Hair Loss/Hair loss


QUESTION: I have been diagnosed with telogen effluvium via scalp biopsy.  I am concerned, because the thinnest areas are near the fringe, mid-scalp, and sides.  The shedding was never clumps of hair, more like and increase, but I have fine hair, so maybe hard to tell how much I was loosing, maybe 150-250 per day.  I had a lot of stress last summer, and the loss became noticeable in October.  The shedding is back to normal now for about a month, and I have regrowth in the fringe area, and all over my head except for the mid-scalp, and sides.  Is it normal to loose more hair on top of the scalp, and for the regrowth in areas to start a different times?  And are scalp biopsies effective for ruling out AGA?

ANSWER: With telogen effluvium the hair falls fairly evenly throughout the scalp. The shedding may be (or look) slightly more prominent in certain areas, especially if shedding is long-lasting or severe.
Extreme stress can trigger telogen effluvium. The time frame of your shedding does indicate that stress could have contributed to your condition. (With telogen effluvium the shedding begins approximately three months after the trigger.)
There are two types of telogen effluvium--acute and chronic. Acute telogen effluvium occurs from a sudden, temporary trigger. With acute telogen effluvium the shedding returns to normal within six months. It sounds like this may be your case, as your shedding is back to normal and you are beginning to see regrowth. Acute telogen effluvium occurs from a sudden, temporary trigger.
When shedding lasts more than six months it is considered chronic. Chronic telogen efflvuium indicates an internal imbalance that must be identified and addressed.
Each follicle has it's own independent growth cycle. During telogen effluvium the hair falls out over a prolonged period of time. It will also grow back this way--not all at once. The sides are more stubborn and often take longer to grow back.
The scalp biopsy is only as accurate as the professional who takes the biopsy and the professional who interprets it. The best results come from taking two samples--vertical and horizontal. This gives a more complete picture of what may be going on. The biopsy must be taken from a specific area of the scalp to determine androgenetic alopecia. A good biopsy would be able to detect (or rule out) AGA.
The shedding from telogen effluvium can make androgenetic alopecia look more noticeable. Persons who experience decrease in volume due to telogen effluvium, often think they have AGA as the top center can appear thinner. Once the hair grows back from telogen efflvuium they often find the top/center fills in as well. Once your hair grows back in you will have a better idea.
Rssrntial oil scalp treatments can help stimulate new and faster hair growth. You can learn more at the links provided below.
Please let me know if I can help you further.
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig
Understanding Female Hair Loss
Essential Oils for Hair Loss
Create Your Own Natural Hair Loss Remedies

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QUESTION: Thanks Melanie.  They took the biopsy from the top frontal region, and my stress was very extreme, and lasted from June-Jan.  I have been trying to de-stress, so that this will resolve.  They told me that it can take 3-6 months for the hair to start rev rowing, from the time it fell out.  Is this accurate?  And if I worry too much, will it hinder my progress?  No none seems to notice the loss, except for me, but I feel like my hair has thinned out, and is worse in some spots than others.   The regrowth that I do see looks normal, it is just taking time to fill in the scalp.  Is that run of the mill for this?  I am expecting, that it will take a year, from the time it stopped shedding to recover.  Is that about right?

ANSWER: The good thing about telogen effluvium is that it does not cause baldness. A new hair will grow out of the follicle in which the hair was lost. Once the cells at the base of the follicle begin the process of forming a strand of hair, it can take several months for that newly growing hair to reach scalp level. Once the hair permeates the scalp it will grow approximately one half inch per month. It will take six months for these new hairs to become three inches long. Although the newly growing hairs will take some time to become long enough to add to the volume of your hair, they will provide scalp coverage much sooner.
When the telogen effluvium is over, you will still have your normal daily loss. As long as you do not experience another telogen effluvium episode your hair should begin looking similar to how it looked prior to telogen effluvium within a year.
It is absolutely best not to obsess or worry. It is better instead to focus on the regrowth that you see. More will follow. And also to be thankful that the shedding has decreased and that it did not become severe enough for others to notice. Keep yourself well and healthy--physically and emotionally.
Using essential oils such as lemon, rosemary, basil as a topical scalp treatment can help stimulate new and faster hair growth by increasing nourishment and energy directly to the follicle and root of hair. You can learn more at the links provided below.
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig
Understanding Female Hair Loss
Essential Oils for Hair Loss
Create Your Own Natural Hair Loss Remedies

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks, Melanie!  What essential oils do you recommend?  And how often?  Is it ok to massage the scalp, because I did that when I was shedding with coconut oil, and pulled handfuls of hair out, so a little hesitant to try that again.  I really appreciate your empathy, and understanding with this.  I will look into your e book.  I have read that it is normal for the top of the scalp to thin the most.  Have you found this to be the case for some people?  Thanks, again!

When telogen effluvium is present, massaging and manipulating the hair can cause a large amount of hairs to come out at once. This is why women with hair loss conditions dread washing and brushing their hair. Although it is scary to see so much hair fall at once, it is important to understand that those hairs would have fallen out no matter what. Once a hair goes into the telogen stage, there is no way to save it. When a hair enters the telogen stage it is programmed to fall out approximately three months later. The hair starts to loosen from the follicle. Because these hairs are already loosened, manipulating them (especially with thick oils) will bring the loosened hairs out. The oils do not cause the hairs to fall out. They would have fallen out during brushing, styling, shampooing or just randomly throughout the day.
I use less vicious (thinner) oils such as jojoba for my base oils when persons are currently experiencing thinning. The essential oils are a consistency more like water than oil so they will not have as much tendency to "drag" as much hair out.
There are many different essential oils to choose from. It is best to customize the formula to each individual depending on type of hair loss, condition of scalp and other factors. Some of my favorites  include lemongrass, peppermint and basil.
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig
Understanding Female Hair Loss
Essential Oils for Hair Loss
Create Your Own Natural Hair Loss Remedies  

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Melanie Vonzabuesnig


Female hair loss is my main focus. Women today are very susceptible to several types of hair loss including telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, and androgenetic alopecia. I can answer questions about the causes and types of female hair loss. I can share information about natural holistic remedies to improve female hair loss conditions.


My interest in female hair loss sprung from my own experience with extensive hair loss. Determined to grow my hair back, I diligently studied every piece of information I could find on the biology of hair growth. After successfully re-growing my hair with safe and effective natural products, I felt compelled to learn more and to share this information with other women. I am experienced in blending custom hair loss formulas. I am also experienced in writing about female hair loss issues.

My hair loss information has been included in The Truth about Womens Hair Loss by Spencer Kobren, Naturally Healthy Skin by Stephanie Tourles, Alternative Healing by Bill Gottleib and Natural Health Magazine. I am the author of several books on hair loss.

I am a certified aromatherapist specializing in formulas for scalp and hair conditions.

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