Divorce and Hair Loss Linked
A recent study suggests divorce and women’s hair loss may be linked, and stress is the most likely culprit. Lead researcher Dr. Bahman Guyuron, chairman of the department of plastic surgery at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland, said “Most likely, stress is the aspect of a troubling divorce that appears to lead to hair loss among women.” The study pointed out that after genetics, marital status is the single highest predictor of hair loss for women, and the most significant hair loss occurs in those women who have lost a spouse either through death or divorce.
The researchers conducted two different studies on female identical twins because using twins in studies helps rule out the factor of genetic differences, since each twin will have the same genes as the other twin. The sets of twins all completed lifestyle surveys, blood tests and photo analysis of their hair for the study. Other interesting observations contained in the study included the fact that hair loss near the temples seemed to be caused by a history of cigarette smoking and that having a few drinks per week seemed to reduce the risks in that area. Unfortunately, that same drinking behavior also increased hair loss in other areas on the head. The women were not alone in some of their hair loss though, as the researchers also found that excessive smoking and drinking also contributed to significant hair loss in men too. This fact was in line with the data showing stress contributes to hair loss and serves to underscore the point that while it may not be all that surprising that various kinds of stress can lead to hair loss in both sexes, men and women don’t experience stress in the same way and that means their hair loss patterns could be expected to be a bit different as well.