Coping With Telogen
The idea of being under so much stress and pressure that you
literally can “pull all your hair out” is closer to reality than you might think.
The distress of a sudden trauma can cause this problem as well.
Even something like general anaesthesia can in some cases trigger it off.
Although anecdotally the trauma of a difficult relationship
break up is among the most common reasons of sudden hair loss in women.
This sudden hair loss due to a
trauma is a condition called Telogen Effluvium and according to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telogen_effluvium) it is “characterized by sudden, diffuse hair loss caused by an
interruption in the normal hair growth cycle.
This interruption is often the
result of trauma, such as chemotherapy, childbirth, puberty, major surgery, severe stress, and severe chronic
illness. This trauma causes large numbers of hair follicles to enter a stage of telogen, or rest,
After roughly 3 months of the
telogen cycle the follicles will enter the anagen cycle, a stage of growth. The old hair will be forced out
of the follicle by a new hair that is formed beneath it.
This will cause a period of
diffuse hair shedding. This condition is usually self correcting and can affect people of all
Some times though this can trigger alopecia. This condition can
manifest itself in many different variations, but what it means for you is that your hair will take longer to
There is clearly no argument about the following point, and that
is that to have this happen on top of the initial trauma is understandably stressful, embarrassing and
without a proper education of what the condition is like, carries a high risk of creating depression. Women
can be prone to take this really badly but there is hope.
First of all they have survived the trauma. Second of all the
condition is temporary and the hair WILL grow back.
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One strategy that a number of celebrity sufferers in the United
Kingdom adopted was to throw themselves into charity work and other tasks that helped others that were less
fortunate than themselves.
One example is the late Mo Mowlam who helped negotiate the
Northern Ireland Good Friday agreement, effectively ending the IRA war with the British, lost all her hair
because of chemo therapy she received for her cancer.
It is reported that she used her wig to great effect whenever
they got stuck in a particularly difficult part of the negotiations when she would repeatedly lift it to have
a scratch, and at one point throw it across the table as “they might as well have that too since they are so
set on having everything”.
The details may not be exactly true, it’s hard to know, but the
spirit is certainly a good one to emulate.
A positive self image can be difficult to maintain, but if you
have confidence in your self and your personality then you will be fine as people generally like you for who
you are and not for your hair.