The biggest problem about suffering from hair loss, regardless of your age and gender, is the fact that you are never quite sure about what it is that is causing your hair to fall out. This is because there are numerous causes of hair loss, although some are much more common than others. One of the most common hair loss conditions are referred to as effluviums. The word “effluvium” literally means an outflow. Effluviums are known to affect different stages of the hair growth cycle.
Understanding the Concept of “Telogen”
Among all the types of effluviums that are currently known, the one that you should be concerned about the most is telogen effluvium. However, before you can grasp the basic idea of how telogen effluvium affects your scalp and causes your hair to fall out, you need to first acquaint yourself with the word “telogen”. As you know, there are countless hair follicles embedded in your scalp. These follicles are responsible for hair growth. You can call them the sources of all your hair strands. That being said, hair follicles are not known to produce hair incessantly. There is no continuous growth of hair in the scalp. The hair on your head grows in certain phases. As a matter of fact, the entire hair growth cycle can be as long as two to three years.
Once the growth of the hair is naturally impeded, the hair remains in a resting stage for about a couple of months. In the meantime, new hair fibers are grown and the hair follicles prepare for the production of fresh new scalp hair. It is worth noting that 80% to 90% of hair follicles are growing hair. This is the ideal percentage of growing hair that you should have on your head. This means that the remaining 10% to 20% of the hair on your head is in a resting state. This resting state is referred to as the telogen. During the telogen phase, no new hair fibers are produced by the hair follicles.
Telogen Effluvium is Very Common
There is a good reason why you should be concerned about telogen effluvium. According to dermatologists who have specialized in the field of hair loss, telogen effluvium is the second most common hair loss condition in the world. Despite that, it is a shame that telogen effluvium is a subject that is not very well understood as of yet. It is a poorly defined hair loss condition and you will be disgruntled to find out that very little research has been conducted to fully assess telogen effluvium and its effects on people who are suffering from hair loss.
As of now, research has enabled us to know that telogen effluvium occurs when there is a change in the number of hair follicles that are producing new fibers of hair. If there is a significant decrease in the number of hair follicles growing new hair, then the number of dormant, inactive and telogen stage hair follicles will increase. As mentioned before, hair strands that are in a resting phase do not remain on the scalp for a time period that is longer than two to three months. An overwhelming about of telogen stage hair follicles will cause a significant amount of hair strands falling out of your scalp at the end of the two or three month period of existence. In other words, your scalp will be losing more hair than it will be growing. This will eventually cause your hair to thin out and will lead to the emergence of bald patches all over your head.
Anagen Effluvium Develops Rapidly
Now that you have a clear idea of what telogen effluvium is, it is time to move on to another form of effluvium that you need to be wary about. Anagen effluvium is a kind of hair loss condition which is actually quite similar to telogen effluvium. The difference between the two is that anagen effluvium is known to develop much quicker than telogen effluvium. In addition to that, anagen effluvium can cause complete hair loss in a person unlike telogen effluvium which mostly results in partial balding.
Anagen effluvium usually develops in individuals who are on cystostatic drugs for cancer or those who have ingested toxic chemicals such as rat poison. The manner in which anagen effluvium appears is quite terrifying indeed. The onset of this hair loss condition is freakishly rapid. People who are on anti-cancer drugs can pull out clumps of hair from their scalp within the first two weeks due to the effects of anagen effluvium.
Can You Recover from Anagen Effluvium?
The rapid action of the drugs prevents the hair follicles from entering the telogen stage. They simply fall out of the scalp as soon as the natural growth is stopped. If you are suffering from anagen effluvium, then you can take comfort in the fact that recovery from this hair loss condition is nearly as rapid as its development. Once the factor that is causing anagen effluvium is removed, the hair follicles are ready to grow back in full flow again.