Seeing an increase in the amount of hair that falls out in a day, week can cause alarm. Technically this is because the hair growth cycles are interrupted, but when does hair loss become hair shedding known as Telogen Effluvium.
Hair is continuously growing over the top of our head from the hair follicles. Besides our hair getting longer we maintain an even coverage of hair over our head. This is because 80% to 90% of the hair follicles are growing hair at any given time. The hair follicles go through cycles of growth, dormant and resting stages. The hair follicles actively growing hairs on our head are in the anagen phase. With the remaining in the telogen stage.
If we regrow the same % of hair that we shed, we maintain the balance of hair growth over our head. Telogen Effluvium (TE) happens when there is a change in the number of hair follicles growing hair. If the number of hair follicles producing hair drops. For any reason during the resting, or telogen phase. There will be a significant increase in dormant, telogen stage hair follicles. The result is shedding, or Telogen Effluvium.
TE pattern of loss, cosmetically anyway, is more obvious over the top of the scalp although it can affect the entire head of hair. A diffused thinning pattern is common over the top of the head, whilst the hairline often remains intact, except on rare occasions. A common noticeable aspect is the natural parting area becomes wider and the scalp more visible through the remaining hair.
Among the common causes are high fevers, childbirth, severe infections, severe chronic illness, severe psychological stress, major surgery or illnesses, over or underactive thyroid gland, crash diets with inadequate protein, and a variety of medications.