‘Domestic Goddess” and TV chef Nigella Lawson has been all over the headlines recently following a strict diet and exercise regime which has seen her shedding weight and moving from a size 16 to a size 12 dress size. But recent photos taken during a lunch date with her art director husband Charles Saatchi in London suggest that her new health-conscious outlook could be causing hair loss in addition to weight loss.
Famed for her no-compromise approach to cooking, Nigella Lawson is as famous for her curves and long, glossy hair as she is for the dishes she creates. However passersby will have been surprised to note clear signs of thinning at the back of her head, around the crown.
Is the Hair Loss Caused by Her Diet Plan?
Hair loss specialists have long known that certain diets can lead to thinning hair if not monitored carefully. Hair health is entirely dependent on a constant supply of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Should the supply of nutrients be disrupted or stopped, a person’s hair will immediately lose its body and shine, becoming brittle and prone to breakage. If the hair follicles which pass minerals to the hair are deprived for long enough, the attached hair can eventually fall out altogether.
So called ‘fad’ diets are often blamed by hair loss experts for causing hair loss in men and women because they can fail to maintain intake of the nutrients essential for healthy hair. Any diet which reduces a person’s levels of vitamins A, B or C, folic acid or iron all have the potential to cause hair loss.
Nigella Lawson is particularly famous for creating dishes which emphasise rich flavours, regardless of the calorie and fat content. It is therefore entirely possible that the change in her diet has led to a corresponding shift in her vitamin and mineral intake. Nigella’s transformation has been relatively speedy, suggesting that she is on some form of extreme diet coupled with a physically grueling exercise regime. It is no stretch of the imagination to think that there is a correlation between her weight and apparent hair loss.
Could it be Stress-Related Hair Loss?
Stress is also known to be a common cause of hair loss in men and women, which often manifests in a condition known as Telogen Effluvium. Taking up to three months for the associated hair loss to begin, Telogen Effluvium can be caused by all manner of stressful situations which cause a hormonal imbalance.
Telogen Effluvium causes a person’s hair follicles to enter a ‘resting’ phase prematurely so that the attached hair stops growing. Once hair follicle enters telogen, the hair falls out. People experiencing Telogen Effluvium are often shocked by the unexpected hair loss which begins around three months after the stressful event which triggers the condition.
Perhaps somewhat unexpected is the fact that dieting and stress can be closely related, with some food regimes causing dieters to become extremely stressed. Three months ago Nigella Lawson was in the middle of her weight loss efforts potentially causing a great deal of emotional stress. Her admission of being an ‘aquaholic’, whereby she needed to drink upwards of eight litres of water every day, would also have been causing significant physical stress on her metabolism.
As a result it is entirely feasible that stress may well have had some part to play in the condition of Nigella’s apparent hair loss this week.
What About Excessive Exercise?
Although exercise is essential for staying healthy, certain routines may be harmful to the hair of women genetically predisposed to hair loss through a condition known as Androgenic Alopecia. Certain exercises increase production of testosterone which is then broken down into a secondary chemical which attacks the hair follicles. The hair in these follicles then falls out, leading to bald patches, typically around the crown as demonstrated by Nigella.
Ms Lawson has spoken openly about her strenuous exercise regime in conjunction with her diet, which involves intense, 20-minute cardio workouts. It is probable that these frequent, intense workouts are raising her testosterone levels, thereby increasing the risk of hair loss through Androgenic Alopecia if she is inclined that way genetically.
Fortunately For Nigella, the photographs taken during the week suggest that her hair loss is in the early stages, apparently restricted to the crown of her head present. Better still, should the thinning hair be caused by Telogen Effluvium, the hair should regrow naturally within three to six months.
However, without a definitive diagnosis, Ms Lawson cannot be sure whether her hair loss is caused by Telogen Effluvium, or something more long-term, like female pattern hair loss. Obviously Nigella’s first course of action should be to obtain professional advice from a reputable hair loss expert who will be able to identify what is causing the hair loss, and formulate a treatment plan to help prevent further shedding.
With a proper diagnosis in place, and a personalised hair loss treatment plan underway, Nigella Lawson should find that her hair loss stabilises and eventually reverses. This will usually be achieved through a combination of medications and complementary therapies designed to stimulate and deliver nutrients to the hair follicles.
How Does it Work?
Most of the treatment plans designed to promote hair regrowth for women that are created by The Belgravia Centre involve use of the medication Minoxidil and various hair growth boosters. These products help collectively to help stimulate blood flow around the follicles, provide the required nutrients to the hair and block DHT which is the product that attacks and destroys healthy hair follicles. The Belgravia Centre offers various forms and strengths of Minoxidil which are individually prescribed to suit each patient’s pattern and stage of hair loss.
To find out how The Belgravia Centre can assist with hair loss caused by diet, exercise, stress or genetics, contact us to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our hair loss experts. If you are unable to get to our London centre we offer a worldwide home use service – all you need to do is complete our online diagnostic form.