S Club 7 and Primeval star Hannah Spearritt has revealed how her 2013 breast enlargement surgery caused numerous issues, including hair loss.
She underwent an ‘explant’ operation to remove her implants three years later, which she says has improved her mental and physical well-being.
The actor experienced ‘breast implant illness’. According to the Texas-based plastic surgeon Dr Edward Melmed, who carried out Spearritt’s surgery and is quoted commenting on her story in the Daily Mail, this suggests ‘a microscopic seepage of silicone attaches itself to nerve endings in the body’ which results in ‘hair loss, cognitive disorders, chronic fatigue, dry eyes and severe muscle pain’.
Breast implant illness
As reported by Mail Online, the 37 year old – who is now on a mission to raise public awareness of the condition and silicone toxicity – described her ordeal as “the hardest, most traumatic four years“.
Spearritt explained she underwent cosmetic surgery because she always compared herself to other women: “I never felt womanly enough on top. I’d compare myself to the other girls in the band during photoshoots and was jealous of their beautiful curves”.
However, following the operation, she had other concerns as her immune system began to be affected. “Within six months my hair started to fall out in clumps. Then I started sleeping more and more – eventually 22 hours a day,” she told Metro.
Spearritt also appeared on This Morning, telling viewers she started experiencing “crippling anxiety” after her boob job, then further symptoms crept in. “I had hair loss, fatigue, memory loss… I still have some of that. There was a list of symptoms that goes on and on.”
Speaking on the TV show about having had her implants removed, Spearritt says, “My energy came back in bucket loads, I also had low-grade fever throughout the time I had the implants in, straight away it went back to normal”.
She and her partner have now set up the Facebook page ‘Breast Implant Illness’ to offer peer support to others who may be affected. This can be found at facebook.com/breastimplantillness
As reported in the medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), women who experience increased stress are at greater risk of thinning hair. People often assume this to mean the emotional feeling of being stressed, but – though this is entirely correct, as psychodermatologists have shown – there are other physical forms of stress and strain which can cause hair loss. This is especially true in cases of illness, surgery and during periods of high anxiety. Continues below…
Physical and mental strain
This can be emotional or physical strain, including the distress caused to the body by an illness – diagnosed or underlying, an operation (ironically, even if this is a hair transplant procedure) or adjusting to new medication. As Spearritt detailed experiencing at least two of these triggers, as well as high levels of anxiety – sufficient to cause panic attacks – this, or the Chronic form, is Belgravia specialists’ suspected diagnosis.
Telogen Effluvium forces hairs from the active growth ‘anagen’ phase, to prematurely enter the telogen (resting) phase of the hair growth cycle, where they remain for around three months before shedding. This is why, despite seeming sudden – as per Spearritt’s description of hair suddenly falling out in clumps – there is a gap between the condition being triggered and hair fall becoming noticeable. This can be shocking when it does happen, given up to 50 per cent of the hairs on a person’s head may be affected.
It causes diffuse hair thinning from all over the scalp and lasts for up to six months in regular cases, with Chronic Telogen Effluvium taking at least six months to clear up. However, anyone noticing this kind of intense hair fall and a noticeable drop in the volume of their hair should consult a specialist as this type of hair loss can be an indicator of other health issues.
For both regular and Chronic Telogen Effluvium, once the body has recovered from the underlying issue, normal hair regrowth will usually resume naturally. However, where required, Telogen Effluvium treatment is possible and may help to accelerate the process, using topical medication and a range of supporting booster products, such as Hair Vitalics for Women – Belgravia’s exclusive food supplement for healthy hair growth, containing selenium, biotin, zinc and a range of additional highly-targeted vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts.
For those with a genetic predisposition, Telogen Effluvium may bring about the premature onset of Female Pattern Hair Loss. Or, where this permanent, hereditary hair loss condition is already present, the rate of shedding may be increased. Considering this, a specialist consultation should help to provide an accurate diagnosis, personalised treatment recommendations and valuable peace of mind.
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.