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Iron Deficiency and Female Hair Loss: Researchers Deny Link

red-blood-cells 2Recent research into the causes of female hair loss has looked at the correlation between women suffering from iron deficiency (anemia) and female pattern hair loss or chronic telogen effluvium. While it has been widely thought that iron deficiency might in some way be linked to such hair loss conditions, those conducting the study found no evidence in support of this.

Announcing the results of their study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, researchers from Duke University Medical Centre in Durham, North Carolina stated that they had found no correlation between female hair loss and iron deficiency in women.

“We sought to determine if ID (iron deficiency) is more common in women with FPHL (female pattern hair loss) and/or CTE (chronic telogen effluvium) than in control subjects without hair loss,” the researchers state in their abstract.

Iron Levels not ‘Statistically Significant’ in Female Hair Loss

The study involved 381 women aged 18 or over who were suffering from either female pattern hair loss or chronic telogen effluvium, and a control group of 76 women with no history of hair loss. Each subject was tested for levels of ferritin (the main protein form in which iron is stored in the body), haemoglobin, and had their menopausal status recorded.

The researchers found in their results that there was, “no statistically significant increase in the incidence of [iron deficiency] in premenopausal or postmenopausal women with [female pattern hair loss or chronic telogen effluvium] versus control subjects.”

The researchers concluded that, “[Iron Deficiency] is common in women but not increased in patients with [female pattern hair loss or chronic telogen effluvium] compared with control subjects.”

This new research appears to contradict previous studies that have suggested a link between iron levels and female hair loss.

Causes of Female Hair Loss

Troubled Woman Holding Hair White Background Small (2)Female pattern hair loss and telogen effluvium are the two most common hair loss conditions suffered by women.

Female pattern hair loss, also known as Androgenic Alopecia and genetic hair loss, is a genetically inherited hair loss condition, similar in nature to male pattern baldness. However, the principle difference between the female and male forms of the condition is that while male genetic hair loss often results in balding and receding hairlines, female pattern hair loss usually causes ‘diffused thinning’.

Rather than the complete loss of all hair follicles over a bald patch of the head, the condition usually causes a less severe thinning affect in which there are less healthy hair follicles in an area than there were previously.

Telogen effluvium meanwhile is caused by sudden stress and results in hair follicles entering the resting (telogen) phase of the growth cycle prematurely. Telogen effluvium is usually only temporary, and can be triggered by events such as child birth, changing birth control pills or stressful situations such as accidents or bereavement.

Both conditions are treatable, and in many cases hair re-growth is entirely possible. At Belgravia we use a range of pharmaceutical and clinical hair loss treatments combined with close trichological monitoring to stabilise hair loss and stimulate re-growth. If you think that you may be suffering from female pattern hair loss or telogen effluvium, contact us for a consultation or complete our online diagnostic form for for details of a home-use treatment course anywhere in the world.

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