Diffuse hair loss

Diffuse hair loss is one of the types that never leads to complete baldness and is well treated. It is divided into telogen effluvium and anagen effluvium, and depends on the stage of the life cycle at which the hair loss begins.

Telogen effluvium begins at the telogen stage which is the phase of hair loss after active growth. It may occur at any age and is seen in the form of severe hair loss.

Telogen effluvium is conventionally divided into:

  • Acute - lasts less than 6 months. It is characterized by a sharp difference between the volume of lost hair and growing hair. Normally, this type of hair loss regresses spontaneously or in the course of therapy.
  • Chronic - lasts for more than 6 months, sometimes for a very long time. Patients with chronic telogen effluvium report severe hair loss with a wave-like progression.

Anagen effluvium begins at the anagen stage which is the phase of active hair growth. It occurs all of a sudden due to the influence of factors that are able to suppress cell division of a hair follicle. In this case, the hair falls out without passing from the anagen phase to the telogen phase.


For effective treatment of diffuse hair loss, it is necessary to determine the cause. Causes of diffuse hair loss are divided into several groups.

Chronic diseases: endocrine disorders such as thyroid disorders, postpartum hair loss; autoimmune and systemic diseases; infectious diseases accompanied by fever and malignant tumors.

Stressful events: acute or chronic stress, in accidents and injuries, severe psycho-emotional strain, depression and other neurological diseases.

Deficiencies: iron deficiency is one of the common causes of hair loss, even in the absence of anemia; deficiency of zinc, copper, chromium, selenium, vitamin B12, protein and other vitamins, minerals, micro- and macronutrients. Most often these deficiencies are formed by rapid weight loss (diet, stress and eating disorders, due to injuries and operations).

Taking medications: cytostatic drugs, retinoids, penicillamine, interferons, anticoagulants, excessive use of vitamin A, beta-blockers and some others can cause long-term and persistent hair loss. A number of drugs (thallium, mercury, arsenic) cause poisoning and intoxication in the body, respectively, and hair loss. Chemotherapy, radiation and other anti-tumor therapies.

Inflammatory diseases of the scalp: seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, erythroderma and folliculitis.

Currently, many scientists adhere to the theory of impaired microcirculation of the hair follicle, toxic effects and metabolic disorders affect hair synthesis, which leads to hair thinning and loss. The hair follicle is one of the most active structures in the body, and it needs increased nutrition for normal operation.

Diagnosis of diffuse hair loss

When diagnosing, it is important to pay attention to:

  • Pathologies of internal organs and identify vitamin and micronutrient deficiencies.
  • Medical history: taking medications, past illnesses, presence of infectious diseases, stress, dietary restriction or diet.
  • Hair condition. Daily hair loss of more than 100 hairs, deterioration of hair quality and thickness, positive pull test.

And one needs to have hardware diagnostics. Trichoscopy is performed with a camera and magnifying lenses (x60- to examine the scalp and hair, x200- to examine the condition of the hair pore)


Treatment of diffuse hair loss consists of correcting deficiencies and treating the underlying disease that is causing the hair loss, along with eliminating the provoking factor.

External treatment involves improving blood circulation and enhancing regeneration of the hair follicle. Prescription of home care and the use of lotions and serums to stimulate hair growth.

The following additional methods are used: darsonval, laser therapy, scalp massage, ozone therapy, cryotherapy and other methods.

Treatment lasts on average from 3 to 6 months. At the same time, deficiencies in the body are fully replenished, hair loss stops and active hair growth is restored.

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