Former Hollyoaks star Stephanie Davis has spoken about the stress-related hair loss that has recently knocked her for six.
The actor, who is heavily pregnant and due to give birth around Christmas, was talking to OK magazine about her thoughts on being a new mum, and the conversation eventually turned to hair styles that she has been experimenting with.
Working to repair hair
“I had to get all my hair out because it had gone messy,” she says in the article – no doubt referring to the hair extensions she is often seen with. “My hairdresser took them out, gave me a bit of a trim and we played with the length a bit. I’ve been working hard to repair my hair as when I was ‘blonde Steph’ my hair snapped a lot and it also started to fall out with all the stress I was under.”
Some of that stress may have been the emotional rollercoaster of being on Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year and the relationship difficulties that have ensued. The 23-year-old goes on to explain in the OK article that when she touched her hair, it would “just come out in my hands.”
She says she was told it was because of all the pressure she was under, although from what she says it does sound like there may also have been hair breakage at play. The more intense thinning at her temples also suggests it could be aggravated by her frequent wearing of extensions. This can cause Traction Alopecia which is often most noticeable around the hairline as this is the area that bears the brunt of the tight and/or heavy hairstyles which cause the condition.
What seems likely is that, if she was given a diagnosis of stress-related hair loss then, the Liverpudlian was at the very least losing hair to a condition called Telogen Effluvium. This is a temporary hair thinning condition that affects the whole scalp and is regularly brought on by stress. It tends to last no more than six months and can be treated at a hair loss clinic, where treatment typically involves something called minoxidil. Clinically-proven for the treatment of genetic hair loss, this vasodilator – when applied directly to the scalp – has been seen to help promote hair growth in cases of telogen effluvium too.
At Belgravia our specialists tailor bespoke telogen effluvium treatment courses featuring appropriate formulations of high strength minoxidil, as well as hair growth boosters. This approach can help to not only promote regrowth but also to put the scalp in tip-top condition, thus ensuring that new hairs have the best chance of growing.
Unsurprisingly, Ms Davis found her hairloss experience to be upsetting. “I had a cry about it quite often because I didn’t feel like myself,” she says. “It [a good head of hair] makes you feel womanly, in a sense.”
Wig when blonde
The actress also reveals that she had resorted to wearing a wig when she was blonde, because she’d lost so much hair. Perhaps an unwise step given wigs, as with extensions and hairpieces, can also cause hair loss from Traction Alopecia, it is also an understandable one for someone in the public eye who is frequently photographed.
Although her thinning had been quite noticeable, especially around her temples, today, she says, her hair is in much better condition. In fact, she tells OK that it has started growing back again during her pregnancy. She says was alarmed to discover, however, that it can fall out again after birth. “I’m dreading it,” she says.
Hair often thickens up during pregnancy, and Ms Davis has been correctly informed that it can thin out again after childbirth – this is known as Postpartum Alopecia. This all-over hair thinning, which is a form of telogen effluvium, occurs when the body sheds the over-supply of hair that it built up during pregnancy. In most cases, “normal service” is resumed in up to 12 months, although treatment is available to help speed the process along as long as the mother is not breastfeeding or pumping her milk.
What Ms Davis experience shows is just how sensitive hair can be to changes, be they hairstyling techniques, stress, or hormonal changes. It is precisely because of the myriad factors affecting hair health that a proper diagnosis at a specialist clinic is recommended at the first signs of hair loss.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from 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 success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.