Men that suddenly experience hair loss usually assume that male pattern baldness is to blame; and, to be fair, the dreaded androgenic alopecia is very often the cause of our woe. However, men shouldn’t automatically jump to the conclusion that male pattern baldness is the culprit, because another very common cause of hair loss in men goes by the name of telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium might sound like a minor character from a gladiator movie, but it is in fact the name given to a common bodily reaction to intense physical stress, intense hormonal stress or the sudden chemical impact of changes in medication. This condition can strike at any age, its onset can be quite sudden and it often drives men to seek treatment for hair loss prevention in a market place flooded with hair loss solutions promising a cure for baldness.
However, be warned: telogen effluvium is not male pattern baldness and will not usually respond to standard hair loss prevention products or commercially available hair loss solutions and techniques. Telogen effluvium usually develops as a generalized thinning of the hair and its impact is closely related to the growth cycles of our hair. Most of our hair is in a growth phase called anagen. Once a hair has been growing for a number of years it naturally enters a resting phase called telogen. Growth comes to a halt for a few months, the hair then falls out and it is replaced by a new and actively growing hair in the first vigorous flush of anagen.
We usually have about 15 to 20 per cent of our hairs in telogen at any one time. However, the impact of telogen effluvium is to dramatically increase the number of hairs in this resting phase. This, of course, is followed hair loss. Unfortunately, although new hair will often replace the ones that fall out, the rate of hair being pushed into telogen by this condition can greatly outpace the body’s ability to cope, and the typical reduction in hair cover that is associated with this condition can very quickly become apparent.
The good news is that once the cause of stress is identified and removed, hair loss usually stops quite quickly and regrowth can often begin as suddenly as the initial hair loss took place. However, this is not a condition to be taken lightly, as in some people it can quickly develop into a chronic problem. Furthermore, telogen effluvium is often the outward symptom of some other underlying physical problem, and anyone experiencing sudden and unexplained hair loss (especially if it is not restricted to the head) would be wise to seek the advice of a suitably qualified medical practitioner.