Telogen Effluvium Male

Telegen effluvium (male) is the term given when an increased level of hair follicles enter the resting stage. This results in hair loss or thinning hair.


Telogen effluvium male refers to a form of hair loss where the patient notices increased shedding of the hair on an almost-daily basis. Instead of 30-40 hairs leaving the scalp, the patient may notice 70, 80 or even hundreds of hairs being lost every day.

There are a variety of causes of telogen effluvium. Some can be related to poor diet or a lack of nutrients, and others can be related to psychological trauma such as stress or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Telogen effluvium is more common in women but it can and does occur in men. There are also multiple conditions which mimic the symptoms of TE which can lead to an incorrect diagnosis of teleogen effluvium male. TE can also occur in conjunction with other conditions which cause hair to fall out.

To diagnose telogen effluvium male, the patient must first be diagnosed based on a medical examination by a qualified healthcare professional who will consider the patient’s medical history and current condition. A biopsy, hair collection and careful scalp examination are useful in determining whether the patient has telogen effluvium male.

For the majority of men suffering from telogen effluvium, their hair loss is not noticeable to passers-by, friends and colleagues, even when substantial hairs have been lost. The condition causes diffuse loss, which means hair falls out from all over the scalp. It typically manifests itself two to three months after a physical or psychological trigger. Over time, telogen effluvium male can cause significant changes to the way a person looks.

Although telogen effluvium male causes hair loss over time, there is a reasonably large window for treatment to occur. However, if other hair loss conditions – such as androgenetic alopecia – are present, it can be more difficult to prevent further hair loss.

On its own, telogen effluvium doesn’t necessarily mean irreversible hair loss. The condition is quite often temporary and the telogens can begin to show signs of reactivation, usually around six months down the line. This may mean that the hair appears thinner for a short period, but fullness will return once new hairs begin to grow in.

Telogen effluvium male – symptoms:

Patients who have telogen effluvium may notice greater amounts of hair than usual accumulating on their hairbrush, in the shower, on the bathroom floor or on their pillow. The scalp and hair may look and feel less dense and lustrous than usual. In many cases, the changes are subtle and unnoticeable.

Because follicles enter the resting phase approximately two months before hair starts to fall out, it may be the case that the individual does not notice the condition until weeks or months after the process has begun.

Telogen effluvium male – causes:

In a patient suffering from telogen effluvium, some form of shock or bodily change forces hairs to enter the telogen (resting) phase. Typically, around 30% of the hairs cease growing and go into a resting phase before eventually falling out.

This condition can be triggered by singular events or a combination of events, including:

  • Major stress
  • Psychological disorder
  • Major physical trauma
  • Surgery
  • Severe infection
  • High fever
  • Extreme dietary changes
  • Iron deficiency
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  • Hyperthyroidism (underactive thyroid)

In the case of physical trauma (such as being involved in a car crash or experiencing major blood loss), the shock of the changes undergone by the patient can cause hair follicles to go into a resting state.

Hormonal changes can also trigger TE. Blood tests can confirm whether the patient is experiencing any abnormal hormonal boosts or deficiencies.

Research suggests that vitamin or nutrient deficiencies could be a root cause for telogen effluvium in males. The following vitamins and minerals are thought to have a large impact upon hair growth, and it is vital for patients to receive their recommended daily allowance:

  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12

Patients whose primary source of these nutrients come in supplement form are advised to consult with a doctor or dietician, who may be able to work with them to develop a healthier diet. Crash dieting should be avoided as it sends the body into shock, and it has been known to cause telogen effluvium.

Certain medications can also cause telogen effluvium in men, including antidepressants and anti-psychotic medicines. These can cause hair loss, particularly if they contain heavy metals, and the resulting side effect may not be noticeable until the patient has been taking their medication for a period of weeks or months. Patients who have noticed the condition after recently starting a new medication should consult their doctor.

Telogen effluvium male – treatment:

There are several forms of treatment for telogen effluvium, which can range from changes in lifestyle to trying over the counter medications. Ultimately, the best way to treat the condition is to figure out its root cause – by identifying the underlying triggers, the patient is in a better position to help make the changes required to combat it. Environment, hormones and lifestyle choices can all be controlled to a certain degree to help alleviate TE symptoms. Patients who think they may suffer from a low blood cell count or thyroid abnormalities should request a blood test from their doctor.

Patients with TE are advised to focus on their diet and nutritional needs. Many patients with TE are lacking in essential vitamins and minerals that are important in maintaining healthy hair. Eating a well-balanced diet is the best way for a patient to ensure they are receiving the nutrients they need.

Telogen effluvium sufferers should try their best to care for their hair. This means being gentle when styling it, and avoiding excess blow-drying, curling or straightening the hair until the condition begins to improve. If the patient frequently highlights or colors their hair while suffering from TE, this can also have an impact on hair growth.

Most drug stores stock over the counter hair products designed to promote the regrowth of hair. Some of these products contain a chemical called minoxidil. Patients are advised to use products which are manufactured from at least five percent minoxidil. Minoxidil works by prolonging the active growth phase, or anagen, of the hair follicles.

Stress-related hair loss can be treated by adopting relaxation techniques such as mindful meditation or yoga. Patients who are under severe stress are advised to consult a professional counselling service or to undergo therapy such as CBT. CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) in which negative patterns of thought, either about the self or the patient’s perception of the world, are challenged. These helps to alter unwanted behavioral patterns and can be useful in reducing stress and anxiety caused by a traumatic event, a recent breakup or physical trauma. This process can take months or even years in severe cases of stress but will help to gradually reduce stress levels over time and promote hair growth.

In some cases, the best treatment is time. A hair loss-and-regrowth cycle can last six months or more, particularly if it has been brought on by emotional stress. As time goes on, and the patient adjusts, hair growth will resume in most cases.


Maintaining a healthy diet and avoid crash dieting are crucial in preventing telogen effluvium male and poor health in general. However, in the cases of physical shock there is little that can be done to prevent telogen effluvium from occurring, as the event which triggered the condition has already happened.

Regularly using a lotion which contains minoxidil (sometimes known as Rogaine) could help to stimulate hair growth and maintain thick, lustrous hair.

Last Reviewed:
June 24, 2018
Last Updated:
June 21, 2018