Saturday, 18 July 2015

My very own solar panel...

There's hugely conflicting information out there about suncare; from the assertion we need SPF protection year-round to the news that there's a growing trend of Vitamin D Deficiency because we're too diligently avoiding the sun! 

I'm neither a scientist nor a skin cancer specialist, but one thing I believe is that the old adage 'everything in moderation' is probably very apt - we need some sun to keep our bones healthy, our body balanced and our immune system on course, but literally cooking our skin cannot be good for us, no matter what some people say to themselves.

Since losing my hair, I've had little, if any hair regrowth; last summer however something happened. Myself and a couple of others I know with Alopecia Universalis started to see small amounts of downy regrowth on our scalps. Not much, but a little and it was noticeable enough that we each commented on it and then discussed it in detail. There were a few things in common; the hair grew in patches, the shafts were soft, downy and blonde and none of us had experienced noticeable regrowth since we'd lost it fully. What's more, in each case, the growth was finite; the hairs themselves didn't get any longer and the patches didn't get any bigger. To this day, none of us are sure what was so special about last summer!

At the end of the summer, we all lost the hair again and other than the odd shaft I've not seen any regrowth. Again this year, I've been back out in the sun, and low and behold, I'm regaining the same patches, only this time they're coming back brown! The only difference is that where last year direct sunlight on my scalp was few and far between, this year, I've been walking my dogs every morning completely bareheaded.

What the sun gives you is a little endorphins, a dose of Vitamin D (which in turns helps the absorption of calcium) and probably more than a little bit of relaxation. Potentially, just one of these things (or maybe all of them combined) is supporting the follicular regrowth in each case.

As you've probably gathered by now, I am not actively pursuing hair regrowth; I'm happy bald, I like and enjoy it, and pining for it to come back seems a waste of energy, mental capacity and a whole heap too much worrying! Still, I do find any sign of regrowth interesting and do like to research what could be causing it.

Something that has come up consistently when discussing general health with other alopecia sufferers is a Vitamin D deficiency; I have suffered from it and have met a high number of others that have too. Perhaps the sunlight is upping my natural levels of Vitamin D and allowing my body space to heal a bit?! Unfortunately, despite the obvious commonalities, the tests by the Doctor following my hairloss did reveal a Vitamin D deficiency, yet plenty of sunlight and Vitamin D supplements for seven months reverted my levels to the high-end of normal, yet there was no regrowth at all. Similarly, at the end of a holiday in the sun, my hair hasn't shown sign of regrowing, despite the sun and relaxation.

At the end of it all, there seems to be nothing definitive about either my behaviour or environment which is clearly linked to this random regrowth and shedding; nothing I can pass on for people to try out! In the meantime, I like to think of my bald head as my very own solar panel; gaining a little extra sun exposure in small doses, and helping the natural production of Vitamin D which maintains natural levels and keeps me healthy!

Anyone else notice any summer regrowth?

Victoria x Twitter: @PrettyBald

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