As Stress Awareness Month approaches, it is important to acknowledge that the UK is currently facing a hair loss epidemic among women. According to a national survey conducted by vegan hair care brand, Hair Gain, over 2,000 men and women participated, and the results were shocking. The research showed the impact of stress and anxiety with 50% of UK women citing that stress and anxiety were the cause of hair loss.
Stress and Women’s Hair Loss
Contrary to popular belief, hair loss is not just a problem for men. The survey revealed that 75% of UK women have experienced thinning hair or hair loss, compared to 73% of men. Stress and anxiety were identified as the biggest cause of hair fall among women, with 50% citing it as the reason for their hair loss. Given the recent pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, it is not surprising that stress levels have increased and become a major concern.
Other Causes of Hair Loss
The next biggest causes of hair loss among women were having a baby (24%) and the menopause (16%). Additionally, 11% of respondents felt that catching Covid had played a part, while 15% cited over-styling as the reason for their thinning hair. Genetic reasons (3%) and diagnosed alopecia (1%) were also identified as reasons for hair loss.
Early Onset of Hair Loss
The survey also revealed that women’s thinning hair begins much earlier than previously thought. Shockingly, 39% of women experience hair fall before the age of 35, compared to 42% of men. The severity of female hair loss was not far behind males, with 40% of women stating they had suffered from moderate to high hair fall.
The Cycle of Stress
Hair fall brings about a devastating loss of confidence, with nearly 70% of respondents stating that their hair was important to their overall well-being and self-esteem. Furthermore, 55% had lost their confidence due to hair loss or thinning. A quarter of women felt that their hair loss had a detrimental effect on their love life, and 14% of women said their thinning hair had made them feel undesirable to their partner.
Hair loss can lead to depression and anxiety, as 31% of respondents revealed, and 41% said losing their hair created a vicious circle where the anxiety and stress it caused led to even more hair fall.
Women’s Hair Loss Epidemic in the UK
Speaking about the research, 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’’l 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.”
Given the impact the hair loss epidemic is having on women, it is not surprising 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, while 47% were using thickening shampoos and scalp treatments. Additionally, 56% had used a hair supplement. Unfortunately, many women still feel that hair loss is a taboo topic, with 46% of respondents feeling too embarrassed to discuss the problem with a GP. Even worse, 97% of those that did seek professional advice felt no help was offered through their GP or the NHS.
Hair loss is a significant problem for women in the UK, with stress and anxiety being the primary cause. With women experiencing thinning hair much earlier than previously thought, it is essential to take steps to prevent and treat hair loss. It is time to break the taboo surrounding women’s hair loss and encourage women to speak up and seek the help they need.
Hair Gain is a female-founded vegan hair care range that has been scientifically formulated to support healthy hair. The products combine the clinically tested AnnaGain ingredient, a phytonutrient derived from organic pea shoots, with essential vitamins and minerals such as biotin, selenium and zinc which contribute to the maintenance of normal hair.