Hair Gain was created to help the millions of women suffering with hair loss. We’re proud that we’re helping so many people restore their hair and their confidence, while breaking down the taboo of hair loss. We love to hear about the experiences of women across the globe and how Hair Gain has helped them. But while we rightly celebrate our successes, we’re not resting on our laurels. We wanted to know even more about how many of us were suffering with the problem. And, how it was making us feel. So, we conducted a national survey of over 2,000 men and women, to understand even more deeply how hair loss is affecting so many out there. And the results do not make for light reading. We found out that the UK is in the grip of a women’s hair loss epidemic.
Women’s Hair Loss at Crisis Levels
Hair loss is a man’s problem, right? That hair loss only affects men is a long-held belief, even among some women. At Hair Gain we’ve long suspected that to be a myth, but now we know. Our survey revealed that 75% of UK Women said they had experienced thinning hair or hair loss. This is compared to 73% of men!
We also discovered women’s thinning begins much earlier than previously thought. An astounding 39% of women are suffering hair fall before the age of 35, compared with 42% of men. The severity of female hair loss was not far behind males. 40% of women with the condition stating they’d suffered from moderate to high hair fall.
Hair loss is clearly not the preserve of males, and the levels of female loss made for shocking reading!
Causes of Hair Loss
Our survey found some very interesting results. By far the biggest cause of hair fall in women was stress and anxiety. 50% cited it as the reason their hair had fallen out. A worrying statistic, but perhaps unsurprising given the pandemic. However, with the cost-of-living crisis set to worsen over the coming months, and with the potential threat of new variants emerging, it’s a problem that could become even more acute in the near future.
The next biggest causes of hair loss were having a baby (24%) and the menopause (16%). Meanwhile, 11% felt catching Covid had played a part, while 15% cited overstyling as the reason for their thinning tresses. Genetic reasons (3%) and diagnosed alopecia (1%) were also reasons for hair loss included in our survey.
Effects of Hair Loss on Women
The survey revealed hair fall brings about a devastating loss of confidence. Nearly 70% said their hair was important to their overall wellbeing and self-esteem. Meanwhile 55% had lost their confidence due to hair loss or thinning. Over a quarter of women felt that their hair loss had a detrimental effect on their love life. 14% of women specifically said their thinning hair had made them feel undesirable to their partner.
Meanwhile, the problem had led 31% of respondents to feel depressed. Moreover, 41% said losing their hair created a vicious circle where the anxiety and stress caused led to even more hair fall.
Given the impact the hair loss epidemic is having on women, it’s perhaps no surprise that 95% of those surveyed had tried to cure it or cover it up. 56% had changed their hairstyle or asked their hairdresser for a shorter cut. 47% were using thickening shampoos and scalp treatments while 56% had used a hair growth vitamin supplement. Our survey showed that unfortunately many women still feel that hair loss is a taboo. 46% of respondents felt too embarrassed to discuss the problem with a GP. Regrettably, 97% of those that did seek professional advice, felt no help was offered through their GP or the NHS.
Covid & Hair Loss
While the pandemic has fuelled general anxiety, which likely has led to a corresponding rise in hair fall, Covid was also cited as a direct cause of the problem. 11% felt it had directly caused their hair to thin. Amongst those already suffering with hair fall, 19% said it had exacerbated the situation. A notable proportion of respondents (17%) felt their hair loss or thinning had either started or got worse after getting the Covid jab.
Our founder Lucy Palmer said: "The hair loss epidemic has dealt a devastating blow to women's confidence and self-esteem, and the increased stress from losing their hair is causing a vicious circle. The effects on women's lifestyles are almost wholly negative, a knock-on effect of the hair loss is that they are less likely to go out, they lose their confidence and some feel it's blighted their love life."
As worrying as some of the results of the survey are, it’s underlined what we felt was happening. So many women have come to us searching for a solution to the problem. We’ll continue to fight to help more women than ever before. By aiding those suffering with hair thinning or fall, and by playing our part in breaking the taboo of female hair loss.