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Hair Loss Linked With Marital Status?

By January 27th, 202114 Comments

Hair Loss Linked With Marital Status?

via You Beauty

Women have long been told to look to mom or grandma for signs of the hair loss patterns they will likely one day inherit. New studies, however, reveal that a crop of external factors can have an even more damaging effect on the thickness and fullness of women’s hair.

In a study of 84 identical female twins, marital status emerged as the leading forecaster for thinning hair. Widows and divorcées experienced greater amounts of hair loss than their married counterparts — a phenomenon that scientists attribute to the effects of stress on the body. Researchers used sets of identical twins, since they would genetically carry the same possibility of hair loss. This makes other influences that might cause the siblings to deviate from a predetermined hair pattern clearer to discern.

“While genetics remain a strong predictor of some types of hair loss, introducing certain stressful or unhealthy factors into a person’s life can result in more hair loss,” says study co-author Bahman Guyuron, M.D., who will present his findings at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) annual conference this month.

Other factors that contributed significantly to hair loss included heavy smoking (tied to temple hair loss) and large weekly intake of alcohol (linked to thinning along the front hairline). Women who drank up to two alcoholic beverages a week, however, showed significantly less hair loss than their twin, which one could conjecture to be the result of the calming effects of alcohol consumed in moderation.

While the medical community may be marveling at the results of the study — which has documented many of the hair loss factors for the first time — hair stylists have long known anecdotally that emotionally-taxing experiences of heartbreak and loss can trigger hair loss in women.

“As soon as a client asks me if their hair is thinning, my next question is to ask what’s going on with them,” says Natasha Sunshine of L.A.’s Byu Ti Salon. “Nine times out of ten, there is something pretty big happening.”

Sunshine’s first recommendation is to combat the stress with breathing techniques and practices like yoga to target the cause of the hair loss, and to take supplements rich in biotin, folic acid and amino acids to help give hair the nutrients it needs to grow back healthy and full.

And the older a woman gets, the more susceptible she is to hair loss tied to emotional trauma, says New York salon owner Angelo David, who specializes in extensions, and sees a continuous stream of thinning hair clients daily. “I have definitely seen how tragic moments can affect not only women’s hair, but also their overall sense of wellbeing,” says David.

Don’t Stay to Make it Stay

But before you hang on to a bad relationship for the sake of your hair, know that evidence also exists that says leaving a rocky relationship can be vital to your health.

In one study, researchers outfitted 42 couples with tiny suction devices that caused small blisters on their arms. Fighting couples experienced a 40 percent slower healing rate than the amicable partners, which meant two extra days needed to heal.

The body’s slower ability to regenerate under duress could also help explain why other studies have shown that women in hostile relationships who get a divorce live longer on average than those who choose to stay.

14 Comments

  • DecemberPumpkin says:

    I think it just depends on you happiness if you are stressed your hair will stress with you

  • Anonymous says:

    This is a great article but I would like to see more information regarding whether or not HL can be reversed and what measures we can to take to get the hair growing again.

  • Kathy says:

    Edit: I will add that I would never put up with an abusive relationship (that's just me). That's a different ballgame. I'm talking about people who split because of "irreconcilable differences." I know I seem like I'm judging, and I apologize for that. I'm just stating my opinion.

  • Kathy says:

    If you think marriage is going to make or keep you happy, you are in for a rude awakening. Marriage is a beautiful concept designed for longevity. It's not for everyone, of course. However, it certainly shouldn't be disposable. Maybe that's why arranged marriages have a higher success rate. Happiness is never guaranteed in marriage, and is not even the purpose of marriage.

    I will also agree with TyaD, in that marriage has nothing to do with it. But this is because you cannot expect another person to fulfill all of your needs. You have to learn to be happy within yourself, and learn to manage your own stress. Marriage is not simply a fairytale; it's a divine partnership in which you become a stronger person able to create a larger impact on the world.

    I mean, that's just my opinion.

  • Anonymous says:

    I went through a break up and i was in serious mourning. I mean my heart was broken literally I developed a heart murmur. Just when i thought i was getting past the devastation (months later) my hair begain falling out in clumps, breaking off and thinning. I still am basically bald(shiny) in the middle (i also want to contribute this to Loestrin birth control pills)

  • TyaD says:

    Once again marriage is not the cure all to everything. It's about overall happiness and peace. Stress is a leading factor for heart disease and many other chronic health issues. If you are stressed and not handling it well (i.e. therapy, exercise, meds, etc.) then you are more likely to get ill. I almost feel like marriage has nothing to do with it. It's more about positive, supportive, loving relationships – romantic or not! And the divorce rate speaks for itself!

  • Annabel says:

    There are definitely more stressors in life than marriage, women are more than their hair. I stress is causing one to lose hair, what's going on internally!? Finally, why aren't men including in this discussion/research?

  • Jay-Jay says:

    Stress in any situation will lower your immune system. I'm definately a great example of this, I stress over any and everything. It can be something as little as me trying to remember to do something but I'll constantly replay it over and over in my mind. Stressing over bills that clearly I'm no where close to being past due but just the thought of IF I forget. I can go on and on BUT due to all of this stress that I bring on to myself, I get sick alot, don't get enough sleep, diet is poor, hair has fallen out, etc. I've tried to get better with my stress but I'm so use to it because I've watched my mother do this as a child and still to this day. I've done yoga, exercise, etc. but I'm thinking about the stressful stuff as I'm doing activities.

  • thebrownesteye says:

    Yup A Lorian….i'd rather stay single then lose my locks!

  • Sydni_Michelle says:

    I can't really relate to this. Im not married yet! However, I am dating someone. But I'll def. get out of the relationship before I let him stress my out to the point where I start losing my hair

  • Lorian says:

    LOL…welp, it's settled…single I shall stay!

  • Anonymous says:

    Amen! stress is the silent killer! I agree with the stylist approach we need to find healthy ways to deal with our stress. For whatever reason any major thing that has happened in my life has always resulted in me loosing my hair. and with Anonymous I have been their to many times having it all cut down from shoulder length hair sometimes to a fade out. Yoga doesn't sound so bad!Peace Pam

  • Sophie says:

    Anonymous 5:34 said it… stress is a major factor in hair loss. One of my friends got a major bald spot at the end of senior year of college because she was just not sleeping or eating well and she was stressed. This study says "marital status" but it's really happy relationships vs unhappy relationships. They should study single people with good interpersonal relationships too, I'm sure they'll find we have plenty of hair 😉

  • Anonymous says:

    Stress is a major factor in hair loss. An personal anecdote, while finishing my dissertation, I was extremely stressed and all the hair in my crown fell out. I went from APL hair to a Halle Berry type crop cut. Same thing happened years earlier after my dad's sudden death. Now I'm transitioning to natural because I just don't want to damage it anymore. What my hair has taught me is that whatever is going on in your life, you must take time to take care of yourself and manage your stress.

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