In the closing stages of her recent appeal this month, Amanda Knox was photographed in court showing clear signs of thinning hair. Originally sentenced to serve 26 years in prison for the brutal murder of British student Meredith Kercher, Knox and her then boyfriend Rafaelle Sollecito were both cleared after a lengthy appeal.
Throughout the original police investigation and subsequent trial, Knox was characterised by the media as a flame-haired temptress with many column inches devoted to her hair. During the recent appeal, Knox’s defence claimed that these portrayals had led to a miscarriage of justice resulting in her imprisonment.
Stress-Related Hair Loss
Following a 9 month trial, Knox was eventually convicted and jailed. Within weeks of arriving at Capanne prison, Knox requested the prison barber that her hair be styled into a short bob to disguise the fact that her hair was rapidly thinning.
At the time Knox’s mother, Edda Mellas said that like many other women experiencing thinning and hair loss, Amanda was totally shocked. Upon hearing about the radical new hairstyle, Mellas said, “She had lovely long hair. Now it is all cut off.”
During the appeal against her conviction, Knox re-appeared in the Perugia courthouse sporting a full head of shoulder-length hair. However as the court proceedings entered their final stages, Knox was again observed to have experienced significant hair loss, particularly around her centre parting. By this point Knox had already served four years in prison.
Stress or Something Else?
As with any young woman facing a significant portion of her life in jail in a foreign country, we can assume that stress played some part in Knox’s hairloss. The thinning of Knox’s hair coincided with her initial conviction in 2009 and the climax of the appeal proceedings earlier this month, both periods where it is safe to say that emotional pressure on her would have been at its greatest.
Alternatively it is feasible that Amanda Knox may have a history of hair loss in her family which could have resulted in visible thinning. Photographs of Curt Knox, Amanda’s father, suggest her male relatives may experience a receding hairline in later life, but Knox’s age and apparent hair regrowth between 2009 and this month suggest that she is not subject to female pattern hair loss at the moment.
Closer examination of recent close-up photographs reveal Knox looking pale and spotty. These are also recognised symptoms of stress. As such it would appear that Knox’s hair loss is indeed stress-related, at least in part.
Stress and Hair Loss
There are typically two hair loss conditions believed to be associated with hair loss and which can potentially affect any person, man or woman, who is under intense emotional pressure.
Telogen Effluvium is the most common form of stress-related hair loss and most likely what Amanda Knox has been experiencing during her incarceration. In the case of Telogen Effluvium, the hormone adrenaline is released into the bloodstream during periods of stress. If the stress continues over an extended period, adrenaline causes hair follicles to enter a “resting” state, in turn causing hair to fall out.
Under normal conditions, up to ten percent of a person’s hair is in this resting state at any given point in time. With elevated levels of adrenaline affecting hair follicles, this percentage increases. The hair attached to dormant follicles may take two or three months to fall out after the dormancy period begins. Whilst follicles remain dormant, hair regrowth can be patchy and uneven, further highlighting the condition.
Fortunately Telogen Effluvium is often completely reversible and women experiencing this form of hair loss frequently find that their hair begins growing normally within six to nine months.
Knox’s Hair Future
Although it is impossible to say exactly what caused Amanda Knox’s hair loss, stress is a likely candidate. There are a number of hair loss treatments (for both men and women) which could help promote regrowth and slow future thinning, but it is also important that the root cause of any stress be dealt with for the best possible outcome.
The Belgravia Difference
The Belgravia Centre operates on a case-by-case basis, assessing every one of their clients and their specific needs. In doing so our hair loss specialists can create a tailored hair loss treatment programme which may include medication, dietary supplements (our Hair Vitalics supplement) and other supportive treatments. Every client is treated individually to ensure that they receive the optimum programme for their own hair regrowth.
This personal attention yields not only impressive hair regrowth results, but also earns us enthusiastic reviews and success stories from our clients who appreciate our attentiveness to their needs and the sensitivity with which we work with them for the best outcomes.
So if you are experiencing thinning hair, why not contact us to arrange a free, no obligation consultation. If you cannot make it to our London clinic, you can complete our online diagnostic form which can help identify potential causes of hair loss and recommend a suitable home treatment plan tailored to your specific needs wherever you are in the world.