I get a lot of questions about regrowth with telogen effluvium (TE.) People want to know when they should begin seeing it, when they can expect it to make a difference in the volume of their hair, and what to do if they aren’t seeing any. I’ll try to address these concerns in the following article.
Why Regrowth Is So Important In TE Recovery: Let’s face it, shedding can do a number on your hair. You lose a lot of volume. Your texture changes and gets weird. And you can lose so much hair that scalp starts showing through and you start to become scared that at this rate, you’re not going to have any hair left. That’s why regrowth is so important. If you are growing back what you’re losing, theoretically toward the end of the cycle, you won’t suffer any net loss.
It’s a fact that to go totally bald, you’d need to shed non stop for three years with ANY regrowth whatsoever. None. So as long as you’re having some regrowth, you can theoretically recover what you’ve lost. This is really the key to the appearance and recovery of your hair. Because first you have to slow or stop the shedding, then you need to replace what’s been lost with high quality, thick hair.
When Should Regrowth After TE Start? How Do I Know If I Have Any: Theoretically, it takes hair a month to grow about 1/2 inch and once a hair is shed, it will immediately start to replenish itself. So, you should start to see little sprouts sticking up around 4-6 weeks later at the most. How can you see this? Spray dry shampoo on your part line. The shampoo is thick and white so that anything sticking up will stick out like a sore thumb. Or, pull your hair straight back and see if any very short hairs are poking through.
If you’ve been losing a lot, you’ll want to see a lot being replaced. This is how a healthy hair cycle works. Your body will replace what was in the shedding phase with a hair that is now in the growth phase.
What If The Hair Growing In Is Thin, Fine, Miniaturized, Or Sickly?: I often have people write to me and tell me either they aren’t seeing any or enough regrowth or what they do see is like peach fuzz or cotton candy and looks sickly and / or baby fine. These hairs obviously are not going to add any decent volume. Nor will they provide enough coverage to make a difference. What causes this? The most common thing is androgens or DHT. These things will choke out healthy follicles and hair so you must address them.
Another possibility is that sometimes CTE (chronic telogen effluvium) will stunt the follicles and they will require a few trial runs and stops and starts to get things working property again. Finally sometimes medical issues (thyroid is one example) or scalp issues (infections or inflammation as the result of all the shedding) will affect the hairs that try to come back in. If you can address and fix these things, you’ll often see much better quality hair as the result.