What does TE recovery look like?

Telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, hair shaft disorders, etc.
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HopefulMaMa
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:12 pm

What does TE recovery look like?

Post by HopefulMaMa »

Hi Tom, I was wondering if you could tell me what a "typical" TE recovery looks like. I know everyone is different, but here is where I am:
My TE peak lasted 8-12 weeks of shedding 100-200 hairs per day. The peak ended 7 months ago and I have had a lot of regrowth- I can see visible regrowth that is anywhere from 1/4 inch to 3 inches long all over my head. While I do shed some regrowth, most of it looks like healthy hair (not miniaturized). here are my questions:

Is it normal to shed some regrowth? I've read that after a nasty TE it might take a few cycles for the hair to produce a normal, healthy hair again.

I can't see any regrowth shorter than 1/4 inch. Does this mean I'm done growing in new hair from the TE? Or is it just hard to see until it becomes a little longer and pigmented? My hair is fine and dirty blonde.

My front bang area (behind the hair line, which incidentally is fine) is still pretty sparse. I've read in a few places this is the last place to grow in after a TE- is that true? If so, how long until I see regrowth there? I followed one woman's story of regrowth from a TE and her front bang area grew in 12-18 months after her TE ended. Is that normal?

Finally, how long does a TE recovery take? I'm just wondering at what point my hair "as is" become the way it will stay- or in other words, when to stop expecting/looking/hoping for regrowth.

Sorry- I know that's a lot. But it's hard to find anyone who really has answers on this subject. Please, please, let me know your thoughts!
Tom Hagerty
Site Admin
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Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:21 am

Re: What does TE recovery look like?

Post by Tom Hagerty »

Before I try to answer your questions, I'd like to know what you think caused your TE. I'd also like to know what you did to combat it. Was diet a major factor?

After the bout with TE is over (shedding 200 hairs a day), sometimes new terminal hair shafts appear. These terminal hairs are of normal thickness and are fully pigmented. But sometimes, intermediate hairs emerge from the hair canal. These are hairs thinner in diameter than norman healthy hairs and they lack full pigmentation. If this is the case, a person will have to wait for the next hair cycle in order to see a more robust hair. It is usual, though, for both terminal and intermediate hairs to appear after the TE episode is over.

Hair grows about a half of an inch a month. There is really no way to speed this growth up, no matter what you read in commercials for hair vitamins or "revitalizing" shampoos. You have to be a little patient with the process. But from your description, I gather that you are on your way to full recovery.

Some of the newly sprouting hairs may fall out. This is only a negative sign if you lose many of these new anagen hairs. I think you can relax. You don't want to get in the obsessive state of counting hairs.

I don't like questions about time frames because they are impossible to answer with conviction. The standard answer that dermatologists give is "between six and seventy-two months." Of course this is no answer at all. I think a year more or less for almost complete recovery is reasonably accurate.

"My front bang area (behind the hair line, which incidentally is fine) is still pretty sparse."

I don't have a good answer for your concerns about this. I really don't know.
Carybear
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:08 am

Re: What does TE recovery look like?

Post by Carybear »

Hi tom. I've been going thru chronic TE for a few years. This year in the fall I lost a lot of shorter hairs, then the shed stopped. I am seeing a lot of regrowth which is good but it looks so frizzy. I don't lose an extraordinary amount if hair, but that which has grown back is a brassy red color( I have light brown hair) I do on occasion lose one or two of those short, growing in hairs around the temples. Last year the crown was thin, but I've full coverage now.
I want to say my TE is over-after a bout with illness and severe weightloss (food allergies) I was down to 14% body fat. I'm up to 18% now.
Do you think I'm out of the woods?
Tom Hagerty
Site Admin
Posts: 629
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:21 am

Re: What does TE recovery look like?

Post by Tom Hagerty »

Do you think I'm out of the woods?
Once you've had TE or chronic TE you might be more susceptible to another episode. So you have to take care of your health - good diet, proper exercise, stress-free (if that's possible). If you remain healthy those intermediate, lifeless hairs might be replaced by thick, pigmented hairs in time, perhaps a year. Don't go back into the woods. Those dark places are dangerous.
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Carybear
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:08 am

Re: What does TE recovery look like?

Post by Carybear »

I've been through 3 episodes since 2009. Will this lead to long term diffuse thinning? I've noticed some miniaturized hair, but not a lot. I've also seen more regrowth this time than others.
Carybear
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:08 am

Re: What does TE recovery look like?

Post by Carybear »

Hello again Tom.
I'm back to ask again about miniaturization. My hair line is as full as it was, the crown area is *finer* in texture and creates an imbalance from the left to the right. The left side is thicker.
So this fall/winter I have been seeing a lot of those wimpy hairs...not a lot of healthy strong ones though. Is this normal? What I mean to say is, the shedding of the mini hairs, the floaty, colorless ones...good or bad considering I am not losing the thicker darker longer ones?

What do you interpret mild scalp pain as? I have never personally noticed scalp pain and hair loss but rather the opposite. What say you Mr. Haggerty?
Tom Hagerty
Site Admin
Posts: 629
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:21 am

Re: What does TE recovery look like?

Post by Tom Hagerty »

My hair line is as full as it was...
I'm sure you're happy with this even though there is some asymmetry between density left to right. But many people have this asymmetry in hair density if you look closely. (Teenagers are not bothered by this though. Their hair is usually thick everywhere.)

If your hair density is good then the shedding of "wimpy" hairs should not be a problem. Just speculation, but these wimpy hairs are probably being replaced by terminal hairs. It's when hair density diminishes that shedding becomes a problem.
What do you interpret mild scalp pain as?
Mild scalp pain usually means some kind of subclinical inflammation in the skin and subcutaneous layer. Of course there are many reasons for this inflammation - allergies, poor diet, perhaps even prolonged psychological stress. My experience has been that topical agents rarely "cure" scalp inflammation even though the ads claim they do.
Stay away from scalp inflammation.
Stay away from scalp inflammation.
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Ouch!
Carybear
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:08 am

Re: What does TE recovery look like?

Post by Carybear »

Thank you Tom. You bring a worrier relief.
Carybear
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:08 am

Re: What does TE recovery look like?

Post by Carybear »

For anyone reading this thread wondering what TE recovery looks like, I'll spend a little time and talk about my experience since I'd last posted ten months ago.

Since the last shed of fine, thin hair, I had normal loss-10 hairs a day that I could see. I noticed a lot of new hair at the hairline. It is in fact, creating a strange cow lick that drives me crazy. A number of the hairs that fell out (left side only, my hair loss was mostly left side) have grown in thick, but grey. The left side is finer, and seems to "grow faster" than the right. I am not sure why that is, every one who has cut my hair has noticed it. The right side has had some minimal loss that is only evident from the smaller, non miniaturized hairs growing in along the hair line mostly at the corner. The right side looks thick, my crown does not part there and I often just part it to the left, which I don't like, as I am a traditionalist. :lol:

I am losing hair again. This time it's not fine hairs but thicker ones. My diet is good and I haven't been under a lot of stress. I don't know what the hell is wrong with my freaking hair. :roll: tired of worrying. So I don't.

Now, I don't know if TOM is reading but if he is , I would like to know his thoughts on detumescence therapy?
Carybear
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:08 am

Re: What does TE recovery look like?

Post by Carybear »

For anyone reading,

I've been through several waves of hair loss and I've learned a lesson about my sensitivity. When I take certain supplements long term, especially anti oxidants, I See a lot of fall. If I drink too much tea for a couple of weeks, I'll see a lot of loss. If Im having GI problems such as constipation, same.
I am really, very sensitive, and my hair seems to be one of the barometers, like my nails. They too are quick to show problems from the inside in the nail bed. Within weeks.
Im writing this down for others to consider.
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