Telogen effluvium can make your hair shed like there’s no tomorrow. You might find clumps of hair in the shower, in your bed, everywhere!
Normally, a hair follicle goes through three phases: anagen (growth), catagen (transitional), and telogen (shedding) phase. Only 5 to 10 percent of hair strands are in the telogen phase, causing 100 to 150 hairs to shed.
But when you have telogen effluvium, about 30 percent is in telogen. Shedding – and hair thinning – will significantly increase.1
Acute conditions last for 3 to 6 months, while chronic telogen effluvium goes on for longer. However, in either case, you won’t lose more than 50 percent of your scalp hair.2
Telogen effluvium usually resolves on its own. But if you want to enhance progress, check out these seven holistic remedies.
1. Manage Stress
Telogen effluvium is commonly caused by intense stress. Examples include triggering events like childbirth, severe trauma, or a major life change. These situations can throw your body for a loop and cause hair loss within three months.
Does this sound familiar? If so, focus your telogen effluvium treatment on stress relief. It’s the safest and least invasive remedy, and doesn’t have side effects.3 Keeping tabs on your mental health is good for you, anyway.
Start by learning how to manage stress in a healthy way. Spend time with loved ones and seek social support. Take care of yourself by exercising, eating well, and getting enough sleep. Meditation and therapy can help you find peace within the situation.4
Telogen effluvium doesn’t last forever. But if the stress persists, so will the hair loss. A therapist can guide you through long-lasting stress relief.
2. Eat A Balanced Diet
Like stress management, eating well is a natural cure for telogen effluvium. This will prevent mineral and vitamin deficiencies – two common causes of hair loss.
Keep in mind that supplements won’t always do the trick. For example, there isn’t enough solid evidence to link biotin supplements with the reversal hair loss.5
There’s also a possible link between iron deficiency and hair loss. However, get your levels checked before taking supplements, which are only recommended if you have anemia. Otherwise, you’ll be at high risk for toxicity.6
Focus on real food sources instead. Avoid processed foods and fuel up on fruits, veggies, and whole grains. It’ll improve your stress levels, too.
3. Change Medication
The key to telogen effluvium recovery might be within your medicine. Some drugs – like antidepressants – can cause hair loss or thinning. If you’re on medication, double check the side effects. Switching to another brand or drug might fix the problem.7 You can also learn about holistic alternatives. For instance, yoga, meditation, and aromatherapy may limit the need for antidepressants.
You might be tempted to treat telogen effluvium with minoxidil, a hair growth drug. However, it can cause dryness, itching, irritation, and swelling.8 It’s also full of chemicals, so try these natural treatments instead.
1. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil lengthens the life cycle of hair follicles. It works by reducing inflammatory mast cells, which can significantly shorten the said cycle. Fewer mast cells mean that follicles will stay in the anagen phase and therefore, keep growing.
To top it off, lavender oil will deepen hair follicles, giving each strand a support.9
2. Peppermint Essential Oil
Another telogen effluvium treatment is peppermint oil. It increases the activity of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), an enzyme that controls hair growth. The mRNA expression of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) will also get a boost, helping the hair grow back thicker.10
3. Japanese Cypress Essential Oil
Like lavender, Japanese cypress oil can extend the follicle life cycle. The division of hair follicle cells will also improve, making it useful for hair regrowth.
This remedy can even increase the mRNA expression of IGF-1 by 426 percent! That’s more than double the effect of minoxidil, which only has a 204 percent increase.
Collagen and elastin synthesis around the hair follicles will also get better. As the life cycle goes on, each follicle will be able to support regrowth after telogen effluvium.11
Propolis or “bee glue” is amazing for the hair. This resin-like material is from trees, but bees use it for their hives.
It’s full of beneficial polyphenols and flavonoids. When applied to the scalp, these compounds nourish the hair follicles. Hair regrowth after telogen effluvium will also be more likely.12
To use these remedies, dilute five drops in one tablespoon of your favorite carrier oil. Coconut, grapeseed, and apricot oils are excellent options. Apply the mixture to your scalp as a homeopathic treatment.
|↑1||Telogen Effluvium. British Hair & Nail Society.|
|↑2, ↑3, ↑5||Malkud, Shashikant. “Telogen effluvium: a review.” Journal of clinical and diagnostic research: JCDR 9, no. 9 (2015): WE01.|
|↑4||Five tips to help manage stress. American Psychological Association.|
|↑6||Trost, Leonid Benjamin, Wilma Fowler Bergfeld, and Ellen Calogeras. “The diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency and its potential relationship to hair loss.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 54, no. 5 (2006): 824-844.|
|↑7||Effluviums. American Hair Loss Association.|
|↑8||Minoxidil (topical). MedlinePlus.|
|↑9||Lee, Boo Hyeong, Jae Soon Lee, and Young Chul Kim. “Hair Growth-Promoting Effects of Lavender Oil in C57BL/6 Mice.” Toxicological research 32, no. 2 (2016): 103.|
|↑10||Oh, Ji Young, Min Ah Park, and Young Chul Kim. “Peppermint oil promotes hair growth without toxic signs.” Toxicological research 30, no. 4 (2014): 297.|
|↑11||Park, Young-Ok, Su-Eun Kim, and Young-Chul Kim. “Action mechanism of Chamaecyparis obtusa oil on hair growth.” Toxicological research 29, no. 4 (2013): 241. Harvard|
|↑12||Shatalebi, Mohammad-Ali, Leila Safaeian, Azar Baradaran, and Mozhde Alamdarian. “Preparation and evaluation of a hair wax containing propolis and Eruca sativa seed oil for hair growth.” Advanced Biomedical Research 5 (2016).|