Hair Loss/Seventeen with diagnosed Telogen Effluvium
Hi, my name is Laura and I am currently a seventeen year old senior in high school who is experiencing drastic hair loss. My hair loss has been occurring since the last week in July, and it has been steadily shedding for almost three months. I am losing between 200-300 hairs a day, and the reason is unclear. I have had my hormones, thyroid, and iron checked, but the results have come back perfectly normal. I finally went to the dermatologist where i was told that i have telogen effluvium. (they were unable identify why i am experiencing it) I am 5'6" weighing 120 pounds, and I am an active ballet and jazz dancer. I eat plenty of protein, and my diet is diverse and healthy. One defect in my health, however, is that I have not had a period in ten months. I am on the pill as of about two weeks ago, and I should be starting my cycle in approximately one week. Last year I had the same issue with my menstrual cycle, but my family and I thought it was a weight issue. At that time I was weighing 113 pounds. I gained a good seven pounds back and had several periods before I dropped the weight again. I got back down to 115, and in the past four months I have gained five pounds. Another possible factor dates back almost one year ago. Almost one year ago, in December, i had a very dark season where I contemplated taking my life. I got help from my parents, and am now safe from that way of thinking. But for a good three months after my suicidal thoughts, I was daily bombarded with anxiety and stress. Every day was an unknown and fearful reality--I was irrationally anxious and insecure. Again, I am in a better place now, where I can see the delusion and error of those thoughts and fears. Though i am still learning-- every day i strive to push away the negativity of life and dwell on the beautiful possibilities and blessings. (I know I am so very blessed!). So, basically my question is: Why the hairloss? Is it because of my weight fluctuation, amenorrhea? Or is it an aftermath effect of my severe anxiety and stress last December? Or could it be a chronic trigger such as the stress to do well in school and the cocern of what career to pursue and which college to attend? I just want to get my beautiful, healthy, blonde hair back! :)
Anytime the body feels overwhelmed or out of balance telogen effluvium can occur. The hair growth cycle thrives on balance. Even a slight imbalance can disrupt the hair growth cycle and cause telogen effluvium. Some people are more prone to this condition than others. Often there is more than one contributing factor.
Whatever is causing your body to stop producing monthly periods may also be triggering your hair loss condition. Amenorrhea signifies an imbalance in the body. Common causes of secondary amenorrhea include excessive vigorous exercise, low body weight, extreme stress, eating disorders, etc.
If the ballet and jazz activities you are in are extremely competitive and demanding, this may be a contributing factor. The pressure, stress, anxiety and depression you feel/felt can also be a factor.
Once the body restores itself, better hair growth will follow. Correcting the underlying imbalances and becoming as physically and emotionally healthy as possible is necessary to treat chronic telogen effluvium.
If the dark period was not caused by a particular event or circumstance, it is important to find out if there is an underlying condition causing severe depression.
Also, it is important to know (since you are starting birth control) that birth control can cause hair loss in some people. Because you are using it to stimulate periods it may not have that affect on you. Still you may want to research the particular pill you are taking in regard to hair loss.
Please let me know if I can help you further.
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig