SPECIAL REPORT | Losing your Locks

Published: Feb. 17, 2017 at 9:50 PM CST
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The average woman spends ten days a year making sure her hair looks perfect, a Google poll found. According to those questioned, 10 minutes each day is devoted to washing and conditions. They spent another 15 minutes blow drying their hair and the same again styling their locks into the right shape, making it 40 minutes in total.

Those numbers alone can give an idea of how much hair really means to the average woman, which is why the thought of losing it is devastating.

Someone who works with women and makes sure their hair looks perfect is Erin Flora, a stylist at Terradea Salon in Wausau, Wis.

"It (good hair) makes them feel good inside and out," Flora said. "It makes your day better, so it makes life better."

At the salon, hair is a science.

"We learn all the bones in your head so we can cut your hair according to your bone structure," Flora said.

Straight, curly, blonde, brown, thick and thin, doesn't matter, Flora works with all types of hair. She said one cause of losing hair is what women do to their hair everyday with different hairstyles.

"For women with thinning hair, there's a lot of reasons, like after having a baby or going through a stressful time in life," Flora said.

Another reason, the tension on the folicals.

"I've seen people wearing their hair tight, and it will cause a lot of breakage right where the pony tail will be," Flora said. "Pulling on your hairline, that can speed up the process of a hair falling out."

Hairstyles as simple as a ponytail can take a toll on anyone's hairline.

"Pulling on your hairline," Flora said. "That can speed up the process of a hair falling out."

Doctor Tou Shoua Lor, a family medicine doctor at Aspirus, said more women are reporting hair loss.

"I think it's more women coming forward complaining about it more and trying to seek care for it more," Lor said.

Lor said losing hair everyday is normal, but pulling hair so tight, starting at a younger age, speeds up the hair loss process.

"Yeah, that's actually a real thing," Lor said about more women losing hair thanks to hairstyles.

A real thing that can mature into traction alopecia. "Traction alopecia is a form of alopecia, or gradual hair loss, caused primarily by pulling force being applied to the hair. This results from the sufferer frequently wearing their hair in a particularly tight ponytail, pigtails or braids," according to Google.

"When people do that long term or really every day, or tight ponytails every day," Lor said, "it does commonly show up in the front area or the side area because that's where the tension is the worst."

Tension on the folical, may not stop anyone from wearing a pony tail, no matter how many times told.

"Society today, everybody wants to live up to a certain standard," Flora said.

Having hair may make someone feel beautiful, but it's not what determines beauty, even though many pay attention to what's on the outside.

"They'll look at it really really close when you're done," Flora said about when people come into the salon. "They'll get up in the mirror and look at it and check it out and touch."

Ask someone who's working to make everyone who sits in her chair feel beautiful on the inside, like Flora.

"I always just tell people, 'I want to make you feel beautiful and make you look beautiful and make you feel like yourself again,'" Flora said. "So as long as they leave with a smile on their face, that makes my day."

Hair loss has many possible causes, including genetics, an under active thyroid, cancer treatments, or medications for other health conditions. And for many people, hair loss (alopecia) or thinning hair can result in a loss of self-esteem and cause depression, anxiety, and other emotional issues, according to Google.

Watch Hannah Anderson's special report "Losing your locks" only on NewsChannel 7 at 10 p.m., Monday, Feb. 20.