Women who love their tresses should adopt a healthy lifestyle and avoid stress or they could lose their lovely locks. 

Hair loss is something that a lot of us have to deal with. Usually hair loss is attributed to age or genes. But a new study of male and female identical twins has found that environmental or lifestyle factors like stress, smoking, heavy drinking and sun exposure could also trigger hair loss, especially for women.

One study has found that women who have lost their spouses due to death or divorce and so are more stressed face a higher risk of midline (central) hair loss. On the other hand, women who have stable marriages are less likely to experience hair loss.

The study also found that indulging in heavy drinking and/or smoking also increased the risk of hair loss in women.

In men, genes play a bigger role in hair loss although some lifestyle factors also affect it.

Men, who drink or smoke or have a cancer history or are less active or face more sun exposure or stress, have a higher risk of losing their hair.

For the studies, Bahman Guyuron, MD, a plastic surgeon at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, recruited 90 male and 98 female identical twins. 

Twins are genetically destined to have the same number of hairs, Guyuron said, reports webmd.com. And if one has fewer, it means that it is related to outside factors.

Each pair of twins was asked to fill out a questionnaire on their lifestyle habits, which was followed by hormone blood level testing and an extensive photo analysis of their hair. Experts then studied which of the twins had the most hair. Those in stable marriages had more hair than their twin who was divorced or widowed.

According to Guyuron, female hair loss can also be triggered by excessive sleeping patterns, and other stress inducing situations like having higher income, higher blood pressure, multiple children and/or getting married, reports HealthDay.

Guyuron added that drinking coffee, using sun protection like wearing a hat, and being in a happy marriage reduced the risk of hair loss.

The studies are scheduled to be presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgery in Denver, Colo.

According to webmd.com, once the findings are published in a peer-reviewed journal, it will be subject to greater scrutiny.