Question: I am a 16 year old girl from South Africa. I have lost 28 kg during the last 6 months. I was on a very popular diet (in South Africa) prescribed and monitored by the doctor. I have reached my goal weight now, but the last month I have been losing my hair. I keep losing hair, and my hair is very thin now. Do you have any advice?
Answer: The weight loss is indeed a lot; that is four stones in a six month period. This is initially a big change for your body, but the long term health benefits will make it worthwhile. However, it is a shock to the system that can then lead to a diffuse hair loss condition called telogen effluvium. When this occurs, hair that's in the growth stage of its cycle is pushed prematurely into the resting stage, resulting in increased shedding. The hair loss can very noticeable and subsequently worrying, and one can lose at least 40% of the entire density. That said, telogen effluvium is often a self-correcting hair loss. The hair usually grows back within six to twelve months, unless there are any aggravating factors such as female pattern hair loss. If your hair doesn't seem to be returning to its original density, or if you want to speed up regrowth, you could use the proven hair loss treatment minoxidil as part of a hair loss treatment plan.
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