Acute and Chronic Telogen Effluvium

  • David Hugh RushtonEmail author


The human hair cycle has four recognised phases – anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen – with the duration of each phase being site specific. In scalp hair, telogen lasts for around 12 weeks, following which the telogen hair is shed, a process instigated by unknown factors in the exogen phase. Any disturbance to the hair cycle will induce a relative change in the equilibrium between growth and rest, initiating an acute telogen effluvium. It is essential therefore to identify the inducing factor so as to consider if any intervention is required; reassurance is frequently all that is needed. However, if the increase in hair shedding persists for 6 months or more (chronic telogen effluvium), then biochemical investigations are required. Frequently hair loss induces changes in the patient’s hair care and grooming routines resulting in an artificial increase in the observed shedding; understanding this potential exacerbating factor is essential. Finally, increased hair shedding can initially occur in patients in whom reduced hair density (hair per cm2) will ensue; diagnostic and treatment options will only be briefly discussed in such situations.


Hair loss Telogen effluvium Hair shedding Chronic telogen effluvium 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Pharmacy & Biomedical SciencesUniversity of PortsmouthPortsmouth, HantsUK

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