I sometimes hear from people who are desperately hoping that their excessive hair shedding (which they suspect is telogen effluvium) is finally coming to an end. Usually, the first thing that they notice is that not as much hair is coming out when they wash it. Next, they might see less shed hair on their clothing. Some see regrowth, but many do not. Sometimes, though, just as they get their hopes up that the decrease in shedding hair means that their TE is slowing down or getting ready to end, suddenly it will kick up again.
I heard from someone who said: “I admit that I count my shed hairs. While my telogen effluvium was in full swing, I was losing at least 200 hairs per day, sometimes more. For the last couple of days, I’ve only been shedding about 100. I was hoping that this meant this nightmare was coming to an end. But then this morning when I showed, 175 hairs came out. Does this mean that my shedding isn’t over? How do you know when your telogen effluvium is over once and for all?” I’ll try to answer these questions in the following article.
While There’s Very Little Clinical Information Available, The More “Normal” Days You See Over A Longer Period Of Time, The Better The Chances Are That Your Shedding Is Coming To An End: If you’ve tried to research this topic, you probably already know that there’s not a lot of information out there. And this lack of information can lead you to believe to believe that the shedding should stop abruptly. Many people hope that they wake up one morning to find normal shedding that continues on from that day forward. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the way that it happens. Often, you will see sporadic shedding that goes up and down before it normalizes completely.
Your Follicles Probably Didn’t Go Into The Shedding Phase All At Once, So They May not Go Into The Growing Phase All At Once: Think about what happens to start the shedding in the first place. Typically some trigger (stress, medications, injury, etc) causes many of your hair follicles to go into the resting or shedding phase all at once. Normally, this is staggered so that only a small percentage of follicles are resting or shedding at one time. But, when you have telogen effluvium, this process is not staggered and you have many more follicles than normal shedding out hair strands. This may not happen on the same day, though. It may happen over a course of weeks or days. That’s why recovery can be gradual as well. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t celebrate or be happy when you notice a day that gives you relief. Likewise, you shouldn’t be crushed if the shedding fluctuates a little.
So, Is There Any Well To Tell When Your Shedding Has Officially Ended?: I think the answer is different for everyone. Some people aren’t going to be happy until they see many days in a row when their shedding is absolutely normal. And others are happy with any improvement. And because it can be normal to have peaks and valleys in this process, to be on the safe side, most people consider your shedding to be over if you’ve had normal hair shedding for three months or so. And the truth is, once the shedding begins to get better, you no longer feel compelled to keep track of the number of shed hairs or the days during which this is happening nearly as much so you may lose track anyway.
The bottom line for me is that any time you see improvement, you should be encouraged. With that said, it’s normal to see an improvement followed by an increase in shedding once again. And this doesn’t always mean that your shedding is starting all over again. Seasonal or stray shedding for a day or two can be perfectly normal. But if you’ve seen “normal” ranges over the course of several days or a few months, then that’s a good indication that your shedding is in the beginning phases of being over.