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Q&A: Hair Loss After Severe Emotional Stress

Name: Anon

Female Hair LossQuestion: Three months ago I noticed my hair was beginning to thin and break off, and at that time eczema appeared on my body, which is being treated with Hydrocortisone, plus Betavate for a little patch of eczema in the hair line of my neck. I take Loratadine to reduce itching, once a day. Now my hair is almost none existent and I have to wear a wig. When I touch my scalp with my finger tips it feels like very short whiskas. There are a few shiny smooth patches, but not too many to notice. Eighteen months ago my husband passed away and perhaps this condition is due to a build up of grief and stress. I have had blood tests from the Doctor – all normal – but apart from the above medication for eczema no advice has been given to me to combat my hair loss. Any help regards shampoo, conditioner and vitamins for what remains of my hair would be very much appreciated.

Age 63 and female. Thank you

Answer: You say you noticed your hair starting to shed 3 months ago. As the process of hair loss actually starts to take place 2 to 3 months prior to the shedding, the trigger for your hair loss would have occurred 5 to 6 months ago. This is before you started to use any medications for your ezcema so it would seem that the trigger for the hair loss is, as you say, a build up of grief. (The medications you use should not cause hair loss in any case).

This sounds like a severe case of a condition called Telogen Effluvium, which triggers excessive hair loss of a result of a ‘shock to the system’. Contributing factors include hormone changes, medications, pregnancy, and stress. The latter can be brought on by the build up of grief from losing a loved one, as in your case. Sometimes, when faced with an emotional trauma, our bodies go into ‘coping’ mode and this can lead to a build up of grief, which the body may show as physical symptons some time after the event.

There are many other types of hair loss in women, so I would strongly advise coming in for a consultation with one of our specialists who will be able to give you an accurate diagnosis and advise on options for hair loss treatments.

When it comes to female hair loss, we work mainly with a proven treatment called Minoxidil and supplement this with shampoos and conditioners that are specially formulated to support the hair growth cycle while Minoxidil takes effect. We also offer a hair vitamin supplement called Hair Vitalics, which can increase the level of nutrients reaching the hair follicles. Hair Vitalics is not a stand-alone hair loss treatment – rather it enhances the proven treatment (Minoxidil).

To book an appointment (which is free of charge) with a hair loss specialist, please call 020 7730 6666 or message the centre. If you are unable to visit the clinic, please submit the online diagnostic form with a photograph and a treatment advisor will contact you to discuss matters further.

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