Linda Haberfield suffered with long-term hair loss after a stressful divorce in 1991. The resulting blow to her self-confidence left the 60-year-old from Southampton too depressed to leave the house for 14 years.
Becoming a single mother of two children after her divorce was already stressful for Linda, but her high-pressured job and a diabetes diagnosis left her severely depressed. Referred to psychiatrists and unable to work, large sections of Linda’s hair began to fall out and she found herself feeling too self-conscious about her hair loss to leave the house.
“All I did was cleaning. It was something to keep me busy as I couldn’t get out of the house and it kept my mind occupied,” Linda remembers. Her family eventually convinced her to consult a hair loss specialist.
Sudden or severe stress can cause a temporary hair loss condition, which can last for up to six months, known as Telogen Effluvium. Or, in more protracted cases like Linda’s where the diffuse thinning lasts for more than six months, the condition is Chronic Telogen Effluvium.
Traumatic events such as bereavement or divorce can trigger the hair follicles into a premature resting ('Telogen') phase, resulting in the affected follicles shedding their hair around three months after the inciting event. This presents as thinning hair from all over the scalp, not just the top area as is common in Female Pattern Hair Loss.
Linda refers to her hair first falling out in 'clumps' which suggests it may have been caused by Alopecia Areata. Alopecia can also be triggered by extreme stress but tends to cause patchy hair loss rather than all-over thinning.
In addition to this stress-related hair loss, Linda's diabetes could also have been a contributing factor to her shedding. Proven links between hair loss and diabetes show that diabetics can lose hair due to the way in which their illness affects the body's circulation, as often insufficient nutrients for healthy hair growth reach the scalp.
Shedding caused by emotional stress or hair loss as a side effect of illness is often temporary, but catching it early and seeking professional treatment can help the hair to grow back more quickly and in the best possible condition.
Due to the severity of her hair loss by the time Linda sought help, it is unlikely that specialist hair loss treatments such as high strength minoxidil would be effective. Linda eventually decided to start wearing a wig to help boost her confidence. This hair replacement system made from real hair, has given her renewed confidence and put a smile back on her face. No longer confined to the house with low self-esteem, Linda now plans to travel to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and the Caribbean.
If you are concerned that you seem to be losing more hair than normal, contact a specialist as soon as possible to receive a full diagnosis and a bespoke, tailored hair loss treatment plan to suit your 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.