Posted on Sep 27, 2011
A new study conducted by the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine has found that divorce can lead to hair loss in women, but not in men. The authors of the study and other experts believe that the stress felt during and after a divorce is the main cause of the hair loss, although more studies or research will have to be conducted to confirm the cause.

For the study, researchers studied 84 pairs of identical twins so that the factor of genetic differences was ruled out and so that scientists could focus on environmental differences.

While happily single and happily married women did not show significant hair loss, women who had divorced and women who were widowed did experience thinning or receding hair. Women who drank alcohol and smoked also had higher rates of thinning hair, while women who drank coffee and wore sunscreen had thicker hair. Men's hairlines were not affected by divorce, although drinking, smoking, high blood pressure, and lack of exercise were factors in losing hair. Having diabetes or suffering from a skin condition also affected hair loss in both men and women.

Researchers stressed that the answer to thicker hair is certainly not staying in an unhappy marriage, but rather to focus on how you handle stressful situations in your life. The mind-body connection may well be stronger than we think, and controlling stress may be one key to staying healthy.

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Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington