Jun 27

How Should I Style My Hair If I Have Telogen Effluvium?

By: Ava Alderman:  One of the biggest dilemmas that many of us have when struggling with telogen effluvium is how to style and cut our hair.  It is very tempting to just slap your hair in a pony tail all of the time, but then you worry about the extra tugging and pulling causing more hair loss.  Many of us notice that when we don’t keep our shedding hair trimmed, it starts to look stringy pretty quickly.  The all one length, long cut that looked so great when we were not shedding hair can look just awful when you have telogen effluvium.  That’s because the changes in hair texture can mean that your hair doesn’t lay down correctly and the loss in volume can mean that long hair looks limp.

Many of us are tempted to cut our hair off and rock a very short style.  This DOES work for some folks, but you have to be careful if your hair is fine instead of coarse.  In some cases, a layered, short cut will show scalp if the hair does not have enough width to cover it.  You have to evaluate if your hair is coarse enough to cover all of your scalp when cut.  Generally speaking, a shorter layered style will work better for folks with coarse hair or kinky / curly / wavy hair than for folks with fine / straight hair.

For those with fine hair, a bob or blunt cut can work very well.  The bluntness of the ends can make it appear that you have more hair.  Another option is putting some wave or curl in your hair to add volume.  (Tell your stylist that you’re having hair loss if you are getting a perm so that she can be careful not to get as close to your roots and she can try to be as gentle as possible.)

Cheryl Burke’s style in old episodes of “Dancing With The Stars” (the side-swept bang blending into a blunt cut on one side) could help to camouflage a lack of volume, but only if your hair texture lays straight naturally.  You don’t want to choose a style that goes against your texture so that you are required to do a lot of blow drying, curling, or straightening.  You just don’t want to manipulate your hair by styling any more than you have to.

I always regretted it when I cut my hair too short to wear a pony tail.  I never wore my hair up every day when I was shedding because I didn’t want any traction problems.  But there were days when I just did not want to see shedding hair all over my clothes and it was a relief to be able to get my hair up so I just didn’t have to deal with it.  I also found that allowing my hair to dry in an upside down ponytail meant that I had volume when I took it down so that I would not have to manipulate it in order to get volume.

In short, the best style for telogen effluvium works with your hair’s texture and how your hair naturally lays.  You want a style that makes the hair look well kept without needing to manipulate it too much.  And you want a style that can camouflage the loss.  In my case, this was a bob that just brushed my shoulders and worked with my fine, wavy hair.  I could still put it in a ponytail when I wanted to.  And I didn’t need to style it that much in order for it to look okay.

Your best style may be different, but I’ve found it best to keep your hair trimmed when it’s shedding to avoid the stringy look.  If it would be helpful to read some tips for dealing with telogen effluvium,  feel free to check out my blog at http://stop-hair-loss-in-women.com/

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Jun 24

Why Am I Shedding Short Hairs With Telogen Effluvium (TE)?

By: Ava Alderman?  I often hear from people who can’t help but examine the hairs that they are shedding when they believe that they have telogen effluvium (which is commonly referred to as TE.)  Not only do many people count the hairs, but many look very closely at the length and also at the ends to see if they have any bulbs or markings.  They often have questions about what they are saying. I heard from someone who said: “I’ve been noticing that lately, most of the hairs that I am shedding are very short.  Much have blunt ends.  Why could this be happening?  Does this mean the hair that I am regrowing can’t be maintained?”  I will try to answer these questions in the following article.

Shedding Short Hairs Can Mean That You’re Still Cycling Through Different Hair Cycles Of Growth And Regrowth: Many people assume that once their TE is ending or is over, they will just pick up with normal hair cycles and are able to resume their previously healthy hair schedule.  Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.  Some people go through a few cycles until their hair growth cycles resume to “normal.”  What this means is that your hair is still shedding while you are also regrowing.  Your body or scalp doesn’t distinguish between long or shot hair.  It just continues to shed. And if you’ve gone through TE, you will often have a good deal of short hair growing in.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that your regrowth will never take hold.  Sometimes, it just takes a few more cycles. Or, the trigger that started the shedding in the first place needs to be eliminated.  Ask yourself where you are in the shedding.  Has it been only a few weeks?  A few months?  Shedding short hairs is more common in chronic telogen effluvium (shedding that lasts for six months or longer) because it takes a few months before you start to see regrowth and a few more for it to obtain some length.  So by the time you see short hairs falling out, more than a few months from the beginning of this process has likely passed. If it’s been more than several months, then it might be time to see if something else is at play.

The Possibility Of Continuing Triggers Or Androgenetic Alopecia: Sometimes, the shedding just continues to go on and you’ve seen several cycles of short hairs continuing to fall out.  At that point, if you’re still confident that you’re looking at telogen effluvium, you may want to look the possibility of continuing or multiple triggers.  Sometimes, what caused the original shedding is over but something else has triggered a new one.  Or, other times there is a continuing trigger like a medical issue or a medication that doesn’t agree with you.

The last thing to consider is that you might be looking at androgen driven loss.  It is possible for the loss to start off as telogen effluvium and then turn into something else like androgentic alopecia (which is often referred to AGA.)  It’s not unheard of for androgenetic alopecia to be thought to be telogen effluvium initially.  And, shedding short hairs with AGA is common because people with this condition have a hard time supporting healthy regrowth.  It can help to look at the quality of the shed hairs.  Are they miniaturized? (This means do they look thin and whisky, like peach fuzz.)

The good news is that either of these cases can be addressed by supporting healthy regrowth, minimizing inflammation, and addressing any androgens.  But to answer the question posed, it can be normal to shed short hairs with telogen effluvium.  But if the hairs are miniaturized or if this process goes on for too long, you might want to see if there is something else at play that can be addressed.

I panicked when I saw a bunch of short hairs coming out.  I assumed that this meant that I had androgenic alopecia. Looking back now, I still believe that I had chronic telogen effluvium. I suspect this because over time, the loss of short hairs improved dramatically. Once I addressed my triggers, I started seeing normal length hair growing in again. But, it was a long, hard, frustrating journey, especially in the beginning. If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at http://stop-hair-loss-in-women.com/

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Jun 13

How Much Time Does It Take To Cure Telogen Effluvium

By: Ava Alderman:  I sometimes hear from people who ask me what is the time frame to “cure” telogen effluvium or dramatic hair shedding.  Understandably, people want this “cure” to happen as soon as is possible.  Shedding what seems to be bucket loads of hair is not at all fun.  And you can start to become worried or paranoid that the shedding is going to dramatically change your appearance if it doesn’t stop.

Someone might say something like: “I have a wedding coming up in about nine weeks.  Can I cure my telogen effluvium before that?  I don’t want my hair to be falling all over my dress and I don’t want it to be thin in the wedding pictures.  So how would I go about curing it?”

Most experts will tell you that really, there isn’t a “cure” for telogen effluvium except for time.  Because technically, the shedding is happening because something has happened to the body (an illness, medications or diet, etc.) that causes some of the hair follicles to reset themselves.  So hair that was growing before suddenly begins to shed instead.  Once all of the hair that makes this switch sheds out and begins to regrow, then your hair should just resume with its normal cycles.  Yes, it may be a little more thin and you may have to be patient as it fills in.  But theoretically, there is no lasting damage to the follicles.  They have simply reset.

Where this gets tricky is that the follicles can be reset gradually.  Every hair that is going to be affected by the telogen effluvium does not shed out at one time.  As you probably already know, it happens over the course of weeks or even months. Experts will tell you that the process can take as long as three months (unless you have chronic telogen effluvium.)

There are also a few more issues that can complicate things.  There is often an inciting trigger that kicks off the telogen effluvium.  Many triggers are one-time events – like giving birth or having surgery.  They resolve by themselves.  But other triggers are ongoing – like hormonal changes, chronic illness, or a trigger that you just can’t be identified.  If the trigger doesn’t disappear, the shedding can sometimes continue.

Also, sometimes the shedding kicks off inflammation, that itself becomes a trigger.  And the stress that the TE causes can raise cortisol, which is a hormonal change, (and also a potential new trigger.)  Fortunately, some people do not experience this type of secondary trigger.  For them, the “cure” for TE is simply time.  They have to wait for all of the affected hair to reset.  For others, there is a need to lessen stress and to tame inflammation. If you are not sure which category you fall into, you can try to cover all of the bases by eating well, keeping stress levels down, combatting scalp inflammation, and asking yourself if you have eliminated the trigger or it is possibly ongoing.   Also, if the hair loss continues on, you want to ask yourself if its possibly another type of hair loss.  But if you are very early into this, it very well could still be telogen effluvium.

I hope that helps.  If you’d like to read about some things that helped me to get through a couple of different bouts of TE, you can check out my blog at http://stop-hair-loss-in-women.com/

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May 30

Is My Scalp Tingling A Sign Of Regrowing Or Of More Hair Falling Out?

By: Ava Alderman:  I get a lot of correspondence from people with hair loss who are experiencing discomfort with their scalp.  Specifically, their scalp might be tight and painful.  It might feel tingly or have a “pins and needles” sort of sensation.  It may even be red and irritated.  Many people assume that this is part of the hair loss process.  But then when the sensation continues on, they start to question this assumption.  They may read that hair begins regrowing as soon as it falls out, so they may start to speculate that perhaps it is the regrowth process that is causing the discomfort and the tingling feeling.

Someone might ask: “my scalp has been bothering me for months now.  It started shortly after my hair started falling out from telogen effluvium.  I’ve never had dandruff, so I have never been someone who has to scratch my scalp or pick at it.  But ever since my hair started falling out, my scalp has itched, burned, and generally just made me aware of its presence.  If it is not slightly painful, it is sort of tingly.  I figured the hairs that were falling out might have been causing the discomfort. But then I talked to a friend of mine and she said she noticed her scalp tingling like that when she started hair growth vitamins.  So she says that what I am feeling is probably an indication of my hair actually growing and not falling out.  Who is right?”

I actually think that you are both right, at least in my experience. I’ve had telogen effluvium more than once. And every time, I have had scalp symptoms during both hair loss and hair regrowth.  Here is why.  You normally don’t feel it when your hair falls out or regrows because typically, only ten percent (at most) of your hair sheds out at any one time.  But when you have telogen effluvium, that percentage is higher.  A much higher amount of follicles are affected and become active.  This can create some inflammation, which can cause those burning / stinging / itching / tingling symptoms that we are all aware of.  However, those same follicles that were active during the fall also must be active during regrowth.  The follicle lost a hair in the beginning stage but then it must grow a hair in the regrowth stage.  Since there are so many follicles doing this at once, inflammation continues to be a possibility and of course we know that you can feel inflammation on the scalp.

I hope that this helps and answers the question.  Many notice that as the shedding begins to slow, the scalp symptoms get better.  If this isn’t the case or if you just need some relief, dandruff shampoo, scalpacin, and tea tree oil can all provide some temporary relief.  Once the cycle is over and you only have a small amount of follicles being affected by the growth / rest cycle, you should once again no longer be aware of the cycles that are happening with your scalp and you should no longer feel it.

I hope that helps.  If you’d like to read about some things that helped me cope with TE, you can check out my blog at http://stop-hair-loss-in-women.com/

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May 19

The Telogen Effluvium Recovery Process: Step By Step:

By: Ava Alderman:  I sometimes hear from people who think (and very much hope) that they are starting to see some improvement in their telogen effluvium or shedding.  There typically comes a point in this process where you get very tired of seeing the hair falling out and dealing with the lack of volume, so you begin to watch your hair and scalp with an eagle eye.  You start to be on the look out for any signs that you might be in recovery.  The problem can come when you don’t know what is a sign of recovery and what is not.  This article is meant to outline the steps that you might see on your road to recovery.

Step One: The Trigger Is Removed:  This type of shedding is caused by stress to your body.  Sometimes, that is an illness.  Other times, it is a change in hormones.  Occasionally, it can be an inflammatory response or an allergic reaction.  So long as the body is no longer under stress, has recovered, or no longer has a reoccurring trigger,  the affected follicles should eventually go from the shedding phase to the growing phase and recovery begins.  Chronic telogen effluvium occurs when the trigger or stressor is ongoing or another trigger (like inflammation) pops up so that the shedding continues.

Step Two:  Regrowth Begins:  Honestly, as soon as a hair is kicked out of its follicle and sheds out, another hair is in line to take its place.  You won’t be able to see that baby hair replacement for a little while, but rest assured that the process starts long before you realize it.  Since hair only grows 1/2 inch per month and can come in lighter colored or very thin, it can take a while before you get a good look at your regrowth, but it is typically there long before you can actually see it.

Any Inflammation Or Miniaturization Present Shows Up:  Ideally, once you start actually being able to see regrowth without too much trouble (which should happen in a couple of months or so,) the shedding will have started to taper off some.  If the shedding is still going full force with no sign of letting up, it’s probably not a bad idea to examine your scalp for signs of inflammation.  Sometimes, if you have a red, pink, itchy, tingly or painful scalp, you might have inflammation exacerbating the shedding.   The inflammation can be treated, so it makes sense to be on the look out for it.

Another thing you want to look for is miniaturization.  Regrowth hair can look kind of thin and pale when it is first growing.  But once it gains a little length, it should start to look normal.  If you have obvious miniaturization, it makes sense to evaluate for androgen – driven hair loss or AGA.  Now, prolonged and chronic telogen effluvium can cause some mild inflammation (at least in my experience,) but it’s important to be conscious of this because the earlier that miniaturization and the androgens are treated, the better the results are going to be.

Not everyone has inflammation or miniaturization.  Many people do not.   But it’s smart to watch for both because the earlier they are addressed, the better the result.

The Volume Begins To Fill In As Follicles Are In The Growing Phase Again And Hair Gains Length:  As the majority of your hair is back in the growing phase for a while, the strands that are regrowing should start to gain some length.  When many strands gain this length at once, that is when you start to get a gain in volume.  It is when your hair should start looking more full.  And since most of your follicles are getting nourished again, the hair should regain it’s health and sheen. Telogen effluvium hair can look dull, fly away, and dry.  But once you are in recovery for a while, your hair should regain it’s health and look shiny and manageable again.

This process doesn’t always come as fast as we would like.  But as long as the trigger is removed and inflammation / miniaturization are kept at bay, you should eventually get your hair back.  By definition, telogen effluvium is a pause – not a permanent loss.  The hair that is lost grows back. And since the follicles should not be permanently affected, you should theoretically eventually end up with the hair you started with.

Of course, if you have too many cycles of telegen effluvium (which turns into CTE) or you struggle with your trigger, then this process can take longer and be more drastic than any of us would like.

I did have some chronic telogen effluvium.  But that was before I knew how important combating the inflammation truly was.  Once I understood this and embraced preventatives, things got much better.  There’s more about my experience on my blog at http://stop-hair-loss-in-women.com/

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May 16

Can Holding Your Head Upside Down Help With Telogen Effluvium?

By: Ava Alderman:  I’ve heard from a couple of people who asked me if regularly holding their head upside down would help to slow their telogen effluvium.  To paraphrase their concern, they might say: “my grandmother told me that if you hold you head upside down for 20 minutes per day, it will stop hair loss.  I want to try this, but my grandmother also told me to brush my hair one hundred strokes per day with a boar hair brush.  That was a disaster.  Is the upside down theory even remotely true?”

The Low Down On Inversion Therapy For Hair Loss:  There is a form of therapy for hair loss called inversion therapy that some feel has helped their hair loss.  To my knowledge, there have never been true clinical studies that have tested this method against placebo and compared the results.  But, there was a book written about this topic and there are some testimonials saying that the practice did slow hair loss and encourage regrowth.

The idea behind this is that by inverting your head, you are bringing blood flow to your scalp.  It is also said that inversion helps the lymphatic system, which in turn helps with inflammation (which can also cause hair loss.) Increasing blood flow to the scalp is not new.  This is what topicals like rogaine seek to accomplish (as well as products like the laser comb.)  I can’t see any harm in inverting your head for short periods of time, but know that the book in which this is discussed recommends using an inversion table and  starting very slowly.

Understanding Changing Hair Cycles: Since telogen effluvium happens because something has made your hair cycles switch from growing to resting, I highly doubt that increasing blood flow is going to change the hair cycles.  This is just my opinion, but when I had chronic telogen effluvium I used the laser comb, rogaine, and scalp massage.  And although I think none of these things hurt in terms of hair regrowth, they did not stop my telogen effluvium.  I had to stop the trigger, combat inflammation, and then wait for the cycle to reset itself.  It’s always a great idea to do whatever you can to support healthy regrowth.  But getting the hair back to growing mode means removing the original trigger (or waiting for it to pass.)  I just do not see how inversion would accomplish this, unless your hair loss is due to severe stress and the inversion relaxes you enough to severely decrease the stress.  The bottom line is most things are worth a try as long as they aren’t damaging.  I am not a doctor, but I don’t think there’s any harm in trying this.  However, I would think that it would be more beneficial for regrowth than with stopping the loss.  You can read more about my experiences with hair loss and some things that helped at http://stop-hair-loss-in-women.com/

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May 09

Every Time I Put My Shedding Hair Up, Short Hairs Fall Out

By: Ava Alderman:  It can be a cruel irony.  When you are shedding hair, you put your hair up in order to spare yourself the pain of having to deal with it, but then it can seem as if more hair comes out as a result.  You might also notice a particular type of hair coming out as the result of your hair being put up.

Someone might say: “I have been shedding hair for about eleven weeks.  I feel like it is really aggressive shedding.  I’ve had seasonal types of sheds before.  But this goes beyond that. It started after I went off of birth control pills, so I think that it is telogen effluvium.  To keep the hair from getting all over my clothes and just annoying me, I put it up in a bun or a ponytail and that does help.  This keeps me from having to pick the long hairs off of my clothes.  But unfortunately, I notice all these small, short hairs all over my clothes when I wear my hair up.  Is it the pulling that is bringing the short hairs out?  This is really troubling because those short hairs are probably regrowth hairs.  I like the relief of putting my hair up.  But I don’t want to sacrifice those little hairs. They are the foundation of my hair in the future.”

I’m not sure that putting your hair up is pulling out the hairs.  I think that it is more likely that since they aren’t being caught in the ponytail (since they are not yet long enough,) they are able to fall onto your clothing.  I also think that it’s probable that they are caught up in the same shedding cycle as the rest of your hair.  If shedding goes on for long enough – even the regrowth can get caught in the shedding cycle.  Putting your hair up really doesn’t have anything to do with this.  And once the telogen effluvium and shedding stops, the regrowth should stop shedding and can hopefully grow unimpeded.

I don’t see any reason to stop putting up your hair if it is giving you some relief.  Hair would have to be long to be pulled out anyway and once hair is in the shedding cycle, it’s going to fall out eventually regardless of whether you’ve put it up or not.  It’s just that the ponytail isn’t catching the short hairs to keep them from falling on your clothing.  It feels like you’re sacrificing them, but you really aren’t.  And once they are pushed out, a new hair is theoretically starting to regrow again anyway.  Hopefully, there are no additional underlying triggers or inflammation and the shedding will stop soon.  Once this happens, the regrowth to reach its full potential.

I know that it’s upsetting to see the short regrowth shedding out.  But it’s simply a continuation of the cycle.  As long as you know that you’ve addressed all possible triggers and are addressing inflammation, it can be a waiting game.  You can read about some things that helped me when I had chronic telogen effluvium on my blog at http://stop-hair-loss-in-women.com/

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May 02

Is There Such A Thing As Telogen Effluvium That Never Stops?

By: Ava Alderman:  I sometimes hear from folks who worry that their telogen effluvium goes far beyond what is normal.  Not only do they feel as if they are shedding more than what is typical, but they feel that they are shedding for much longer than is typical.  In short, they feel that their experience is extreme all of the way around.  And it can start to feel like there is never going to be any relief or any end.

Someone might complain: “it has been seven months since my shedding started and it honestly has not let up for even one day.  It seems as if every day is worse than the day before.  That might sound like an exaggeration, but that is the way that I feel.  Plus as my hair becomes more and more thin, each daily loss gets more and more noticeable and is more and more impactful because I can’t afford to loose that much more.  I was discussing this with one of my friends and she told me that this lady at her gym started shedding after she gave birth to her child and has never stopped. That was years ago.  And this woman is still shedding the same amount.  Is it possible to have telogen effluvium that never ends?”

It’s certainly possible to have reoccurring bouts of chronic telogen effluvium.  Some people are very vulnerable to any hormonal or other significant change in the body.  So, for these folks, it doesn’t take a whole lot to induce a bout of shedding.  This was the case with me until I figured out that I had to watch what supplements and medications that I was using and I even sometimes had to watch my diet.  I had to be very consistent in my habits.  Any hormonal change could influence my hair.

Other times, you could be continuing to shed because you may have a trigger that you haven’t identified.  Sometimes this is an unrecognized medical condition or unrecognized stress that keeps happening over and over and keeps triggering the hair loss.  If you can figure out the trigger and remove it, that can sometimes stop the shedding.

Finally, there are hair loss conditions that are continuous but that are not telogen effluvium. People sometimes ask me if TE can make you so thin that you will need a wig or will eventually look as if you are nearly bald.  It shouldn’t.  Because TE is just a resetting of the hair cycles.  The hair is going from growing to resting.  But only a percentage of the hairs are affected (although I know that it doesn’t feel that way) and hair continues to grow throughout this.  The hair and the follicles ideally should not suffer any damage.

However, with other types of hair loss (like androgenetic alopecia,) the follicles are shrinking and being compromised so it becomes harder for that follicle to produce a healthy hair.  Therefore, the loss goes on and on.  There is another hair loss condition called alopecia areata where the loss can be so severe that loss is patchy or eventually total.  However, in both cases, the appearance of your hair would make these conditions hard to ignore or misdiagnose.  AA often presents with hair loss that is in round patches.  And AGA often brings with it much thinner hair over time.  I’m not a doctor, by in my observation and from my own experience, if you aren’t seeing either of these things and are instead just shedding in the long term, you’ll want to look at any hormonal vulnerabilities, the possibility of inflammation at your scalp, and a trigger that has yet to be identified. You can read more about my own struggles with hair loss on my blog at http://stop-hair-loss-in-women.com/

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Apr 25

I’ve Almost Developed A Compulsion To Check The Status Of My Hair And Gently Tug It While Having Telogen Effluvium

By: Ava Alderman: If you have never experienced telogen effluvium or severe hair shedding, the topics discussed in this article may seem very strange to you.  However, if you have had this type of hair loss, you may be very familiar with the idea of counting hairs, finger combing your hair to avoid any pulling, or the idea of wearing dark clothing so that your spent hairs are not as noticeable.  These habits might sound strange, but for many of us, they become our reality as our hair loss becomes severe or goes on for a long period of time.

When you have this type of hair loss, you are always trying to look forward and you are always waiting for the day that you will start to recover and not see so many hairs.  That is why many of us become preoccupied with trying to gauge our hair loss on any given day.  And although this is understandable, it can, and often does, become a problem.  Because you can become so invested in the result, you can start to gauge your hair loss almost compulsively.

For example, sometime might say: “my hair has been falling out for just a little over three months.  If you listen to all of the experts, my hair loss should have ended by now.  And yes, I count my hair fall.  I know that I am not alone in this because when you read topics about this on forums, you’ll see that people often reference ‘100 hairs per day’ or ‘200 hairs per day,’ etc.  How would people even know how many hairs there were if they weren’t counting?  So yes, I count.  But that’s not all that I do.  I also always catch myself running my hands down the shaft of my hair and gently tugging so that I am able to remove all of the loose hair.  Then I will eyeball it to see how much hair is in my hands.  I find myself doing this countless times per day.  And I’m always sad and disappointed when I come away with a bunch of hair.  The other day, a friend asked me what I was doing and I was embarrassed. But I feel like I need to take inventory to see where I’m at.  Still, I know that it isn’t speeding up my recovery or anything and I’d like to stop this or slow down.  But it’s almost become a compulsion.  How do I stop?”

I am so sorry that you are going through this.  I know what you mean. I counted my hairs for more than half a year when I had telogen effluvium.  And I used to sort of touch the end of my ponytail fishing for spent hairs.  (I wore my hair in a ponytail all of the time to keep it out of the way and to try to keep my mind off of it.)  This created a cycle where I was always very stressed out about my hair.  And the more I counted or played with my ponytail, the more stressed I got.  I actually started putting my hair in those twist clips so that there was nothing that I could put my hands on anymore.  Because I realized that by taking inventory like this, I was only creating stress and anxiety, and both of these things can cause more shedding or prolong your trigger, which are two things that you don’t need.

I also decided that since I had spent so much time counting hairs, I could honestly eyeball my hair while washing (by checking the drain) to know how much I was loosing.  I could look at a little ball of hair and know roughly how many hairs it contained without needing to count.  So I stopped that, too.  I have no idea if no longer feeding this impulse helped to stop the shedding or if that was just a happy coincidence, but I do know that it eased things for me a bit until the shedding slowed so much that I no longer needed to count anyway.

I do understand the compulsion, but I also agree that it is beneficial to stop.  It really doesn’t aid you in any way.  You’ve likely been at this long enough to know when you’re having a light shedding day or a heavy one.   Whatever it takes, keep your hands off of your hair.  Put it up and leave it alone.  Wash it and then give it a quick glance and then move on.  I know that this is easier said than done.  But I promise that it is a relief when you begin to put it into practice.

You can read more about some things that helped me cope and get through this on my blog at http://stop-hair-loss-in-women.com/

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Mar 22

Growing Out Your Hair After Telogen Effluvium

By: Ava Alderman:  I think it’s safe to say that when you are going through severe hair shedding or telogen effluvium, you are noticing RE-growth much more than you are noticing typical growth.  In other words, you spend a lot of time looking for tiny, baby, regrowth hairs poking through your regular hair.  And if there are tons of these small hairs, you probably are focused more on them than on any particular style of the normal hair that you have left.  But once you have been regrowing hair for a while and all of these shorts hairs are now becoming noticeable (and sometimes unmanageable,) you wonder how you go about growing them all out.

Someone might say: “I’ve got all of these regrowth hairs peaking up through my regular hair.  I’m grateful for them.  And it appears that my hair loss is slowing down, but I have no idea how to tame these little hairs or how to best regrow my hair so that it doesn’t look silly.  How do people regrow their hair after telogen effluvium?”

Some people are lucky enough to only have short term or mild shedding so that no special plan is needed.  Because we are all shedding a little bit all of the time.  We all lose some hair every day.  But it is not usually noticeable because it’s a gradual and small amount.  However, when the amount is very large and not so gradual, a lot of hair comes in at all once and this can be quite noticeable.

I know that some will shorten their hair and add layers, trying to blend in the new regrowth.  This works well for some.  I was always afraid that the layering and the short hair would expose my scalp.  Plus, I always felt that a blunt bob made the most of what I had and made my hair look more full.  So in my own case, I wore a ponytail for a while.  I would use mousse or gel to tame the short hairs to lay down.   Once the hair became long enough (which took a while) I cut it to be even with my regular hair once it was chin length.

It really depends on the hair style that you start with and if you want to keep the same style or if you want to try something new in an attempt to  blend in the regrowth.  In my own case, I just put the new hair with the grain of my old hair and I tapped it down with a ponytail or a large barrette.  Once everything was dry, I could remove the ponytail and the hairs would be dry but they would be swept back, in place, and generally semi-well- behaved.

There’s no question that there might be some awkward, “bad hair” time when you’re growing out your hair, especially if you have a longer style.  Try to look at it like growing out any hair cut.  You can use barrettes or pony tails while you are waiting, or you can keep getting trims to keep things as neat as possible until everything is evened up.

If you’d like to read more about my hair loss experience and things that helped (and hurt) check out my blog at http://stop-hair-loss-in-women.com/

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