While losing your hair when you're older is more commonly associated with men, women can also lose their as they age for a variety of reasons. This week, Maureen Nolan discussed her own fight against hair loss with the Daily Mail. For the stage actress and 56 year old singer of The Nolans, the first signs appeared during the menopause.
“[The hair loss] was a massive shock,” she told the Mail. “I asked my husband, Ritchie, if he’d noticed, but he said he hadn’t. It wasn’t obvious, I suppose to anyone but me. Even so, I started wearing it in a different way, brushed forward or, or I combed over the parting.”
The first signs of her hair loss appeared in 2005, when Maureen was starring in West End performance of Blood Brothers, so she was undoubtedly more self-conscious about it than most. She said that she first noticed the problem when she spotted dark hairs collecting on the carpet, and clogging up the plughole in the bathroom. As it progressed, she began experiencing a receding hairline and thinning near the parting.
“I had no way of knowing whether the condition would degenerate. Might I end up with bald patches? Perhaps I was getting Alopecia,” she commented.
It seems that there was no one cause for her hair loss, but rather a variety of factors that combined to cause it.
One factor was that she was at the time going through the menopause. Many women experience hair loss during this time of biological upheaval, though it is a less well known complaint than hot flushes and other commonly discussed symptoms.
The change in hormone levels which takes place during the menopause is one reason for the hair loss, with lower levels of oestrogen being surpassed by testosterone. This can in turn result in testosterone in the body being converted into its derivative, Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), more easily. This DHT is the main cause of Female Pattern Hair Loss, as it causes hair follicles to shrink and slow production.
While the menopause may have been a significant contributor in Maureen’s hair loss, it was not the only factor in play. Stress can be a significant cause of hair loss, even more so for menopausal women, whose bodies are already biologically under stress from the changes taking place within.
Large families are perhaps a common exacerbator of stress, and as the middle child of six siblings , Maureen revealed that the stress was taking its toll. “For some reason maybe because I’m more or less in the middle of the six sisters I’ve always had the reputation for being the family mediator. This wasn’t my row, but that’s probably why it was felt I could bring the two factons together,” she said.
Stress can be a cause of the hair loss conditions Alopecia Areata and Telogen Effluvium. Alopecia Areata is a dysfunction of the auto-immune system in which the body’s own defences begin attacking healthy hair follicles.
Telogen Effluvium is a hair loss condition commonly triggered by stress or trauma, in which more hairs than usual enter the resting, or ‘telogen’ phase of the growth cycle.
Maureen says that her hair loss has now slowed, thanks to her finishing the menopause and taking a regular nutritional supplement to boost her hair's health. She also appears to have come to terms with the family feud, indicating lower stress levels: “The way I feel now is that this isn’t my fight, which is why I won’t allow it to stress me out any more.”
A surprising number of women suffer from hair loss, particularly during middle-age and beyond. However there are hair loss treatments available which can help to prevent further hair loss and even re-grow hair.
At The Belgravia Centre we use a wide range of methods to treat Female Pattern Hair Loss, including the scientifically proven Minoxidil (which is licensed by the MHRA), clinical treatments, nutritional supplements and more. Our hair loss experts treat each instance of hair loss as an individual case, tailoring the treatment programme accordingly to produce optimum results.
If you’re suffering from hair loss which you think may be due to the menopause or any of the hair loss conditions discussed here, get in touch to find out how we can help, or fill in our online diagnostic form for a home-use hair loss treatment programme that we can post anywhere in the world.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.