Gender bender - ladies losing their locks

FRESNO, Calif.

Chances are thinning and balding wouldn't fit the description. But for one in every four women hair loss is a potentially devastating problem they'll have to face. We'll explain the top reasons behind it and how to fight it!

"Significant amounts of hair - it was just hair everywhere. When I was taking a shower I felt like all my .hair was going to come out. I even started to have nightmares that I was going to wake up and not have any hair at all," Kay Boswell told Action News.

For Boswell it came out in clumps. Her high-stress hospitality career had taken its toll on her head.

"It was making me feel so inadequate," Boswell explained.

Stress is one of the top reasons for female hair loss, or telogen effluvium. In fact 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 you're your tresses. Other reasons for hair loss include major surgery, weight loss or medications.

"Usually if you find the cause it's easily correctable," Marina Pizzaro, M.D., Hair specialist told Action News.

To treat it, try biotin or iron supplements, hormone replacement therapy, or minoxidil, a good source of it is the popular male hair stimulator Rogaine.

"Rogaine is definitely worth using it works better in women than in men," Dr. Pizzaro said.

Another top hair loss factor is excessive styling. A Cleveland Clinic study found 30 percent of middle-aged black women are balding due to everything from chemicals to tight braids and ponytails. To protect your locks, set your hair dryer on low, keep your styling tools at or below 347 degrees Fahrenheit, and heat your locks no more than two or three times a week. Avoid products with ammonia and styles that pull on the hair. Styling damage may be reversible, but the top cause of female hair loss isn't.

"It's like an internal clock that says at such age you're going to start losing your hair and it doesn't matter that's a family trait," Dr. Pizzaro said.

Forty percent of women with hair loss are under 40, that's because women with genetic hair loss tend to see hairline thinning as early as their 20s. The best options are hair replacement therapies and surgery. A hair transplant helped Boswell regrow her locks and a new career helped rebuild her confidence.

"Hair does matter, especially for women," Boswell concluded.

A new study found that excessive drinking and smoking also boosts the risk for hair loss in women. Research shows the drug minoxidil, found in Rogaine, is especially effective in younger women with hair loss. Dr. Pizarro says the earlier you begin treating the condition causing the hair loss, the better chance you'll have at regrowing healthy hair.

For More Information, Contact:

JoAnn Cicoli

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