Uncovering a mostly-male problem many women face; hair loss


by Mia Gradney/ KHOU 11 News


Posted on July 6, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Updated Friday, Jul 6 at 11:13 AM

HOUSTON—Everyone loses hair. In fact, women shed 50 to 100 strands a day, but anything more could be a sign something else is wrong.

Telogen Effluvium -- or female hair loss—can occur in women after pregnancy, major surgery, drastic weight loss or extreme stress, causing large amounts of hair to shed every day. 
Kay Boswell’s hair came out in clumps while working a high-stress hospitality job. “When I was taking a shower I felt like all of my hair was going to come out,” says Boswell. “It was making me feel so inadequate.”
Stress is one of the top reasons for female hair loss. A divorce can really precipitate it. New research shows the second strongest predictor of central hair loss in women is their marital status. Divorce or death of a spouse can actually thin tresses. 
Another top hair loss factor is excessive styling. A Cleveland Clinic study found 30 percent of middle aged African-American women are balding due to everything from chemicals, to tight braids and ponytails. To limit damage, ladies should set hair dryers on low and keep styling tools at or below 347 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply heat no more than two to three times a week. Also avoid products with ammonia and styles that pull on the hair.
Styling damage is reversible, but female hair loss is not. 
“It’s like an internal clock that says at such age you are going to start losing your hair and it doesn’t matter that it’s a family trait,” according to hair specialist Dr. Marina Pizarro, M.D.
Forty percent of women experiencing hair loss are under age 40. Women with genetic hair loss tend to see hairline thinning as early as their 20s. The best options are hair replacement therapies and surgery. Kay Boswell received a hair transplant adding, “”hair does matter; especially for women.”
Alternative and early treatments to surgery include the drug Minoxidil, found in Rogaine. It is especially effective in younger women with hair loss.
“It’s usually if you find the cause it’s easily correctable,” says Dr. Pizarro. 
The earlier you begin treating the condition causing the hair loss, the better chance you’ll have at regrowing healthy hair.