I’ve noticed my hair thinning at the center of the top of my scalp?

Hello. I have an appointment to see a dermatologist in two weeks to look at my scalp, as my hair is shedding more than normal and I’ve noticed it thinning at the center of the top of my scalp. But the wait to find out is killing me.

Three months ago, I went through probably the hardest breakup of my life, leaving me depressed, heartbroken and frustrated for several weeks while heading into finals at school (I am 26 years old, by the way).

Since that breakup, I started dieting and working out heavily and lost 40 pounds in the last three months. Two months ago, I was forced to move out of my apartment into a new house at the same time I had just booked a vacation trip, costing me roughly $2,500 all at once, so that was beyond stressful. And I have had a bit of anxiety working full time with another semester on the horizon, while being offered a coaching job on top of that. So I have stressed about where I will find the time for all that. I have also had sleep paralysis twice in the past few weeks, but I’m not sure if that is related or not.

My father and his father both suffered from different patterns of permanent hair loss, while the grandfather on my mother’s side still to this day has a full head of hair. My primary care physician took a brief look and said he believes the hair will grow back and that it might be telogen effluvium due to the weight loss and/or extreme stress levels, as my blood work and thyroid tests came back very clean. Also, the hair that falls out all has a little white bulb on the end that was in the scalp.

I noticed my hair shedding more than usual about 1.5 months ago. What are the chances this could just be telogen effluvium and not permanent hair loss/male pattern baldness? And if it is telogen effluvium or some other form of temporary hair loss, what should I expect moving forward? Thank you for taking your time to read/reply. It is greatly appreciated.

Age: 26
Medications: Protonix

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Dr. Deepak Patel

Hello. If the hair loss happened after the stressful event and rapid weight loss, I think it may be temporary and your hair will grow back. The white bulbs at the end of the hair is a sign that they may have been pushed out by new hair growing underneath. You may be able to see new thinning hair growing where you had hair loss. Of course, hair loss can happen at any age but your dermatologist may be able to confirm telogen effluvium after physical exam. Also, stress events can lead to hair loss but also leave marks on… Read more »