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Female hair loss in the spotlight

When you think about people going bald, you probably think about men. But while it is true that hair loss is most commonly experienced by men, it’s easy to forget that plenty of women are prone to losing it too. In the UK alone, eight million women are affected by baldness. The April newsletter from […]

Written by Gary Heron

Posted on: May 4, 2010

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female-hair-loss-in-the-spotlight

When you think about people going bald, you probably think about men. But while it is true that hair loss is most commonly experienced by men, it’s easy to forget that plenty of women are prone to losing it too. In the UK alone, eight million women are affected by baldness.

The April newsletter from the Mayo Clinic (a well-known US health centre) has now put this issue in the spotlight, by focusing on androgenetic alopecia – a condition also known as female pattern baldness, which causes women’s hair to thin and drop out. While there are several treatments available, including hair transplants and medication, the initial process of going bald can still be especially traumatic for women. This is largely because of societal pressures, which encourage women to think of their hair as an integral part of their image. Having your once luscious locks drop out can be an intense experience, as TV presenter Gail Porter, who suffered from alopecia, attests: “people stared. Sometimes I held my head up high and other times I just didn’t want to go out”.

The writer Elizabeth Steel couldn’t help but agree: ““The psychological impact is dreadful. I no longer felt attractive. I thought my husband wouldn’t want a bald wife.”

Another condition called alopecia areata affects about one in 100 women, mostly teenagers and young adults, and is linked to immune system problems. With this form of baldness, no treatment is available. However, women with alopecia areata can at least take some consolation in the fact that their hair will probably grow back eventually.

Despite the need to promote wider discussion about female baldness, it still holds true that male baldness is a more common problem. While there is less pressure on men to cover up their hair loss, some choose to use the approved treatment Propecia to delay the process. If you are worried about hair loss, consult a specialist.

Do you have Hair Loss Problems, read our Hair Loss Help