As Stress Awareness month approaches, a national survey of over 2,000 men and women conducted by award winning vegan brand, Hair Gain,has revealed that the UK is in the grip of a women’s hair loss epidemic.
Far from being a man’s problem, the survey revealed that 75% of UK women said they had experienced thinning hair or hair loss. This is compared to 73% of men and the major reason? Stress.
The survey found that by far the biggest cause of hair fall in women was stress and anxiety. 50% cited it as the reason their hair had fallen out. A worrying statistic, but perhaps unsurprising given the recent pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, it’s a problem that could become even more acute.
The next biggest causes of hair loss were having a baby (24%) and the menopause (16%). Meanwhile, 11% felt catching Covid had played a part, while 15% cited over styling as the reason for their thinning tresses. Genetic reasons (3%) and diagnosed alopecia (1%) were also reasons for hair loss.
The survey also revealed that women’s thinning begins much earlier than previously thought. An astounding 39% of women are suffering hair fall before the age of 35, compared with 42% of men. The severity of female hair loss was not far behind males. 40% of women with the condition stated they’d suffered from moderate to high hair fall.
Cycle of Stress
The survey revealed hair fall brings about a devastating loss of confidence. Nearly 70% said their hair was important to their overall wellbeing and self-esteem. Meanwhile 55% had lost their confidence due to hair loss or thinning. Over a quarter of women felt that their hair loss had a detrimental effect on their love life. 14% of women specifically said their thinning hair had made them feel undesirable to their partner.
Meanwhile, the problem had led 31% of respondents to feel depressed. Moreover, 41% said losing their hair created a vicious circle where the anxiety and stress it caused led to even more hair fall.
Given the impact the hair loss epidemic is having on women, it’s perhaps no surprise that 95% of those surveyed had tried to cure it or cover it up. 56% had changed their hairstyle or asked their hairdresser for a shorter cut. 47% were using thickening shampoos and scalp treatments while 56% had used a hair supplement. The survey showed that many women still feel that hair loss is a taboo. 46% of respondents felt too embarrassed to discuss the problem with a GP. Regrettably, 97% of those that did seek professional advice, felt no help was offered through their GP or the NHS.
Hair Gain Founder Lucy Palmer said: “The hair loss epidemic has dealt a devastating blow to women’s confidence and self-esteem, and the increased stress from losing their hair is causing a vicious circle. The effects on women’s lifestyles are almost wholly negative, a knock-on effect of the hair loss is that they are less likely to go out, they lose their confidence, and some feel it’s blighted their love life.”
“As worrying as some of the results of the survey are, it’s underlined what we felt was happening. So many women have come to us searching for a solution to the problem. We’ll continue to fight to help more women than ever before. By aiding those suffering with hair thinning or fall, and by playing our part in breaking the taboo of female hair loss.”