Hair loss is an increasingly common problem among both men and women, as stress takes its toll on our crowning glory.
To mark Hair Loss Awareness month experts give advice on this distressing and demoralising condition.
Hair loss is hard enough to suffer in itself, but it can be particularly difficult to cope with in our appearance-obsessed society.
Yet it is often seen as a taboo subject, particularly by women. Many suffer in silence because they are reluctant to admit to a problem which they may feel strikes at the heart of their femininity.
In reality, more than 25 per cent of women have experienced hair thinning or hair loss at some point, and it’s estimated that the problem affects eight million women in the UK.
May is Hair Loss Awareness month and designer and former singer Pearl Lowe, 43, has spoken out for the first time about her experience of hair loss.
“It does affect how you feel about yourself and can really get you down,” she says.
Despite a healthy lifestyle, a few years ago Lowe started to feel permanently exhausted. Distressingly, her hair started getting thinner.
“I felt really down and not myself and totally lacking in energy despite the fact that I eat healthily and swim daily,” she says.
“It was worrying as I couldn’t understand it and the hair loss was particularly upsetting.”
Dr Wendy Denning, a GP with a specific interest in women’s health and natural health, says: “I have seen many cases of thinning hair and hair loss over the years.
“Although most people think of hair loss in men, it is surprisingly common in women after the menopause and increasingly in young women.
“Of course, there are many reasons for it including hormonal changes, poor nutrition, certain medications and over-styling - but one of the most common reasons that is on the rise is stress-related hair loss.”
Treatment is aimed at helping sufferers manage their lives with less stress, and a diet which supports hair growth. Dr Denning also recommends Nourkrin, a natural food supplement to boost hair.
“Many of my patients are living busy lives and finding it difficult to cope with the demands of work, family and life in general,” she says.
“This stress often manifests itself in their diet and their appearance, and in particular their hair.”