Your scalp has around 100,000 hair follicles and every three years each of those follicles goes through a cycle of hair growth, with the hair resting and falling out, followed by growth of new hair.
But sometimes that pattern is disturbed and either the hair doesn’t grow or it becomes finer, so women get thinning hair, hair loss and patches of baldness. Just over half of women suffer some hair loss and thinning as they age. In most cases it’s not noticeable, but for about 20 per cent of women the loss is more obvious and distressing.
“About 50 per cent of women in their 40s suffer some thinning. And now women are experiencing this problem in their 20s and 30s,” says trichologist David Salinger.
From sugar to diabetes and crash dieting, we look at some of the reasons behind female hair loss and thinning and what can help.
the sugar effect “I think the amount of sugar we have in our diet is having an effect, and hidden sugars in foods are part of the problem,” says Salinger. Sugar causes inflammation and leads to white blood cells attacking the cells that produce hair. Excessive sugar can lead to insulin resistance – Finnish studies found women with high sugar diets and insulin resistance had a higher risk of hair loss.
“When a woman has a normal level of insulin, that facilitates the conversion of testosterone back to oestrogen,” says Anthony Pearce, trichologist. Female hormones promote hai