Question: Last week a big strand of my hair fell out from the top of my head and it's left a bald patch that's the size of about a £2 coin maybe a bit bigger. The rest of my hair looks fine - it's still thick and shiny. Is this likely to just grow back or could it get worse? I don't want to go bald and it's making me really upset and worried. I haven't changed anything recently, no shampoo or hair products or anything. I don't feel stressed apart from since I saw my hair fall out. The only thing that's a bit different is that I started going to the gym to get fitter and to help me lose weight as I have quite a bit to lose and am also doing WeightWatchers which I've been on for about two months now and I've lost over a stone so far. I'm really getting in to exercise and go to the gym at least four times a week now but now I'm really conscious of my hair and don't want to make it worse, please can you help tell me what I can do?
Answer: Hi, Sara. First of all, try not to worry about your hair loss. It sounds like a case of Alopecia Areata and this is something that should be fairly straightforward to deal with.
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune condition which can be triggered by stress. I know you say that you don't feel stressed but you are probably referring to mental stress such as worry and anxiety. Your recent gym activity may be causing stress to your body, particularly if the increase in activity is rapid and fairly strenuous. Paired with your new diet regime, your body may have simply been a little shocked by these changes and temporarily shut down hair production in some of your follicles as a protective reaction.
The good news is that in the vast majority of cases the hair will grow back of its own accord once the body adjusts to your new routine. This usually takes up to around 12 months. Simply ensure you are not exercising excessively - your doctor will be able to advise you further on this - and are getting a sufficient calorie intake from your diet to support your daily activity. In the meantime, as the area affected is fairly small, hopefully you will be able to cover it with the rest of your hair until it returns.
If you would prefer to explore treatment for Alopecia Areata to help promote faster regrowth, Belgravia has had many successful outcomes from using high strength minoxidil. This topical solution is applied directly to the bald patch where your hair has fallen out, so it is easy to use and highly targeted. You can find examples of clients who have regrown their hair following this type of treatment in our Alopecia Areata Treatment Success Stories gallery.
As you are undertaking a new healthy regime, in addition to addressing your hair loss, we would recommend paying attention to your food intake to be sure you are getting the necessary vitamins and minerals needed to keep your hair strong and vital. This is particularly important for people who are dieting as sometimes their diets can be too restrictive which can result in thinning hair. If you are not confident that you are meeting your hair's needs in this way, topping up with a specifically-designed hair health supplement, such as Hair Vitalics, could be worth your while.
A hair loss specialist will be able to talk you through all of this, as well as assessing your condition and explaining their personalised treatment recommendations based on your pattern and level of shedding as well as your lifestyle needs.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.