Hair

Into thin hair: More women seeking transplants for limp locks

Oct. 29, 2013 at 6:09 PM ET

female pattern baldness hair transplants
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female pattern baldness hair transplants

As if we didn’t already have wrinkles, cellulite, spider veins and muffin tops to worry about, now you can add possible baldness to your list of womanly woes.

According the U.K.’s Daily Mail, one clinic in London is reporting a whopping 82 percent increase in female hair transplants. And these aren’t just being performed on elderly women with thinning hair—the average age for those getting the procedure is just 39, the newspaper adds.

“While high-profile male celebrities who have undergone hair transplants have undoubtedly helped make more men in the U.K. open to the possibility of a hair transplant, this has actually also encouraged more women to consider the option of investing in a transplant,” Dr. Raghu Reddy, a hair transplant surgeon, tells the Daily Mail. “Now, women are more informed and better placed to address the problem.”

So, what’s causing all this hair loss? Genetics, stress, hormonal disorders and health problems for starters. But you can also blame extensions and all those styling tools.

“Many of the women I see have worn extensions for many years, which have put a lot of traction on the existing hair, while in some cases glue applied to the roots to join extensions has also starved the hair of its own vital nutrients,” Reddy tells the newspaper. “Over time this causes the hair to thin and if this is not addressed it can turn into a more concerning condition known as traction alopecia, something which means the hair will not grow back.”

He says long-time use of flat irons and curling irons can also give women bald spots.

“There’s a reason why 40, 50 and 60 don’t look the way they used to and it’s not because of feminism, or better living through exercise,” Nora Ephron wrote in her book I Feel Bad About My Neck. “It’s because of hair dye.” And, now, apparently, hair transplants, too.

Lesley Kennedy writes for ShopAtHome.com. Follow ShopAtHome on Twitter @shopathome and Lesley on Google+.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.

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