A keen Instagrammer who describes herself as a “body positive bad-ass momma” has opened up about her hair loss which, she says, began after she started taking a new medication.
Milly Smith, who posts on Instagram using the name @selfloveclubb, wrote that “this post is damn hard for me to do. This is something I don’t talk about at all and is something I’ve been ashamed of for so very long.”
Thinning hair on top of scalp
In photographs that accompany the posting, she lowers her head to show the thinning hair that has presented along the top of her scalp.
“Hair loss is scary,” she writes, “and watching my hair fall out in handfuls after taking a new medication left me devastated. The hair still hasn’t grown back and might not ever.”
Ms Smith states that she has been losing hair “for years”, which may suggest that the shedding that was initiated by changing medication has actually developed into a different condition.
Telogen Effluvium is regularly seen when people start new medications; the body is responding to the ‘shock’ of something new (extreme diets, stress and fitness regimes can also be triggers), and what normally happens is that hair fall stops once the body gets used to the new drugs. When this doesn’t happen and Telogen Effluvium continues for more than 12 months, specialists re-classify it as Chronic Telogen Effluvium, also known as Diffuse Thinning, though both are classed as temporary hair loss conditions. Existing Telogen Effluvium treatment can be an effective way to ‘speed up’ the recovery process, as can treatment for diffuse thinning. Continues below…
What Ms Smith may be unaware of is that such a thing as the ‘balding gene’ exists not just for men, but for women, too. Female Pattern Hair Loss affects not just thousands but millions of women worldwide – including several Loose Women regulars. In many cases, the body simply chooses when it is time to start shedding in those women who are genetically predisposed toward hair thinning, while in others it is believed that certain things happen that bring about its onset or speed it up. One such trigger is Telogen Effluvium.
A possible explanation for Ms Smith’s thinning hair, which she says has been going on “for years”, could be that the medication she started using led to Telogen Effluvium, which in turn either kickstarted the onset of female pattern hair loss, or made it worse.
Restoring hair density
It is extremely encouraging for the Instagrammer to be taking a stand and helping to provide comfort and support for people in her online community who are also losing their hair. However, if she did decide she wanted to improve her hair density and regrowth, the level, stage and pattern of shedding that can be seen in her photos suggest she would be a good candidate for pharmaceutical hair loss treatment – as long as her medical profile was also deemed suitable.
Treatment courses for various forms of hair loss in women make use of relevant formulations of a drug called high strength minoxidil .This hair loss solution is applied directly to the scalp where needed either once or twice a day, as directed. Minoxidil is known to be a vasodilator which, by widening the blood vessels and opening potassium channels, encourages increased levels of oxygen and blood to be delivered to the hair follicles, as well as more nutrients. In turn, this can promote localised hair growth.
Although it is approved by the MHRA and FDA for the treatment of genetic hair loss, minoxidil has also shown significant, positive improvements for other hair loss conditions. This topical treatment is included, in the most appropriate formulation for the client, as part of a bespoke hair loss treatment course devised for each individual’s personal needs by the expert staff at Belgravia alongside other important elements, from food supplements to at-home laser therapy, to help boost hair growth.
What’s certain is that Milly’s followers have been inspired by her revelation, with more than 34,000 people having liked the post. The comments from many of her 141k followers also show just how commonplace women’s hair loss really is.
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.