I get a lot of questions about hair regrowth from people who have hair loss or shedding from conditions like telogen effluvium, chronic telogen effluvium, androgenic alopecia, or medical / autoimmune hair loss. Of all of these questions, the folks who have CTE seem to be the most upset because they’ve dealt with this shedding for quite a long time. By the time that they write me, usually the loss has been going on for such a long time that the effects have started to become noticeable. Of course, they want reassurance that once they are able to get the shedding to stop, they will regrow their hair and move on with their life. I will discuss this more in the following article.
The Clinical Definition Of CTE And Why You Must Stop It: You may well already know this, but technically chronic telogen effluvium means that you have been shedding over 10% of your hair volume (which works out to over 100 hair per day for most people) for longer than six months. Obviously then, shedding this much for this long is going to eventually show up and become noticeable both in terms of a loss of volume and perhaps some noticeably thinning areas on some parts of your scalp.
It’s quite likely that you are regrowing hair while this process is going on, but because you are losing it so rapidly you can not make any real gains. In other words, your scalp is kicking these hairs out before they can contribute to any real improvements. So, it’s vital that you are able to stop this cycle as soon as you can.
Now, chronic telogen effluvium is commonly caused by a trigger that you either can not find or can not seem to fix and this is what makes treating it so difficult. It’s sometimes a process of trial and error, and of slowly trying and evaluating different things until something finally works. And sometimes, unfortunately, the treatments will change our hormones even more or kick off another trigger that only perpetuates the problem. This is why you have to move as slowly as you can when trying out these treatments and why you should only introduce one thing at the time.
Your Hair Has Probably Been Regrowing All Along, But It Can’t Catch Up: What is happening right now is that you’re in the middle of a cycle in which your hairs keep going into the resting phase and then shedding out once again. This really doesn’t have much to do with your regrowth process. It’s actually happening but it just can’t keep up. You have probably been regrowing hair all along, only to shed it out again. If your loss was due to androgens or DHT, then this cycle would be a bit different. You’d have AGA instead, and AGA does commonly affect both the quality or quantity of your regrowth, but chronic telogen effluvium generally does not (unless it has gone on for so long that it has kicked off AGA or has started to affect or thwart your follicles.)
In some cases, losing this much hair this fast will cause some inflammation of the scalp which can affect your follicles and your regrowth. If this is the case, there is a lot that you can do to soothe and to heal the scalp. Still, this alone is not going to help as much as it should if you can’t stop this cycle from continuing to repeat itself. Your first priority should be to find your trigger and then to treat it once and for all, with an eye toward prevention from recurrence. Once you’ve back to stable levels of hair loss, then you can address stimulating your scalp and reducing any inflammation so that your regrowth will be quick, vigorous, healthy, and thick.