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Hair Loss-Divorce Correlation: Study Suggests Splits Cause Hair Loss In Women

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Getting divorced is tough. Splitting your finances, your property, your kids, your time -- all of those factors can lead to high levels of stress. And according to a new study, all of that stress can lead to increased hair loss in divorced women.

Dr. Bahman Guyuron, the study's lead author, found that women who have had multiple marriages (including widows and divorcees) suffer more hair loss than those who are happily married. In men, marital status did not appear to impact hair loss patterns; genetics and excessive smoking were the top factors. He analyzed the lifestyles and hair patterns of 66 identical male twins and 84 female twins to determine which external factors contribute to hair loss.

So why does divorce affect women so differently? Dr. Guyuron, a Cleveland-based plastic surgeon, attributes his findings to gender differences: "The stress of going through a divorce may not be as troublesome for a male as it is for a female. They [men] may jump from one relationship to another relationship a lot faster," he told The Huffington Post. "[Women] take relationships more seriously and perhaps they are more uncomfortable for a longer period time because of a divorce. It takes its toll on them a great deal more than on males." He says his explanation does not have scientific proof, but is based on common sense and his experiences with men and women in his practice.

The study, which is being presented at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons' annual conference in Denver on Sunday, also revealed that other external factors can contribute to hair loss in women. In particular, sleeping more than eight hours per day, excessive smoking and sun exposure can increase your risk.

So what can women do to combat hair loss? Dr. Guyuron has a few suggestions: Wear a hat and sunscreen outdoors, drink coffee in moderation, limit the number of hours you sleep each day, avoid smoking -- and "stabilize your marriage."

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