Tony Maleedy our hair specialist with 25 years experience
in clinical practice and hair research. Tony will be regularly
contributing to his column on UKHairdressers and helping you
care for your hair.
Tony Maleedy, tells us why hair loss happens in women
• Stress is a common cause of hair loss in women
• 40% of women lose 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 and
do women lose hair?
There 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 scalp.
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-natal (Post-partum) hair loss
Pregnancy 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 scalp
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 level.
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 pregnancy.
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
Stress 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 her family.
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.
What can be done to prevent stress related hair loss?
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 been eliminated.
The following can help greatly to reduce stress related hair
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 helps.
• Try to get the amount of sleep you think your body needs.
Too little sleep leads to poor work, bad tempers and…worst
of all, bad hair!
Common female hair loss
Although thinning of the hair is far more common in men, it
can affect some women who have a genetic tendency towards
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 scalp. The hairs become finer
and do not grow as long as they should, and the scalp eventually
becomes a little more visible.
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.
Treating common female hair loss
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
(Regain) but the percentage of women who do respond well is
still quite low.
Arearta (Hair Loss in Patches)
This 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 patches.
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 Areata
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 hair loss.
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.
Mint Scalp Therapy Shampoo
A simple and highly effective method of achieving and maintaining
a healthy scalp is to use a clinically developed therapeutic
shampoo like the Juniper Mint Scalp Therapy Shampoo. This
treatment shampoo has been developed by leading hair specialist,
Tony Maleedy, to make the scalp healthy and improve the conditions
for optimum hair growth. In a vast number of cases simply
improving the health of the scalp results in a significant
reduction in hair loss and a marked increase in hair growth,
it is, therefore, well worth using this relatively inexpensive
product to ensure that it is not a condition of the scalp
which is causing the hair loss.
Although a reduction in the rate of hair loss can be judged
within a few weeks, evaluating new hair growth takes some
months, so use the Juniper Mint Scalp Therapy Shampoo for
at least 6 months.