The hair is our crowning glory, and when we see a few extra strands on the comb or pillow, it is natural to feel worried. Hair loss is a common phenomenon and occurs in both men and women. Losing around 100 strands of hair in a day is considered normal.
There are different types of hair loss, and it varies in men and women. Identifying the type of hair loss is usually the first step toward effective treatment. Male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia and telogen effluvium are the two most common types of hair loss seen in men. Let’s understand these two conditions and how telogen effluvium vs male pattern baldness are similar and different.
What is Telogen Effluvium?
Telogen effluvium is a condition characterized by temporary hair loss often triggered by stress, illness, a traumatic event, or medications. A typical example of telogen effluvium is childbirth in women.
The lifecycle of hair comprises three phases- anagen (actively growing), catagen (short transitional phase), and the telogen (resting phase). It is the telogen phase that causes the shedding and thinning of hair.
Though telogen effluvium in men causes hair thinning and loss, it is usually temporary and never makes you go bald. It is also reversible as removing or eliminating the stressful event enables the hair to grow back.
What Is The Male Pattern of Baldness?
Talk of hair loss in men, and the first thing that comes to mind is the male pattern of baldness or androgenic alopecia. The male pattern of baldness is, in fact, the most common type of hair loss seen in men. Men with this condition lose hair above their temples and experience a receding hairline. Simultaneously, they also start losing hair on the top of the head. Together, the hair loss process continues for several years or decades and eventually results in complete baldness.
The male pattern of baldness is hereditary, and men with a family history are more likely to develop the condition than those without it. Though the incidence of this type of hair loss is higher as men grow older, due to changing lifestyles, even younger men are experiencing the male pattern of baldness
Telogen Effluvium Vs Male Pattern Baldness
Though both these hair loss conditions result in hair loss, let’s take a look at how they are different:
As we know, telogen effluvium happens due to a trigger event. Common causes of this condition include:
- Psychological stress
- Sudden weight loss
- Sudden change in diet
- Nutrient deficiencies like vitamin D or iron
- Thyroid problems
- Some medications
Since hair loss due to telogen effluvium in men does not happen until a few months after the trigger, most people cannot relate it to the event.
Male Pattern Baldness
The male pattern of baldness occurs due to a complex interplay between genetics and the body’s response to male sex hormones (called androgens). It is a permanent form of hair loss and usually runs in families.
Symptoms of telogen effluvium vs male pattern baldness
Though both telogen effluvium and male pattern baldness cause hair loss, the symptoms may be slightly different:
You will notice hair loss more when you wash or brush your hair or on your pillowcase. Your hair may start looking slightly limp and thinner around your head.
Male Pattern Baldness
In the case of male pattern baldness, men first start losing hair around their temples, and the entire hairline begins to recede, forming an ‘M’ shape. The hair at the top of the head also thins, resulting in complete baldness.
Though called ‘male’ pattern baldness, androgenic alopecia also occurs in women, but the pattern of hair loss is slightly different from that seen in men. Women with androgenic alopecia rarely go bald.
How is Telogen Effluvium Vs Male Pattern Baldness Diagnosed?
Despite similarities between telogen effluvium and male pattern baldness, the right diagnosis helps in effective and safe treatment.
Diagnosis For Telogen Effluvium
After taking a complete medical and symptomatic history, the doctor will perform a clinical evaluation of the baldness pattern, how fragile they are or how easily they come off when pulled. The doctor will look for new shorter hair that replaces the fallen hair. In some cases, a biopsy of the strands is conducted to determine if the telogen phase is normal. The entire symptomatic and clinical history will help the doctor determine the cause of hair fall in cases of telogen effluvium.
Diagnosis For Male Pattern Baldness
Evaluating the pattern of the hair on the scalp and a familial history will help the doctor determine if your hair loss is a sign of male pattern baldness.
Treatment Of Telogen Effluvium Vs Male Pattern Baldness
The treatment for both these hair loss types varies. While male baldness cannot be cured completely, telogen effluvium can be stopped, and new hair growth is encouraged. Few treatment options used include:
If you are experiencing hair loss, you are indeed not alone! It is essential to understand the difference between male pattern baldness and telogen effluvium in men and seek timely care.
Regardless of hair loss, we at Traya Health believe that hair fall can only be treated by creating a customized solution for the specific type of hair fall the person has. Our doctor-backed solutions are personalized for individual patients as we believe that the one-size-fits-all approach cannot work for hair loss.
Need help treating your hair loss? Visit our experts for more information and effective treatment today!
Can Telogen Effluvium Look Like Male Pattern Baldness?
Though the causes of telogen effluvium and male pattern baldness are different, these conditions look alike as they cause hair loss. However, only on careful diagnosis does one realise that they cause a different pattern of hair loss.
How Can You Tell The Difference Between Androgenic Alopecia And Telogen Effluvium?
There are several differences between telogen effluvium and androgenic alopecia:
Telogen effluvium causes temporary hair loss, while androgenic alopecia causes permanent hair loss.
While hair loss is diffuse in telogen effluvium, the pattern of hair loss differs among people with androgenic alopecia as it is genetically driven.
Telogen effluvium usually occurs suddenly in response to a stressful event, whereas androgenic alopecia usually develops over a few years or decades.
Telogen effluvium can occur in men of all ages, whereas androgenic alopecia usually affects middle-aged men.
Does Telogen Effluvium Speed Up Male Pattern Baldness?
Though telogen effluvium does not cause permanent hair loss like male pattern baldness, repeated cycles of telogen effluvium can speed up its onset in people genetically predisposed to it.
How do I Know If I Have Telogen Effluvium?
The most apparent sign of telogen effluvium is hair loss. While most of us lose around 100 hairs daily, you may have telogen effluvium if you notice more hair on your pillow, bathroom floor or comb. People with telogen effluvium tend to lose over 300 strands of hair daily.