Shedding can be gradual or accelerated, and can happen in response to the natural progression of MPB and/or a variety of of factors, ranging from psychological stress to diet, environmental toxins, and drugs.
Accelerated shedding is medically termed Telogen Effluvium, (TE). Next to Androgenetic Alopecia, Telogen Effluvium is the most common form of hair loss and typically occurs in response to a shock to the system, be it environmental, emotional, or bio-chemical. TE causes a diffuse thinning that is more pronounced at the top of the head down the part line. TE by itself will not aggravate a receding hairline.
Although TE is not considered permanent, it can, without intervention, take up to 18 months to run its course and for your hair to return to its previous appearance. 18 months can psychologically be an eternity.
Unlike Androgenetic Alopecia, there are no established treatment protocols for dealing with this, and what dermatologists all too often do is prescribe Rogaine, perhaps a topical corticosteroid, tell their patients to ”manage their stress” and call it a day. The Rogaine that gets prescribed more often than not only aggravates the condition.
Fortunately, there are far more effective ways to deal with this. At MPB Research we found long ago that TE, (often termed “stress related” hair loss) often exists in combination with AGA , which makes hair loss reversal all the more challenging.
If stress factors significantly into one’s hair loss equation, there are several ways to neutralize it. Our protocol recommendations which are documented to benefit both MPB and stress related hair loss via multiple mechanisms, consist of Taurine, Resveratrol/Curcumin, and the adaptogens Ashwagandha, and Rhodiola.
Of additional interest is a just published study documenting the almost instant shedding retardation effects of the short-term administration of high dose Vitamin D.
J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo)
Efficacy of Oral Vitamin D 3 Therapy in Patients Suffering from Diffuse Hair Loss (Telogen Effluvium)
The aim of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of telogen effluvium (TE) and to evaluate the efficacy of vitamin D in the treatment of this problem in women belonging to various cities of south Punjab, Pakistan. In the present study, 40 adult women suffering from the problem of TE were included. Each woman was treated with oral vitamin D3 (200,000 IU) therapy fortnightly and a total of 6 doses were given to each patient. After 15 d of the last dose, the condition of patients was assessed clinically. The mean age of female patients was 32.2±1.5 y, 42.5% of the patients between 21-30 y of age were found to be more frequently affected with TE compared to 35% females of 31-40 y of age. Results showed significant improvement in hair growth in young (r=0.457 p<0.003) women and in those, which do not use sunscreen (r=-0.331 p<0.037) but commonly utilize milk or milk protein (r=-0.311 p<0.051). Vitamin D3 therapy resulted in the improvement of the condition in 82.5% (p<0.001) patients of TE. The use of oral vitamin D3 (200,000 IU, fortnightly) for 3 mo resulted in significant improvement in hair regrowth in the patient of TE. Results showed improvement in hair growth in young women those do not use sunscreen but commonly utilize milk or milk protein.
We have long been recommending Vitamin D supplementation for both health reasons and the fact that those with Androgenetic Alopecia are established in several to have lower Vitamin D levels vs controls.
It would be reasonable to extrapolate from this study that consistent Vitamin D supplementation at a dose which would optimize blood levels may indeed protect one from the transient yet problematic effects of TE. I personally take 10,000 IU of cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) daily, with a meal that has some fat source, as Vitamin D is much better absorbed in the presence of fat.
Even if stress itself can’t be adequately managed, it’s physiological effects on the body, with targeted intervention, can be largely ameliorated. When you are already dealing with MPB, the last thing you need is additional hair loss triggered by stress or other variables.