Losing your crowning glory, your hair, can be particularly difficult for women. But there are ways to cope.
Losing your hair as a woman, especially if you’re young or at a vulnerable time in your life, can badly affect your confidence.
Jackie McKillop, Alopecia UK spokesperson and junior nursing sister at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, says society considers hair to be an important part of how you look:
“For women, there is a social stigma attached to going bald,” she says. “Hair loss can affect your sensuality and how you perceive yourself. There are usually emotional trials and tribulations when it happens.
“Some women question whether their partner will still love them. I’ve known others become socially reclusive and give up enjoyable activities like swimming and going to the gym, because they can’t bear using the communal changing rooms for fear of their hair loss being discovered.”
Hair loss, known medically as alopecia, is common. It’s estimated, for instance, that around 50% of women over the age of 65 experience female-pattern baldness – the most common type of hair loss, which is thought to be inherited.