Hair Loss/Telogen Effluvium
QUESTION: Hello doctor,
I suffered from two nasty bouts of telogen effluvium due to switching around birth control pills. My hair stopped shedding scary amounts in November of 2012, so that was several months ago. the top of my head around the hairline has hundreds of short little hairs popping up that all seem normal in diameter. (they're all about a half inch long or shorter, and seem to get thicker the more they grow) All my blood results are fine, too.
I still shed around 100 hairs a day, which I read is normal. My hair is still very very thin, I'd say I lost about 40-50% of my hair due to the Telogen Efflluviums last year.
I notice it is growing in slower around the sides by my ears, or perhaps it just seems that way since that area is naturally thinner anyway.
Is it likely my hair will grow back to where it was before this whole mess happened? I am 27 years old, there is no hair loss history in my family, although my dad has thinned a tiny bit now that he is older, but not much.
Thank you for your help, I'm so worried about my hair growing back.
ANSWER: I am glad to see the CTE has stopped and that you are seeing the result of hairs which have been growing out of the skin for the past month or two, which means they actually stopped falling out and began to grow 5 to 6 months ago with 3 months of that not being visible as the new follicles were forming the new hair shaft below the skin level.
You may grow back most of the hair in the next six to nine months - enough so that it looks as if it all grew back --but if an actual hair density count was done before and after this long bout of hair loss I think you will find there will be some decrease in density. That decrease is likely to be only a slight decrease in overall density because of no family history of real baldness. Until the hairs grow out another 4 inches I suggest you use 5% Rogaine for men the next 8 months once a day in the morning just before combing your hair for the day. This will speed up the regrowth and make those lost hairs grow back thicker in diameter allowing you to get back to normal faster than you normally would after such a severe bout of TEs.
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QUESTION: Thank you! I understand its going to be a long road before my hair feels better since it is long, past my shoulders. generally speaking, my hair should return to close to normal in my future then? I wouldn't even mind it missing a little density because it was very thick before, as long as most of it grows back to where it was a year and a half ago.
Also, is losing 100 hairs a day actually normal? I feel like I focus a lot on what comes out in the shower now because of how petrifying this whole experience has been.
Thanks for all your help!
In a year and a half you hair should be not only thicker with each hair having an increase in diameter but with many of the lost hairs having started to come out from their transition stages and become visible above the skin with an increase in number of hairs per square inch as well.
In 18 months you can expect about 9 inches of these new thicker hairs .
Losing 100 hairs per day is normal. Averaging the loss by actually counting the hairs lost daily for a full week is the way most hair counts are done since it is possible to lose 150 one day after a shampoo and only 50 on a day you do not shampoo.