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Female Hair Loss: New Studies Reveal Autumn, Loss of Spouse as Triggers

Autumn and Hair Loss

As the seasons begin to change in cooler areas, leaves will to turn colors and fall off trees. Other changes during the fall season includes women and hair loss.

In a recent six-year study by Swedish scientists, it found that healthy women are more prone to losing their hair in the fall than during other seasons. After following 800 women, the study found fall was the prime time for hair loss.

Why that time of year as opposed to another?

The study explained that the life cycle of a human hair is between two and six years. During this time, 90 percent of hair is in the growth stage while the remaining 10 percent is in a resting stage before it falls out.

The resting state can last from two to six months. During this time, hair does not fall out as much.The study had found that the women had the most “resting” hair during July. This may be attributed to the body holding on to hair during the summer as a protector from the heat and the sun.

With a cycle lasting about about three months (or about 100 days), fast forward to the present time of year. This means an October start for hair to begin falling out again.

Have you noticed additional hair falling out lately? In addition to a potential seasonal effect on hair loss, there are a number of other triggers.

Divorce, Smoking Affect Hair Loss

In other recent research on women and hair loss, a new study has found that in addition to genetics, a strong predictor of midline (central) hair loss is marital status. Whether it is losing a spouse through a divorce or death, the risk for thinning hair is higher than for married or single women.

The study’s subjects were 84 female identical twins. All participants completed lifestyle questionnaires, incurred hormone blood level testing and participated in a photo analysis of their hair.

Why the hair loss for these women? Stress

The study’s author Dr. Bahman Guyuron, chairman of the plastic surgery department Case Western Reserve School of Medicine noted, ”Most likely, stress is the aspect of a troubling divorce that appears to lead to hair loss among women.”

In addition, the study also found  that excessive drinking and/or smoking also boosts women’s risk for hair loss.

If you have experienced any of these problems along with subsequently hair loss, you should contact your physician.

To learn more about hair loss, please see the Hair Foundation’s physician videos.


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