How Long Does Hair Shed During Telogen Effluvium (TE)?

I often write about surviving telogen effluvium, AGA, and hair loss of all kinds. Probably the most common emails that I get have to do with how long the shedding will last. People often ask if there is anyway to slow or stop the shedding, as this process is very difficult to cope with. I often hear comments like “how long will I have to deal with this shedding?” or “when will the shedding stop?” I’ll answer these questions and explain the answers in the following article.

When The Shedding Will Stop Will Depend On What Type Of TE Or Hair Loss You Are Experiencing: The duration of the shedding depends on several things, but the most persuasive is what type of TE you have, or if you even have TE at all. If you have straightforward TE from pregnancy or stopping and starting new medications, you’ll likely only have to deal with this for a few months, if that. If the shedding is caused by a trigger like hormonal changes or diminishes, scalp or dermatological problems, or AGA / DHT, then the shedding may slow once you are able to address, remove, or slow the trigger.

What If I Have CTE Or AGA? How Do I Know?: People often ask me how they can tell if they have real TE or something else like CTE (chronic shedding) or AGA (female patterned baldness caused by androgens and DHT.) A couple of things can help to pinpoint what type of loss you are experiencing.

First, if you can pinpoint the cause, that will tell you a lot about what the expect. Second, if the loss is slowing after a few months, you likely have the garden variety effluvium. Third, if you have patterned loss that is more noticeable in areas like the top, crown, or temples, AGA is more likely. Finally, if you have loss that starts and stops or seems to get better and then get worse, then CTE is more likely because you keep hitting on or reigniting the trigger. (Often, if you have worsening and changing loss as you experiment with hormones or supplements that affect your hormones, then chronic shedding and hormonal vulnerability is likely.)

What You Can Do To Help Cope With Or Slow The Shedding: Since the shedding is often a time game or finding what works, I often tell people to focus on what they can – creating a healthy scalp and robust regrowth. The most effective way to do this is to get rid of any inflammation and to nourish and unclog your hair follicles. There are many safe, gentle alternatives that can accomplish this without making the loss worse. Tea tree oil, jojoba oil, rosemary, lavender or emu oil, (depending on what type of loss you are experiencing) are all good alternatives. The laser comb is also a nice choice because it’s non invasive, doesn’t affect your hormones, and really helps to get rid of DHT and stimulates your follicles at the same time.

I know it’s very tempting to stop washing your hair as often when most of it ends up in your shower drain, but you shouldn’t. This will stifle your regrowth. Think of it this way. The shedding is not going to leave your net hair volume nearly as bad off if you’re quickly regrowing what you are losing with nice thick, healthy hair. But, if your regrowth is compromised or thin and sickly, the net loss is going to be much more noticeable.