If you’re taking statins, or considering it, brace yourself for potential problems with female hair thinning. It’s only one of the side effects of the medication, which researchers say is extremely beneficial to everyone (yes, everyone) over the age of 50.
Statins reduce the LDL in your body, also known as “bad cholesterol.” That’s the stuff that narrows and hardens your arteries, leading to increased risk of heart attack, heart disease and stroke. Statins are prescribed to those who are at risk for developing heart disease, and recent research at the University of Oxford suggests that the medication can be beneficial to 100% of persons over age 50 who take it.
If you don’t mind a little female hair thinning, of course.
Statin side effects
Over the past few years, more and more items have been added to the list of potential side effects associated with statin drugs. Upset stomach, headache and insomnia are all attached to the drugs; memory problems were added in 2009. General physicians say many of their patients taking statins also report to feeling irritable and exhausted. Hair loss is something else that isn’t mentioned as often as other statin side effects, but it’s also a factor. For women, it can be a pretty big one.
“Women shed more hair than they should [while taking statins], and it can exacerbate any genetic tendency towards the female equivalent of male pattern baldness. I see many [patients] with thinning patches,” said David Fenton, a London-based dermatologist.
Female hair thinning
It’s very discouraging news. Women should never be put in a position to choose between heart health and hair, but clearly there’s no competition. All that luxurious hair won’t do you a whole lot of good if you’re not healthy enough to enjoy it. There are worse things than being bald or having thinning hair. Women don’t always have to choose between one or the other, however.
With the right hairstyles, thin hair won’t be quite so noticeable. Use color to give locks a look of depth and texture. Blend highlights and lowlights to make the play of light and shadow work for your tresses to create a look of volume. Add curls and waves to give your locks an even bigger boost.
The right cut will make hairstyles for thin hair work. Use layers of varying lengths to make your hair look full and thick, even when it’s getting finer due to medication, stress or simple aging. Blow-dry your hair with your head upside-down, and when styling always apply mousse to the roots first to make them stand up and out. Simple styling tricks like these will camouflage thin locks. You should also speak to a physician about getting the right vitamins to encourage hair growth, and learn how to avoid doing damage that will make female hair thinning worse.
Learn more about keeping your locks beautiful and healthy in our free special report, Hairstyles for thin hair: Best Treatments, Products, and Haircuts for Fine Hair.