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When Women Lose Husbands, They Lose Hair, Too

Friday, 30 Sep 2011 04:11 PM


While husbands might make their wives’ hair turn gray during the bonds of marriage, ex-husbands can cause them to lose it, according to new research.
Women who lose a spouse through divorce or death have a higher risk of hair loss than married or unmarried women, a Case Western Reserve School of Medicine study shows.
“Most likely, stress is the aspect of a troubling divorce that appears to lead to hair loss among women,” said study author Dr. Bahman Guyuron, chairman of the department of plastic surgery at the school.
Behaviors attributable to hair loss in women include excessive drinking and smoking, the study found. Male hair loss also can be caused by drinking and smoking, but also by too much sun exposure, a history of cancer, and “having a couch potato lifestyle.”
“What we can say is that we identified factors that appear to both raise risk and lower risk, for both men and women, independent of genetic disposition,” Guyuron said.
The findings will be presented Sunday to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in Denver.
A New York City dermatologist who learned about the Case Western research said “it’s not a shock” that divorce can cause hair loss.
“It’s complicated, but it’s not a shock to suggest that various kinds of stress can lead to hair loss,” Dr. Doris Day, of Lenox Hill Hospital, said. “Or that men and women don’t experience stress in the same way, so that their hair loss patterns may be different.
“And in the end, I am a big proponent of the idea that it’s how you handle the stress that can make a difference,” Dr. Day added. “The mind-and-body connection is incredibly powerful. It helps to try and keep perspective, put the big things that happen in life, the major milestones, in their place, and keep an open mind.”

© HealthDay

 
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