think, helps kick things into the right cycle of growth, instead of telogen. Good luck and blessings.
LMJ - Scotland on March 24, 2014:
I really do appreciate your article, its been quite informative and reassuring. I was a very healthy 45 year old with a reasonably good/healthy lifestyle, then in December 2013 I fell critically ill. Just as I was starting to recover and feel well again, my hair began to fall out in late February 2014. I had the itchy scalp followed by an aching head before the ongoing and obvious loss of hair with the white bulb. I saw a male Dr who said I was suffering Telogen Effluvium which was common place a couple of months after a serious illness, and said not to worry as time was a healer! I have been prescribed a high dose of Iron to take long term but I will go back to the Dr and request a blood test before taking the vitamins you suggested. It's still very difficult coming to terms with what is now "very noticeable hair loss" on the upside, I'm still here to tell the tale. Thank you again for your very valid article.
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on February 17, 2014:
I just wanted to add something of note to readers here. My friend told me that she really thought the D3 was helping her, but that her doctor suggested she take it with Caltrate because it helps with absorption for some people. For those of you out there struggling with this problem, I urge you to ask your doctor about this. Maybe it will be helpful... but as always, be sure to consult your physician before you add any supplements to your diet because everyone is different!
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on February 11, 2014:
Thanks, Rabia, for stopping by and reading.
rabia kamran on February 11, 2014:
very informative hub...thanx
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on February 10, 2014:
Gemini Fox, thanks so much for reading and your interest and comments! I did get my iron checked and for me, it wasn't an iron deficiency, but definitely could be a concern for others dealing with this problem!
Gemini Fox on February 09, 2014:
Wow - this is all so horribly familiar! I've been going through this for years now. Started writing hubs about it (I've had them on the back burner for at least a year now) but reading your hub has inspired me to get back to them and get them published. Glad to hear your hair is doing better. Have you ever thought about iron deficiency?
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on February 07, 2014:
Thank you so much, Mickji! Good luck and thank you so much for reading and adding to this hub!
Mickji from between Italy and Switzerland, travelling around the world thanks to a little special object on February 07, 2014:
I thank you for your Hub and your answer very much. As you said I went to the family doctor, the hospital doctor, the dermatologist and a doctor expert in muscles. Because one of them said that the problem can comes from veins too. In addiction to lupus and telogen there can be a problem with the blood circulation( like the carpal tunnel in the arm and the other one at the leg). This can be the reason why massaging your head has improved your hair grow ! I will ask the doctor to check Vitamine A and D3 because they never checked them, they checked thyroid, iron level and spread of the cells only. I will also ask about Keratin and if there is something that can be done, I will tell you so that you can add it to your article. Don't be shy of this Hub because it is great and it will help many people, I yet feel better about my head and I'm sure many other people will ^^ Best regards and many thanks !
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on February 06, 2014:
Thanks, OanaWriter. I really appreciate the kind words and your reading my hub.
Georgiana from London on February 06, 2014:
This hub is amazing, very informational. I had a family member dealing with unexpected hair loss (much more than the usual periods when your hair just decides to break and fall) and this article is great to understand why that might have happened and also how to prevent it.
Thanks for the vitamin A tip, I've heard before about the dangerous of overdosing on vitamins so I will keep this in mind.
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on February 06, 2014:
Jenn-Anne, I am so sorry you have had to deal with this issue - believe me, I can relate. I really do hope some of this information can be useful for you. Thank you so much for reading!
Jenn-Anne on February 06, 2014:
Fabulous hub - congrats on HOTD! I have had (and continue to periodically deal with) periods of increased hair loss and you are right - it can be incredibly stressful and frustrating. I will try some of the tips you suggested - thank you so much for sharing your experience and your research!
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on February 06, 2014:
Thank you so much ologsinquito. It is a little bit of an embarrassing topic, but I hope some of my research can help someone else going through this even a little.
ologsinquito from USA on February 06, 2014:
This is a great article and I'm happy to hear you've gotten through this period.
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on February 06, 2014:
Dear Mickji, I am so very sorry you are struggling with these health issues. I can only imagine how difficult it is to have to worry about your hair on top of these problems. I am not a doctor, so you should definitely consult your doctor or a dermatologist to confirm the specifics of what might be best for you, but the reason why I recommend no keratin, is because it is a very strong agent and may actually work against you in terms of rebuilding your hair - even though so many claim it does the opposite - if you have a sensitivity to it. There is no easy way to know if you do have a sensitivity to it, so I suggest avoiding it. Please read the article about Keratin I link to above in the text. As well, if you research keratin and hair loss online, you will find many people who feel that the use of keratin, and especially keratin treatments, may have caused them hair loss. This is why I think you should try to do without that particular ingredient if you are struggling with this problem. It doesn't mean that the use of keratin definitely hurt your efforts in the past, but go from today and I suggest taking the safest route of not using it.
Mickji from between Italy and Switzerland, travelling around the world thanks to a little special object on February 06, 2014:
I had lupus connected to an autoimmune disease which seems to be caused by my boyfriend who caused me an internal infection and never wanted to go to the hospital to see what he "gave" me... He simply said that I must demonstrate to love him and soon after he broke the relationship. So that is the point when the pain started. It was also phisical pain since lupus also cause pain everywhere in your body ... and this seems to have invited fibromyalgia to the party too ... I want to ask you a question. Why shouldn't we use Products Containing Keratin ?
In the pharmacy they sell Bioscalin which is an integrator and contain keratin in order to increase the amount of hair and their thickness.... this means that for 3 - 4 years, in the periods of major hair fall ( october and may ) I used something that was against me ... and that is the reason why now they are fewer than before !
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on January 29, 2014:
One more thing I thought of, darkhair, is that if it doesn't have the bulb, maybe it means it was broken off instead of fell out from the root. Brittle hair can be a sign of a thyroid problem if I remember correctly from my doctor. If you haven't already, perhaps you could go to the doctor to rule that out.
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on January 29, 2014:
I can only share my experiences in an effort to help, but here goes. I did as well have the bulb during the beginning, and you're right - I didn't really realize it, but I don't anymore when I feel like I am having a shed. Maybe this is because the phases are shortened and there isn't enough time between phases for the bulb to develop? That would make sense. I feel like my times of " shed" (when my hair seems to fall out more) are now closer together, but don't last very long at all - maybe just a few days. I think this is because of the D3 for me. I think the D3 helps me transition between phases. I am really just guessing here, though. I think you should definitely ask your doctor, but I know they aren't able to say much for sure. And YES. My scalp hurt so much! Hurt. If the wind was blowing, my hair would hurt at the root. Sometimes my head would just ache in areas (mostly the top), and I don't know why. It would just go away. It was/is still sometimes periodic but I notice it most when it is really cold. I did read this happens to a lot of people. I am sorry I can't say more. I never took any medicine. I hope that helps. I hope you are through this very soon.
darkhair on January 29, 2014:
During the initial phase of the shed, I had the white bulb thingy on my hair but now I don't. Do I have to worry about anything else because of this? Also did you have a burning sensation on your scalp?? I am using ketaconazole 2% my skin doctor advised. It helped to reduce the itch very much.
Amie Butchko (author) from Warwick, NY on January 22, 2014:
Teaches12345, it really is such an unnerving condition. There are so many things that can help, depending on cause. I would really recommend for her to try D3, if her doctor thinks that is ok (it should be). I really felt that made the difference for me. Please let me know if she finds something that helps. I would love if this hub could be a resource for others.
Dianna Mendez on January 21, 2014:
This is a very interesting article on hair loss. I have a friend who occasionally suffers from this. I didn't realize lack of protein would cause this and taking vitamin supplements would help. Will have to pass this information on to others.