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The Stress of Temporary Hair Loss

This week, the tabloids have been speculating over the cause of American actress, Kristen Stewart’s noticeable hair loss. They’ve put it down do the stress of the Twilight star’s recent break-up with Robert Pattinson – but are they correct?

While stress is a recognised trigger of hair loss, there are lots of different health conditions that can cause the problem. It could be due to recent severe illness, recent surgery, medical conditions – such as thyroid abnormalities or low blood count – rapid weight change or emotional stress, like Kristen is said to be suffering from. If this is the case, she will be pleased to hear that once the stress is alleviated, hair usually grows back within a few months.

Temporary hair loss may occur due to several different reasons. Alopecia Areata, for example, usually appears as one or more isolated patches of complete baldness. It’s thought to be caused by the body producing antibodies that prevent the hair follicles from growing hair. In many cases, the condition clears up by itself.

Certain medications are known to cause hair loss, however, the effects are reversible once the drugs are changed or stopped. These include some forms of blood-thinning drugs, thyroid medications, chemotherapy for cancer and contraceptive pills.

Skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, can also cause temporary hair loss. In more severe cases, the loss of hair may be permanent. In these cases, surgery can be used to restore hair to the area. I would only recommend this, however, once the underlying skin condition has been successfully treated.

Another common cause of temporary hair loss in pregnancy and/or childbirth. This is due to a delay in the normal shedding during pregnancy. In other words, the hair gets thicker during pregnancy and then returns to its normal state afterwards.

Hair loss can be upsetting and cause distress regardless of whether it’s been diagnosed as temporary or permanent. I advise paying attention to a good balanced diet with foods that are rich in minerals such as zinc, calcium, sodium and potassium, as depletion of these resources can affect one’s healthy growth of hair. Additionally, people may decide to use hair-stimulating medications such as minoxidil in a bid to speed up growth.

If you’re worried about hair loss, come and see us for a consultation and we can advise the best treatment for you.

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