I'm asked this question quite a bit. After going through the trauma of seeing shedding hair all over your clothing and home, many people are more than ready to begin regrowing their hair and to have this process finished and over. People want to know when they should starting looking for small signs of regrowth. Many people will look, see nothing, and worry that their hair just is not going to grow back. Knowing the correct time frame will help you to determine if everything is happening as it should. I will discuss this more in the following article.
Typical Hair Regrowth Rates: Sometimes people confess to me that they think hair that has shed or has been involved with telogen effluvium (TE) regrows differently than hair that comes out as part of a normal follicle cycle. This really is not entirely accurate. Once a hair comes out of the follicle, it generally then reverts back to the growing phrase (so long as there is not some autoimmune or androgen mechanism taking place as in disorders like alopecia areata or AGA where the matter is being attacked or compromised.) So, once the shaft is forced out of your scalp and falls out, then the follicle will begin it's regrowth phase and this process happens quite quickly.
However, what's not so rapid or fast is human hair regrowth rates. For most people, this is about 1/2 a millimeter per day so that over a month's time, you're looking at about 1/2 inch or regrowth. A good rule of thumb is that most people should start seeing decent levels of regrowth at around 2 – 3 months after the worst shedding took place. Some people see this earlier and some see this later, but 1/2 inch per month is considered typical or average.
If you're not seeing any new hairs coming in, try spraying some dry shampoo right at the top of your head by the part line (or any other area where you've been particularly hard hit.) This will coat your strands and should make those new regrowth strands that are just coming in stand out from the rest. Yes, these hairs will be quite short, but if you give them a little time, eventually they will begin to fill in and to give you some volume. In about six months to a year, your hair should resume a normal appearance.
Another thing to try to see the new hairs is to pull your hair straight back or to comb it forward or against the grain. This will make those new little hairs stand up where you should be able to see them. So what happens if you're not seeing anything? You may have somewhat slower grow rates. Reccheck every week. Hopefully, in the next few weeks you should begin to see some little sprouts coming in. If you do not, you may want to consider that despite your hair loss was caused by something other than TE or common shedding.
Because in TE or seasonal shedding, the follicle is just being reset into the shedding phrase, but nothing has happened to damage it. There are other causes of hair loss (like androgenic alopecia or AGA) that will compromise regrowth. Another potential indication that something else might be going on is seeing miniaturized or very fine or flyaway regrowth that is coming in, but not really providing any volume or coverage.