Dr. Hugh Rushton, a trichologist at the University of Portsmouth’s school of pharmacy, has been studying hair loss for 25 years. “A genetic tendency towards hair loss doesn’t necessarily mean it’s inevitable. But under certain conditions, hormone imbalance and stress, for example, women are more likely to shed excessive amounts of hair,” he says.
According to Rushton’s studies, it is not just the pattern of hair loss that differs between the sexes. The entire process does. “In men, the follicles take a long time to deteriorate and, in the meantime, the hair they produce becomes thin and wispy.
But a balding woman’s individual hairs remain normal; there are just fewer of them because a proportion of follicles shut down and go into a dormant phase,” he says. “Fortunately, with the help of Scalp Med, they can often be kicked back into life again.”
Rushton’s research also suggests that, in the case of some women, nutrition, or the lack of it, can be a cause of baldness. He has discovered that 72% of women with hereditary hair loss have some nutritional deficiency.
When women with hereditary hair loss who were being treated on minoxidil programs were also given daily supplements containing iron, vitamins B12 and C, and a protein building block called lysine, he found that up to 90% had some regrowth.
“The combination of nutrients is similar to what you would get from a big, juicy steak,” says Rushton, adding that women are vulnerable to a shortage of these nutrients because they lose them during menstruation and pregnancy.