Dealing with Female Hair Loss

It's normal for a woman to lose up to 100 hairs a day on your comb, brush or sink—this is just the result of the usual hair growth cycle. Some will lose far more than that. While reasons vary—from hormonal changes to stress, from inflammation to medication side effects—it's estimated that about 30 million women in the United States are all too familiar with hair loss.

We asked two women what it's like to endure female pattern hair loss, and found courage and inspiration...

Holly White Valliant finds a solution

Elinor Kinnier embraces the change

Finding a Solution

Holly White Valliant suffered from female hair loss for several years. "It was at the point where I would get up from the couch or a chair and a layer of hair would remain where I had been sitting," recalls the 42-year-old, "and let's not even get into the shower problems ... the drain [was] always clogged—always my fault."

Holly believes the causes for her hair dilemma included having been a swimmer at a young age, dealing with stress in her middle age, and realizing that she needed a better shampoo when it was too late. She quit swimming at 18, but the years of damage to her hair (since the age of two) was beyond repair. "My hair would 'crunch,'" she recalls.

Holly sought answers to prevent the problem. "My doctor blamed stress for the hair loss, but never recommended any products," she explains. "He just recommended 'less stress.'"

So Holly quit her demanding job (one that required her to be available 24/7), and it made a big difference in her hair growth. "Your hair doesn't lie, and you should listen to it," Holly asserts. "I was overly stressed when I was losing the greatest amount of hair. It was a rough lesson, but my hair was right about my job."

Even still, Holly's hair remained unhealthy and frizzy. Many companies have started to combat such problems with new products every year. Holly's tried a few. "If a product claims to be for 'dangerously damaged hair,' I've probably tried it," she says. "For the past two months, I've been using Pantene Time Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner and I can literally feel that I have softer, stronger hair," she explains. "I don't care if I sound like a commercial. I'm just glad I found a product that works."

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