Women’s hair loss under the spotlight

After the programme on female hair loss, regular Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha posted an online video which shared her experience of hair thinning. “I think I’ve lost maybe a third of my hair. I’m losing it all over. I feel bad even saying this when you think of people who’ve lost their hair completely because of alopecia or cancer treatment but it doesn’t really make it any easier.”

Nadia first noticed this hair thinning when she started going through the perimenopause, a common time for women to realise their hair isn’t as luxuriant as it was previously. As with all female hair loss conditions, there are no proven guarantees in terms of treatment, but there are therapies that can help to halt hair thinning and even encourage regrowth that can be explored.

The BBC also takes a look at female hair loss

Women's hair lossSuffering hair loss as a woman is a topic that’s been covered before by BBC journalist Victoria Derbyshire, who has spoken openly about the impact that losing her hair as a result of chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer, and she covered it in more depth in a recent show.

Derbyshire interviewed Bucks Fizz singer Cheryl Baker about her experience with temporary hair thinning, which she believes was probably due to post-partum alopecia: “It was such a distressing thing to go through. I did everything: I bought a wig, I bought hairpieces and everything I could buy in the chemist to try and address it. I back-combed my hair, I did everything.”

Luckily, Baker’s condition resolved itself, but it reveals the distress felt by sufferers and importance of seeing a hair specialist that can provide support as well as management of the hair loss during treatment.

Another interviewee on Derbyshire’s programme was Nell Bryden, an American singer who suffers from an extreme form of Alopecia Areata. This autoimmune condition typically presents initially as small patches of hair loss on the scalp, but the progression of the disease is unpredictable. It may progress to complete loss of hair on the scalp or even involve loss of hair elsewhere on the face and body. Areas of hair loss may also recover spontaneously, but there are also treatments that can be deployed to encourage hair regrowth.

Derbyshire has commented in the past that losing her hair was the “worst bit about cancer treatment for me, more so than having a mastectomy”, illustrating what an emotive and challenging ordeal hair loss is for women.