I sometimes hear from people who have had a very abnormal hair shedding experience. Usually though, they are hopeful about recovery but they want to make sure that they are having a normal regrowth experience so that ever their hair will look normal again.
I heard from someone who said: “My hair has been shedding for around four months. I believe that I have telogen effluvium. The shedding is getting to get slowly better. m not sure if it is healthy regrowth. It looks lighter than the rest of my hair.
I can be difficult to evaluate the hair when it is first coming in. But in the coming days and weeks, there are some things that you want to keep your eye on. I will discuss them below.
You Want To Make Sure You're Replacing All Of What You Have Lost: When you have telogen effluvium (as opposed to a slow moving type of loss like androgenetic alopecia,) you lose a substantial amount of hair. And you want to make sure that you're replacing all that has been lost. Because if you are not, then your growth might have been affected by androgens, which is why you're not seeing all of it. Some days, people with this type of shedding lose hundreds of hairs per day, so you can imagine what type of substantive regrowth you should be looking at. In short, you should be able to pull back your hair (with the grain) and see tons of little hair strands going against the grain.
With this said, all of your hair is not going to grow back in all at once. It will likely grow back at the rate that it fell out, which is gradually. But, since so much typically falls out with this condition, you should probably see a good bit of regrowth at any time.
The Regrowth Should Like The Hair On The Rest Of Your Head After Some Time: It can be normal for the initial regrowth to be a little lighter in color than the rest of your hair, especially when it is first coming in. But after a couple of months (and after it has grown a couple of inches) then it should begin to become much closer to your regular color. By the time that it reaches 4 inches in length, most people will notice that it is totally normal in color.
Also, once it has begun to take on some length, it should be the same diameter as your regular hair. Again, when it is first growing in, it may be a little more thin. But as it gains length, it should also gain diameter. If you're not seeing this, it's possible that you have miniaturization due to androgen issues.
I know that this can be a frustratingly slow process. We often want to see normal looking hair as soon as it breaks the surface. But unfortunately, hair grows relatively slowly at only a half of an inch a month. So it can take a couple of months before you're seeing what looks like your own normal hair.
But to answer the question posed, you can tell that you're regrowing hair normally as long as you're replacing what is lost with hair that is normally normal in color and diameter. If this is not happening, then you have to consider that your hair may have been affected by androgens or perhaps an autoimmune issue, to name just a couple of options. But, it's my opinion that people often worry before they need to do so. Give your hair some time to gain some length before you evaluate it too harshly.