It was such a good idea at the time, but is your January weight loss resolution coming back to haunt you? Many women who try to shed their holiday weight by drastically restricting their food intake are at risk of hair loss, but what can you do to prevent it becoming a long-term problem?
Is Your Hair Slimming Down?
Usually a month or two after the diet begins, hair will fall out at a faster rate that normal (we lose on average 100 hairs a day). Dieters may notice an increase in hair fall from the top of their head, perhaps skin on the scalp is more visible, or you might notice more hair falling out in the shower.
Washing your hair everyday will not cause an increased rate of shedding, so if you’re making use of that gym membership there’s no need to worry. However whilst increased exercise won’t cause you to lose hair, your diet may well do.
The reason behind the shedding lies in the fact that restricting your calorie intake inevitably means that your intake of nutrients will drop sharply, and because the hair system is incredibly sensitive to changes going on elsewhere in the body, the hair loss condition Telogen Effluvium may occur.
Telogen Effluvium happens when hair follicles stop growing prematurely and enter the resting (telogen) phase. The affected hairs will few remain in this phase for a few months, before shedding. So in theory, you could have given your diet the boot long before the hair loss occurs.
Happily for everyone who’s been living off vegetable juices and fresh air for the past few weeks, hair loss from Telogen Effluvium should regrow after several months. However, sometimes hair can need a helping hand to return to its previous luster, especially if a nutrient deficiency is still ongoing.
The Diet Antidote
Firstly, any diets that restrict calories or certain foods to the extent that your body is missing out on vital nutrients are strongly advised against. In terms of hair loss treatment, there is one clinically proven hair loss medication available for use by women that is licensed by the MHRA: minoxidil. This treatment is applied directly to the scalp as either a liquid or, for tricky patches of thinning, a high strength 10% minoxidil + azelaic acid cream. The added ingredient in minoxidil, azelaic acid, is thought to inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which joins with testosterone to form DHT, an androgen which causes scalp follicles to shrink and produce weaker hair.
Alongside azelaic there are other ingredients that can be added to minoxidil that seem to have a complementary effect. Medroxyprogesterone (MPG) appears to act by blocking the affect of DHT on hair follicles, and caffeine, when applied locally, also seems to help in this way. Alongside minoxidil, there are a number of treatment boosters which can potentially enhance hair regrowth. These include nutritional supplement Hair Vitalics, which ensures that your hair is getting everything it needs to grow back strong and healthy.
The Belgravia Centre—————————————————————————————————–
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. We offer clinically proven treatments for hair loss, as part of comprehensive treatment programmes offered by our hair loss specialists. Our in-house pharmacies produce high-strength medications for hair loss that contain medically proven ingredients and are available at no other clinic worldwide. Treatment programmes are available by visiting the centres or for home-use, anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our hair loss success stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of hair regrowth that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 0800 077 6666 for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.