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The Link Between Female Hair Loss and Depression


‘Bad hair days’ are something which we all have to face, but what if your dissatisfaction with your hair is caused by hair loss? A survey carried out recently in South Africa suggests that hair loss can act as a trigger for anxiety and depression.

Women place great importance on their hair – it’s associated with youth, vitality and beauty, so losing hair can understandably be a stressful experience.Female Hair Loss and Depression

Female hair loss factors

Of the 505 women polled, over 30% believed hair loss would affect how attractive they were to their partner and the opposite sex, whilst 69% believed that healthy hair was a major part of their self-image.

Hair loss can be caused by a variety of factors, from health conditions such as an under-active thyroid or iron-deficiency anaemia, to medication side-effects and even severe stress.

Stress of any kind can play a role in hair loss, and depression is no exception. People experiencing depression or anxiety may suffer from interrupted sleep, or they may change their eating patterns, all of which can negatively impact hair health.

High blood pressure caused by anxiety can increase your risk of hair loss, whilst not eating a well-balanced diet could lead to iron-deficiency anaemia.

Anti-depressants and hair loss

In fact, women who have already been diagnosed with depression and anxiety could be at increased risk of hair loss. Some anti-depressants can cause side-effects which include thinning hair and patchy hair loss.

Some of the most commonly prescribed anti-depressants which could cause hair loss from Telogen Effluvium include Fluoxetine (known as Prozac), tricyclic anti-depressants and Lithium, a drug commonly used in the treatment of bipolar disorder.

Figures reveal that around 12%-19% of those taking Lithium, which is usually prescribed as treatment for Bipolar Disorder, could experience hair loss as a result. If this side effect manifests, it will usually do so between four to six months after starting to take the medication.

If you think your anti-depressant could be causing hair loss, or you have been diagnosed with depression and are experiencing thinning hair, contact a hair loss expert to see if a specialised treatment programme can help you. Please do not stop taking your medication without professional supervision. In the words of Professor Shuster, who led a study in Melbourne about the effects of Fluoxetine, “The loss of a few hairs is trivial compared with the loss of your mental health.”

The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss ClinicThe Belgravia Centre

Browse our constantly updated collection of over 1,000 male and female patients’ progress images and feedback in our photographic Hair Loss Success Stories gallery. If you are worried about hair loss and would like to speak to one of our experts, call us now on 020 7730 6666 or send us a message to book your free, discreet one-on-one consultation at either of our Central London clinics. Alternatively, if you are unable to visit us, you can complete our Online Consultation Form instead.

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