Archive for November, 2015

The Difference between Telogen and Anagen Effluvium

Posted on: November 18th, 2015 by Dr Yates

The Difference between Telogen and Anagen Effluvium

If you are familiarizing yourself with different hair loss conditions, you may have come across the term “effluvium” and that is most likely not a term you know. The word effluvium means an outflow and telogen and anagen refer to different phases of the hair growth cycle.

Your scalp is not always producing hair, but instead, the hair follicles go through a cycle in which they grow, rest, fall out and then start to grow hair once more. Your hair follicles are usually all at a somewhat different stage of the hair growth cycle, or else everyone would be completely bald fairly quickly. The scientific terms for the hair growth phases are anagen, catagen and telogen.

Telogen effluvium is generally considered to be the second most common type of hair loss. The telogen phase, or resting phase, lasts for about three months. Most people will have 10-15% of their hairs in this phase at any given time. The majority of people will lose around 100 hairs a day as a part of the telogen phase, but if someone is suffering from telogen effluvium, they can lose a lot more hairs than that.

If someone is suffering from telogen effluvium, they will usually be experiencing hair loss on their entire scalp. This affliction can be caused by a number of reasons, including stress, diet, hormonal imbalance, physical trauma and side effects of medication. Telogen effluvium can also affect a woman after she gives birth, since there is a very sudden change in her hormones that can shock the hair follicles into shutting down. Fortunately, this is typically only a temporary problem that will eventually correct itself.

Anagen effluvium is a condition in which people have their hair falling out during the anagen or growing phase of the hair growth cycle. The hair loss pattern is just like that of telogen effluvium in that the hair loss tends to be in a diffuse manner. At any given point, people should have 80-90% of their hair in the anagen phase, so if someone is suffering from anagen effluvium, they will suffer from a rapid type of hair loss since so many hairs will be affected. Anagen effluvium is usually caused by chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Neither telogen effluvium nor anagen effluvium have a treatment that is guaranteed to work. People who are suffering from telogen effluvium may benefit from using a topical solution, but most likely, their condition will get better over time. People who are suffering from anagen effluvium may benefit from getting treatment with a cooling cap, which works by lowering the scalp’s temperature. However, this usually will only help people to retain about 50% of their hair.

If you are experiencing telogen effluvium or anagen effluvium would like to learn more about what hair loss treatments would be a good solution for you, you can contact the experienced hair loss physician, Dr. Yates. He will be able to determine what is causing your hair loss and will let you know what your options are for treatment.