Hair loss is often thought of as a specifically male problem. However, as illustrated by the various female celebrities who have been reported as suffering from some form of hair loss or another recently, women can suffer from a range of different hair loss conditions.
Here we take a look at some of the most common, and the women in the media spotlight who have suffered from them.
Female Pattern Hair Loss
Female Pattern Hair Loss, like Male Pattern Baldness, is a type of Androgenetic Alopecia, or genetic hair loss. While this type of hair loss in men often results in bald patches, a receding hairline and, in some cases, total baldness, in women it usually results in a more generalised thinning across the scalp.
It has been estimated that by the age of 50 half of all women will experience Female Pattern Hair Loss to some extent. This will usually present itself as hair which is less full and lacks the volume of youth, but it can also result in areas of scalp being more exposed.
For women working in showbusiness, this thinning can become a problem as it prevents them from styling their hair in the glamorous ways to which their fans and admirers have become accustomed.
This was the case for Country singer Dolly Parton, who took to wearing a wig on stage more than a decade ago because it could be more easily styled the way she wanted it.
Female Pattern Hair Loss is the most common form of hair loss in women, but it is not the only one.
Stress related hair loss in women
After genetics, stress is one of the most common causes of female hair loss. Telogen Effluvium is a hair loss condition which can occur as a direct result of stress or trauma. Women are more likely to suffer from it than men, in large part because they are exposed to more of the risk factors that can cause it.
Gender-specific causes for Telogen Effluvium include starting or stopping the contraceptive pill, abortions and child birth. Actress Selma Blair recently revealed that she had suffered from this form of hair loss following the birth of her son.
Telogen Effluvium can also be triggered by significant life events, such as moving house, divorce, changing jobs and other things that cause significant stress. In many cases, the hair loss is not noticed until up to three months after the incident that caused the stress.
Female hair loss: What role does styling play?
Traction Alopecia is a preventable form of hair loss which commonly occurs as a result of certain styling practices. It is caused by tension placed on the hair shafts and the follicle. Such excessive tension over a long period of time can result in the follicle slowing down or stopping production of new hair.
This tension may be caused by hairstyles which are worn too tightly, such as pony tails, corn rows and braids. It can also be caused by hair extensions, as the extra weight puts strain on the hair. Celebrities who have reportedly suffered from this type of hair loss include Katie Price and Jennifer Aniston.
Other causes of hair loss in women
Alopecia Areata is a less common but often more severe form of hair loss which can affect both women and men. The exact causes remain unknown, but it is thought that like Telogen Effluvium it can be caused by stress. Alopecia
Areata is an auto-immune disorder in which the body’s own defences attack healthy hair follicles, causing hair production to slow down or cease.
Perhaps the most famous sufferer of this condition is Gail Porter, who has struggled with recurring hair loss because of it for many years.
Other causes of hair loss include illnesses in which the loss of hair is incidental to more serious aspects of the condition.
One example of this is Graves’ Disease, a thyroid disorder which can also result in weight loss, fatigue and other symptoms. US Rapper Missy Elliot revealed last year that she had suffered hair loss and other less visible symptoms as a result of the condition.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.