• Stress is a common cause of hair loss in women
• 40% of women lose some hair after childbirth
• Dieting and poor diets can cause hair loss
• By 50 years of age, 25% of women have thinner hair
• Hair loss caused by mineral deficiency is more common
in women than men
• Excessive use of hair extensions can lead to hair loss
Why do women lose hair?
are many reasons why women lose hair. Often it follows
childbirth and, occasionally, an illness. Stress is a
common cause of hair loss, and dieting, or a poor diet,
sometimes causes the hair to become thin as can an unhealthy
Hair extensions can cause hair loss as they are attached
to small sections of hair near the scalp or sewn in and
prolonged use can cause loss and thinning due to the extra
strain this places on the hair strands.
The simplest solution is to stop wearing the extensions
and in many cases, the hair will recover, unless extreme
damage has been caused to the follicles.
(Post-partum) hair loss
can have a wonderful effect on a woman’s hair. From about
the fourth month of pregnancy her hair is usually at its
absolute best. It is shinier, more abundant, more manageable
and less greasy. Also, there is less dandruff and other
This improvement in the hair is because of the increase
in female sex hormones (mainly oestrogen) at this time.
But after the baby is born, there is often a great loss
of hair due to these hormones falling back to the normal
hair, which is lost after childbirth, is the hair that
would normally have fallen out during the nine months
of pregnancy but didn’t, and will now fall out from the
second to the seventh month after the baby’s birth. Halle
Berry and Louise Rednapp both experienced hair loss after
Post-natal hair loss affects approximately 40% of all
women with children and can be a very frightening and
upsetting experience, often because the woman does not
know what exactly is causing the problem and when it will
stop, and even in some cases, if it will stop. This excessive
hair loss usually lasts for between 3 to 6 months and
stops as suddenly as it started, and in time all the hair
will be replaced.
and hair loss
related hair loss in women is an increasingly common problem.
A growing number of women in stressful jobs suffer from
thinning hair. Modern life and high stress levels associated
with a fast moving lifestyle can have a truly dramatic
effect upon our hair. Considerable stress can also be
placed on a mother by the often formidable demands of
Many parts of the body can suffer the effects of stress,
but it shows very quickly in the hair because the life
cycle of the hair is interrupted, causing it to fall out
prematurely. In most cases, this type of hair loss is
temporary and the hair which is lost will be replaced.
The problem is, however, by the time one particular hair
is replaced another two have fallen out, so the overall
effect can be a significant thinning of the hair.
How to prevent stress related
The first rule, if you see excessive hair fall, is try
not to panic (easy to say but often not easy to do), as
this in itself can cause more stress which can cause more
hair loss. Most people suffering from stress induced hair
loss recover very well once the cause of the stress has
The following can help greatly to reduce stress related
• Exercise is an excellent way of relieving stress. It
keeps your body fit and well and it burns off the high
levels of hormones which can cause problems.
• Relaxation and sleep are very important. Work hard when
at work but if possible try to leave it behind when you
go home. At lunch time take the phone off the hook while
you eat a sandwich, even fifteen minutes of relaxation
• Try to get the amount of sleep you think your body needs.
Too little sleep leads to poor work, bad tempers
Common female hair loss
thinning of the hair is far more common in men, it can
affect some women who have a genetic tendency towards
It is caused by the effects of androgens (male hormones
which women also have, but at very low levels). These
hormones restrict the growth of the hair which results
in a characteristic thinning on the front and top of the
This form of hair loss affects 10% of all women between
the ages of 18-40, 25% by the age of 50, and a staggeringly
high 60% by 70 years of age. In many women it is only
a minor problem affecting only a small proportion of their
hair, but in others it can become distressing and may
lead to a loss of self-confidence. and…worst of all, bad
The hairs become finer and do not grow as long as they
should, and the scalp eventually becomes a little more
Treating common female
Good general health is always important as hair thinning
is more likely to occur if a woman is ill or run down.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can sometimes have very
good effects on hair growth but this would need to be
discussed with the persons doctor. The high oestrogen
HRT tablets tend to work best. Some women have seen good
results from using Minoxidil (Equate).
Alopecia Arearta (Hair
Loss in Patches)
is another hair loss problem which is often associated
with stress. The symptoms are a sudden increase in hair
fall and the appearance of round or oval patches of baldness
which are smooth to the touch. These patches may be singular
or multiple in number with short broken hairs around the
Although this problem can occur at any age, it is most
common between ten and thirty-five years and affects women
and men equally. Although this condition can be very distressing,
an important point to remember is that the empty hair
follicles are always only ever dormant, and not dead.
So they remain capable of producing hair when the person’s
health is improved or the right trigger is found.
Treatment for Alopecia
It is best to have the problem diagnosed by a specialist
in hair disorders. Names and addresses of qualified trichologists
can be obtained from www.trichologists.org.uk
Dieting and hair loss
Dieting, particularly crash dieting, can be disastrous
on the hair. To suddenly stop eating food can cause hair
loss by the hand full; this type of dieting should never
be undertaken unless it is required for medical reasons.
A well prepared and sensible diet, accompanied by exercise
is, however, a good way to loose weight and will not cause
Low iron levels
Anaemia, or simply just low ‘normal’ iron levels, is
another common cause of hair loss. In some cases leading
to a marked thinning of the hair. Women are more susceptible
to this problem than men because of the loss of iron
in the blood during their menstrual periods.
It is, therefore, very important that this iron is replaced
either by way of iron tablets or iron rich foods such
as almonds, asparagus, bran, celery, egg yolk, kidney,
lettuce, liver, oatmeal, soy beans and whole wheat, or
by taking iron supplements.
The hair of the head is a product of the scalp and the
hair and depends upon the scalp for its nourishment
and well-being, similar to a rich fertile soil needed
for plants to grow and flourish. So when the scalp becomes
unhealthy it shows in the hair, often in the form of
hair loss. But improving the health of the scalp leads
to enormous improvements, not just to the scalp itself
but also to the quality and condition of the hair and
its ability to grow.