Chronic telogen effluvium is not uncommon. It is a form of diffuse hair loss affecting the entire scalp for which no obvious cause can be found. It usually affects women of 30 to 60 years of age who generally have a full head of hair prior to the onset of shedding. The onset is usually abrupt, with or without a recognizable initiating factor. The degree of shedding is usually severe in the early stages and the hair may come out in handfuls. Chronic telogen effluvium has distinctive clinical and histologic features that are usually diagnostic. Chronic telogen effluvium contrasts with classic acute telogen effluvium by its persistence and its tendency to fluctuate for a period of years. Patients are particularly troubled by the continuing hair loss and fear total baldness. Repeated reassurance that the condition represents shedding rather than actual hair loss and does not cause complete baldness is necessary. Chronic telogen effluvium does appear to be self-limiting in the long run.