Going through stressful life changes such as divorce can cause women to suffer from hair loss, new research suggests.

According to a study from the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, women who have lost a spouse or partner through divorce or death are far more likely to suffer from thinning hair compared to women who are in a happy marriage or those that are single.

Researchers studied 84 female identical twins, testing the level of hormones in their blood and extensively analysing photos of their hair.

The study said using identical twins was important because each twin carries the same genes as their sibling, which enables researchers to rule out genetic differences as a potential reason for losing hair.

Dr Bahman Guyuron, chairman of the department of plastic surgery at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and author of the report, pointed out that the way in which a woman’s marital status affects her state of mind is key to understanding the reasons why divorce may cause hair loss.

"Most likely, stress is the aspect of a troubling divorce that appears to lead to hair loss among women," he said.

"What we can say is that we identified factors that appear to both raise risk and lower risk, for both men and women, independent of genetic disposition."

Habits that contradict healthy living advice such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption were also found to contribute to hair loss among women, the survey revealed.

Researchers found that across the temporal area of the head, near the temples, the greater the number of years the woman had smoked, the greater the extent of the hair loss she experienced.

A history of skin conditions was also found to contribute to hair loss across the temporal areas of the head.

Women suffering from hair loss can choose from a range of organic hair care products designed to promote new hair growth.

Fushi’s stimulator herbal shampoo contains natural ingredients such as rosemary, cinnamon and lavender to boost circulation to the scalp and nourish hair follicles.

Posted by Laura Andrews