How Can I Tell If I’m Losing Hair or Just Shedding It?

Excessive hair shedding and hair loss are not the same problems. Moreover, there are significant differences between the two. If you’re concerned about your hair loss, you could consult a physician at a hair loss clinic in your local area. The hair treatment doctor can determine whether you’re experiencing merely a temporary problem with excessive hair shedding or if you need a medical hair restoration procedure due to hair loss. If your hair loss is substantial, hair restoration procedures can help renew the appearance of your hair and your confidence along with it.

What is telogen effluvium, and how is it involved in hair falling out?

A typical human scalp has about 80 to 90 percent of its follicles in the actively growing phase, called the anagen phase. The remaining follicles are in the resting period, called the telogen phase. The hair follicles continuously cycle through both the anagen and telogen phases. 

Once a hair follicle has gone through its telogen phase, it sheds the hair and then reverts into the active growing period once again. The average individual sheds up to 100 hairs per day. If a person sheds significantly more hairs than this number, it may be a condition known as telogen effluvium. While excessive hair shedding can be worrying, it’s only a temporary event and does not require intensive hair loss treatment. 

Telogen effluvium can occur for numerous reasons, as when the body experiences substantial physical or mental stressors, including:

  • Major illness
  • Significant weight loss
  • Surgery
  • Giving birth
  • Discontinuation of birth control pills
  • A life-changing event

Undergoing a life-changing event can trigger telogen effluvium, as well. In this circumstance, the hair loss typically happens a couple of months after the fact.

How is anagen effluvium diagnosed?

Anagen effluvium is a condition characterized by hair no longer growing. This condition may or may not be permanent. For instance, a person undergoing chemotherapy may lose a substantial amount of hair. However, it typically grows back once that person is no longer taking chemo drugs. 

Other underlying causes of hair loss in both women and men do increase the necessity for medical intervention. These include having a genetic predisposition to hair loss, such as female or male pattern baldness. Other possible causes of anagen effluvium hair loss include 

  • Scalp infections
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Skin disorders
  • Use of specific medications

How do FUE and FUT combat hair loss? 

Follicular unit extraction, known as FUE, employs an instrument to extract healthy hair follicles, then transplants them to areas of the scalp where the hair is thinning. FUT, or follicular unit transplantation, typically takes a larger strip of hair follicle-containing skin from the scalp, which is then divided into smaller groups of several hairs that are subsequently transplanted to recipient sites. 

Both of these hair restoration procedures have their unique advantages, so individuals considering hair restoration protocols should ask their hair treatment doctor about them. To ask questions or find out more information, schedule a consultation with a hair treatment doctor. 

Resource: Hair Loss Treatment

Dr. Robin Unger, Hair Restoration NYC