It has long been recognised that shock can cause hair loss. The body is programmed to switch off what it regards as the least-important function while directing its resources to emotional or physical survival in other areas. Shock comes in all shapes and sizes from bereavement and divorce to accident, illness and job loss, or even just a sustained period of great stress or change. Recently I have been reading how hair loss is common in ex-pats who emigrate as they adjust to their new lives for the first year, particularly if they have emigrated to a hot climate which their body is not accustomed to. Post-partum hair loss after pregnancy is so common as to almost be expected.
The hair is generally at its most lustrous when pregnant and the body is pumped full or hormones but up to three months after giving birth, the hair can suffer anything from mild to severe loss as it enters a higher shedding phase and at the very least will appear drier and more brittle as the body slowly returns to normal. Even Kate Middleton, post-pregnancy, has been photographed with dry flyaway hair, noticeably different in texture to her trademark glossy mane. With cancer, it tends to be the cancer treatment, rather than the cancer which causes hair loss, though some cancer sufferers manage to avoid hair loss, normally due to their particular treatment regime or whether they have been able to use ‘ice cap’ treatment on their scalp to help prevent.
‘Shock loss’ is also ironically a risk for those who have recently undergone hair transplants, though poor quality of surgery can be responsible in some cases. That is one of the reasons that hair transplants are becoming increasingly refined with FUE methods to lessen the shock of the procedure to the scalp.
For most, stress-triggered hair loss will eventually recover, but for some sadly it doesn’t, or it will recover for a time and then fall out again as TV Presenter Gail Porter found.
If you suspect your hair loss is owing to recent shock or stress, you may be producing higher than normal levels of the testosterone hormone androgen (which women should only possess 5-10% of typical male levels of). This is something your doctor can test you for in a blood test, although your doctor should also test for thyroid imbalance, iron/ferratin deficiency, diabetes, or protein/B vitamin deficiency. Your ferratin levels may need to be higher than normal, particularly if you come from a family prone to hair loss. If your body is producing more androgens than it should be, there are various natural means of reducing them such as losing weight (if you are overweight), increased exercise, cutting down on sugar and alcohol and eating more soya-based products. In addition it is important to find a means of relaxing and pacing yourself in life to reduce the stress levels and risk of becoming run down. This means developing regular sleeping, exercise and healthy eating patterns. On the outside, DHT-inhibitor and sulphate-free hair products can help support your remaining hair
And if your hair still stubbornly refuses to improve despite your best efforts, at least the rest of you will feel better and healthier under your new regime. As for your crowning glory, Aspiration are but a mouse click away to offer you a new and improved one and complete the restoration of your lost confidence.