Approximately eight million women in the UK suffer from some form of female hair loss. Although largely associated with ageing, the truth is that hair loss can strike at any time. Despite how common the condition is, that doesn’t reduce the embarrassment, shame and worry that many women feel when they discover their hair is starting to shed. That’s why eight brave women decided to open up about their alopecia struggle on national TV.
The women hope their stories will inspire others and show that living with alopecia doesn’t have to be a negative thing.
Beating the hair loss stigma
The decision to bare their bald heads on national TV was made in the hope of helping to break the stigma and shame surrounding female hair loss.
What is noticeable about the group is that their experiences with hair loss are all extremely varied. They’re different ages and each has suffered from alopecia for different reasons. This highlights just how broad the condition is and how easily it can affect women at different times in their lives.
Hannah Cranston, the youngest alopecia sufferer in the group at just 14 years of age, started to lose her hair at the age of seven. She believes the stress of appearing on stage for panto was initially what caused it, though genetics have also played a part. For many alopecia sufferers, the hair does start to fall out in childhood or adolescence. However, as Carole Cavanagh, aged 64 found out, it can also occur in later life too. She lost all of her hair within just 10 days after what she believes was a reaction to her antibiotics.
What causes alopecia in women?
There are many different forms of alopecia and what causes the condition varies greatly. For some, it’s genetics and for others, it could be a trauma. In many cases, the cause isn’t actually clear.
The progression of the hair loss is not always clear either. Some types of hair loss are only temporary, and the hair will grow back. They also don’t always lead to total baldness. However, in the case of alopecia totalis, the results can be permanent, and the hair may never grow back.
Can alopecia in women be treated?
There are a number of treatments which can help to manage or improve hair loss. This will depend upon the type of alopecia, so a full assessment will need to be provided to determine which treatment or combination of treatments could prove successful.
Those suffering from mild forms of the condition could benefit from temporary treatments such as Minoxidil. However, if the alopecia is severe, cover-up options such as wigs may be the only option right now. As the brave women who bared their heads live on TV show, even permanent alopecia doesn’t have to negatively impact your life.