One of the biggest TV stars of the 1980s has spoken out about how recent treatment for a debilitating back condition has led to hair loss.
Linda Evans, who played Krystle Carrington in Dynasty, told Entertainment Tonight that her sudden back pain was so excruciating that she began to wonder if she even wanted to live any more.
Luckily, cortisone treatments eventually provided a solution for her problem – but at a price. The actress recently revealed that following treatment her hair fell out.
Hair loss following medication or medical procedures
“This is not my hair” says the actress – who was known for her signature big-haired look – pointing to her short blonde cut in a TV interview with the channel, “This is a wig“.
In an accompanying article on etonline, she goes on to explain, “It’s going to take me a couple of years to grow my hair back, but in the meantime I just go, ‘Fine’.”
Hair loss as a result of an operation or medical procedure generally occurs around two-to-three months afterwards and causes thinning all over the scalp. It can also be triggered by prolonged emotional stress and a variety of medications.
When discussing the trauma she felt due to her back pain, she mentions years of battling depression as well as coming off her blood pressure medication. Both anti-depressants and anti-hypertensives (medications used to treat high blood pressure) are known to cause hairloss in some cases. The applicable brands have this listed as a possible side effect in their accompanying patient information leaflets.
Thinning hair as a side effect of medication is not that uncommon, though it accounts for a small fraction of cases when compared to hereditary conditions such as Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss. However, it can provoke or exacerbate genetic hair loss in those who have inherited the predisposition so there may be a cumulative effect that lasts longer than the initial effects of the temporary shedding whilst the body gets used to the new medication.
Although the information revealed is sketchy, it sounds likely that Ms Evans lost her hair to the temporary hair loss condition Telogen Effluvium – or its more chronic form, Diffuse Thinning – which may have been compounded by thinning around the top of the head caused by Female Pattern Hair Loss if the actress was already susceptible.
Telogen effluvium or alopecia areata?
In many cases of Telogen Effluvium, hair loss lasts no longer than six months and the scalp soon recovers once the underlying cause is resolved, whereas in cases of Chronic Telogen Effluvium, the shedding may be more intense and last a minimum of six months. Both these conditions are far more common in women than they are in men. Additionally, if female pattern hair loss – a permanent and progressive condition – is also thrown into the mix, this could lead to a lot of hair being shed in what may seem to be a relatively short period of time.
As Ms Evans points out, she expects her hair to grow back, although the two year time-frame suggests she is likely to have fairly extensive hair thinning – something which is consistent with these conditions. Her age could also be a factor in why she has been given a 24-month regrowth prognosis as, at 73 years old, the hair is likely to be naturally thinner anyway due to the ageing process.
Ms Evans doesn’t go into further details about her hair loss, so it’s difficult to say for sure which condition she’s been affected by as diagnosis would often depend on how exactly the hair fell out. Whilst we are assuming due to the revelations concerning her health problems and medical treatments that these are the likely instigators of her hair loss troubles, there is another possibility.
If, rather than thinning, the Hell’s Kitchen winner experienced sudden hair fall resulting in patchy hair loss that left behind rounded bald patches anywhere on the scalp, it could be the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata that’s to blame. This common condition can be triggered by sudden shock and, although in many cases the hair will regrow naturally or regrowth accelerated through specialist treatment, if or when this will happen is impossible to know due to the unpredictability of alopecia. Therefore, whilst technically possible, a diagnosis of AA does not fit so well with having a recovery timeline in place.
Anyone concerned that they are noticing more hairs than normal in their brush or suspect their parting is getting wider than it used to be should not worry – there is help available.
Whether it’s a few months after starting a new diet, medication or following surgery, or whether you aren’t aware of any changes to your normal routine, a hair loss specialist nurse will be able to get to the bottom of what’s causing the problem. Following their diagnosis they will also be able to provide you with personalised hair loss treatment recommendations featuring the best choice of high strength minoxidil for your specific situation chosen from Belgravia’s wide selection of products.
Hair growth boosters may also be combined with this key treatment to give you a comprehensive approach, which will all be monitored by your dedicated treatment advisor throughout your regrowth journey to ensure your hair reaches its full potential. Many women have experienced great results from their bespoke Belgravia treatment courses, a selection of whom feature in our Success Stories gallery where you can see their progress from before and after starting treatment.
The Belgravia Centre
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.