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What causes telogen effluvium hair loss?

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Quick Answer

Childbirth, vaccinations, dietary deficiencies and trauma may all trigger telogen effluvium, according to WebMD. Stress may also be a triggering factor for this type of hair loss.

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Full Answer

A short-term version of telogen effluvium commonly occurs after a woman gives birth, as the drastic change in hormone levels shocks the hair follicles, explains WebMD. Although women may experience significant hair loss, they normally grow their hair back in a short time. Other triggers, such as crash dieting, antidepressants, vaccinations, surgery and physical trauma, may have similar effects on the hair follicles. As of 2015, research shows that dietary deficiencies and chronic stress may lead to long-term telogen effluvium, gradually stunting hair growth. Dietary deficiencies are not as common a trigger in developed countries such as the United States, but some possible causes include iron, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 deficiencies.

Telogen effluvium characterizes the early stages of male and female pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, according to WebMD. The condition may also be a symptom of thyroid problems or inflammatory conditions such as alopecia areata. Treatment for the condition is largely dependent on the identified trigger, so individuals should visit a doctor for proper diagnosis if they believe they may have telogen effluvium.

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