Nearly nine out of ten requests for hair loss treatment now come from women — with stress suggested as the major factor explaining the rise.
This is a total reversal in demand between the sexes from 20 years ago when 90 per cent of inquiries came from men, according to a leading hair loss clinic.
Though some of the causes of hair loss, breakage and thinning affect only women – such as polycystic ovary syndrome, the menopause and pregnancy – stress was highlighted as a leading reason why women may be suffering more from the condition today.
Stress was highlighted as a leading reason why women may be suffering more from hair loss
Steve O’Brien, of the London Centre of Trichology – which opened 65 years ago – said: ‘On the treatment side, about 85 per cent of our clients are now women.
‘When I started 20 years ago I would say, of our clients, the proportion was 90 per cent men. But in the last ten years in particular, it was well over 50 per cent women. And I would say in the last five years, getting on for 85-90 per cent women.
‘We see a lot of women getting older, and a lot of it is peri-menopause. But the main reason we have so many women clients is stress.’ In particular, he says, stress has contributed to a surge in demand from women in the 25-40 age group.
And since female hair growth is strongly related to hormonal levels, any disruption to a woman’s hormones, whether physical or emotional, can result in hair being lost.
Mr O’Brien also highlighted the role that modern life, cultural expectations and the pandemic could play in explaining why women are more likely to seek treatments.
He said: ‘A lot have high-pressure jobs and modern life is just very stressful and busy. Demand has even been strong the past year with the stresses posed by the pandemic.
‘Women perhaps are more willing to seek treatment nowadays, and once they’ve been they recommend to their friends more than men do. Women clients are more willing to recommend to their friends than men, who don’t want to admit they’ve had treatment.’
It is estimated that six out of ten women will experience hair loss to some degree during their lifetimes. But men are still far more likely to suffer from the condition.
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