I never for one minute imagined I’d become a specialist within the field of hair loss. To be honest I’ve always had rather a negative relationship with my hair. As a teen I struggled emotionally and this coincided with changes to my hair during puberty. The texture changed. My hair became frizzy, unmanageable, wiry in places and I developed a rather strange habit of pulling the wiry hairs out. With the pressure of looming O-levels I started to notice two very thin patches on the sides of my head, patches where my tight course curls once resided. The shame and confusion linked to my pulling compulsion was overwhelming and served only to exacerbate feelings of inadequacy and vulnerability. 
 
My mother persuaded me to go to see her hairdresser. We agreed a very short cut was the best option so the thinning patches wouldn’t be so obvious. To some extent this worked. Although I hated my short hair and felt like a boy, eventually my hair regrew and as the tight short curls softened with the lengthening of each hair shaft, I slowly began to temper my plucking and regain my confidence. 
 

What is trichotillomania? 

Trichotillomania is the name of this hair pulling disorder. It’s been classed as an obsessive -compulsive disorder characterised by a recurrent repetitive plucking. Sadly, back in the mid 80’s I received no help or support and had to learn to manage the condition myself and whilst I made huge strides and my hair recovered well I have been left with a habit that even to this day needs active management. 

The 1980’s to the 90's 

In the late 80’s luck was on my side and my wild, messy locks became acceptable, even fashionable. But as we rolled into the 90’s and I entered the world of work I wanted a neat, glossy, professional appearance and my hair never behaved. I could spend half an hour blow drying for a 5-minute walk in damp air to wreck any style I hoped to preserve. I’m naturally quite athletic and would have loved to cycle or walk to work but always had this nagging voice in the back of my mind shouting, “Just think what that’d do to your hair. You can’t!”. And because I’d be a frizzy mess and miserable for the entire day, I never did. 
 
Thankfully the hair care world has moved on and I now have a huge array of hair taming products to choose from. My hair life has become simpler but still to this day I don’t have an easy relationship with my mop of keratin. 

Nutrition, medicine and hair loss 

In 2019, whilst fully immersed in my nutritional medicine studies, I was invited to use my skills to help out at a new local hair loss clinic. I’d been working in a range of fields including NHS Diabetes Prevention, nutritional health education with The Doctors Kitchen and a charity Think Through Nutrition, when an inspiring and very forward-thinking company approached me. They’d taken over the hair-loss support service from an NHS Trust after witnessing the poor level of care patients had been receiving. Whilst I knew very little about hair loss at the time, I was open to all opportunities and jumped at the chance. I knew I had something to offer. 
What began as ad hoc support became a steady and growing stream of female clients. I witnessed the anxiety and vulnerability associated with the loss of their crowning glory. I started to identify common patterns. I saw women who were struggling with underlying autoimmune conditions, often undiagnosed. Some were struggling with post covid symptoms, gut and hormonal issues, nutritional deficiencies or issues with metabolism. Many women were managing high levels of stress and there were the women undergoing treatments for other diseases like cancer. I spent days and nights and nights and days researching, shocked as I learnt about the rapid rise in female hair loss, confused by the limited of support within the NHS and disappointed by the lack of science led holistic care in the private sector. 
 
I embarked on additional studies in Functional Medicine and Integrative Cancer support alongside my masters, determined to do all I could to help. I figured out the best tests for each patient, the most appropriate starting points, which patients needed to be referred to the appropriate specialists and most importantly how to equip each hair loss patient with the tools to help themselves. 

 

And so I now find myself dedicated to helping beautiful women struggling with hair loss and have never felt a stronger mission

 

Female hair loss is often an indicator of underlying health issues. I’m here to help, to guide, to support, empower and transform your health. 
 
In the coming months I’ll be creating a library of resources, tips and tools dedicated helping women navigate the world of female hair-loss. 
 
Please do feel free to get in touch if you have any queries and I’ll do all I can to point you in the right direction. 
 
Charlotte 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
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Tagged as: Hair loss
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