Ordinarily, the telogen phase lasts only for a short duration compared to the other two phases of hair growth, which are anagen and catagen. The telogen phase is a brief period of rest before the hair follicle begins producing hair again in the anagen phase. If there is large disruption in this process, however, it can be due to the disorder known as telogen effluvium.
There are three types of telogen effluvium:
No, this is a usually a temporary disorder that is reversible with time. With that said, it can still take a number of weeks or months to recover from.
TE is always caused by an external source. Common causes are hormonal imbalance after childbirth, poor diet approach, chronic illness, extreme stress, and certain medications such as antidepressants, vaccinations, etc. Usually removing the environmental stressor is enough to solve the problem. However, sometimes identifying the stressor can be difficult. There may be multiple stressors, or they may appear at seemingly random intervals.
Yes. If you experience multiple times, or if it lasts longer than six months, it is then classified as chronic TE. Your doctor may choose to prescribe medication if the telogen effluvium is persistent. Minoxidil, for example, stimulates hair growth so long as it is taken regularly.
Not always. There have been some reports of pain or tingling in the scalp when shedding hair due to telogen effluvium. Most cases, however, involve absolutely no pain whatsoever.