Question: I’m 30 years old. I received an injury in November which led me into depression for a month but I recovered by the end of December. Before then, also in December I experienced severe, unexpected trauma due to a death in the family.
By late February-March I noticed I was shedding everywhere and my parting became more visible. My scalp had severe flaking. It’s now October and although this flaking has gone and I've seen small improvements to my shedding, I'm concerned about my hairline which doesn't seem to be regrowing as well.
The back of my hair seems to be thickening up and I’m getting back some density, but my fringe and front hairline were hit hard. I also have some thinning in my temples. Could this be Telogen Effluvium? Also my mum has the same hair as me and she is 50 with a lot of hair, the same as her mother.
Answer: Hi, Brittany. It sounds like you have had a lot to deal with over the past 12 months and this could certainly have resulted in hair loss.
It is likely you did indeed experience Telogen Effluvium (TE) earlier this year when you were shedding hair diffusely from all over your scalp. This temporary hair loss condition can be triggered by emotional or physical stress and the associated hair fall tends to present around three months it is set in motion.
Given the stressful issues you experienced occurred initially approximately 2-3 months before you started experiencing diffuse thinning, it seems to fit with this diagnosis.
TE is the result of a disturbance to the hair growth cycle, which causes many of the actively growing (anagen) hairs - up to 30-40 per cent - being prematurely pushed into resting (telogen) phase. This results in excess shedding.
Whilst Telogen Effluvium treatment courses are available, normal hair regrowth should spontaneously resume shortly after the trigger factor has been removed. This will involve the shedding slowing down and short regrowing hairs becoming noticeable all over your scalp, with your hair density also improving.
You mentioned that you are now seeing some improvements to your hair and there is thicker hair at the back of your head, but that it has remained thinner towards the front, around your hairline and temples.
It is common to inherit genetic hair loss - more commonly known in women as Female Pattern Hair Losss - and the traits involved in this hereditary condition can come from the male side of your family as well as the female side.
This condition causes thinning hair in the region along the top of your scalp from the crown to the hairline and temples. This is known as the vertex; the rest of the scalp - the back and sides of the head - are not affected so the hair will feel thicker there.
Common signs of female pattern hairloss include your parting getting wider and your hair having less density than usual. This is often most noticeable when trying to put your hair into a ponytail as it will feel much thinner than usual.
Genetic hair loss can start at any age following puberty and tends to come on gradually, as it is a permanent, progressive condition. It can also be exacerbated or even prematurely triggered in women with an underlying genetic predisposition, by various additional factors. These include stress, some medical conditions and dietary deficiencies.
If you did notice any signs of Female Pattern Hair Loss prior to your eye operation or the sudden death of your family member, it could be that you have the necessary genetic make-up and the stress these incidents caused, which led to the Telogen Effluvium, also sparked off this hereditary shedding.
Of course, whilst this is the most likely conclusion based on the small amount of information you have provided here, we advise you to have a professional consultation, online or in-person at a dedicated hair loss clinic, in order to receive a confirmed diagnosis.
From there, a personalised course of women's hair loss treatment products can be recommended to you, based on your condition, medical profile, age and any lifestyle requirements.
This is likely to involve appropriate formulations of the clinically-proven hair loss solution high strength minoxidil, as well as supporting non-pharmaceutical elements such as the use of an FDA-cleared LaserBand low level laser therapy device to stimulate the follicles, and Hair Vitalics for Women one-a-day nutritional supplements.
It may also be beneficial to find ways to help manage your stress; grieving is often an on-going process over many years after the bereavement, so getting support with this may help too.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.