A common misconception is that only males are subjected to hair loss. However, research shows that women are almost as likely as men to experience thinning or loss of hair. In a 2001 study, The American Academy of Dermatology revealed that 50% of women show visible hair loss by the age of 50.
Here are some facts about hair loss, particularly as it relates to women:
- Losing a little bit of hair is entirely normal – the average person, female or male, loses 50-100 hairs per day.
- 30 million American women are affected by hereditary hair loss.
- Women make up 40% of all American hair loss sufferers.
- In quality-of-life studies, women experiencing hair loss reported far more instances of behavior that interfered with their daily lives — including a significant loss of self-esteem, becoming more introverted, feeling less attractive, and having tense feelings in public places.4
- The majority of cases of female pattern hair loss are either hereditary or due to a hormone shift after menopause.5
The most common type of hair loss seen in women is androgenetic alopecia, also known as female pattern alopecia or baldness. This is seen as hair thinning predominantly over the top and sides of the head. It affects approximately one-third of all susceptible women, but is most commonly seen after menopause, although it may begin as early as puberty. The progression of female pattern baldness is different from that of male pattern baldness. In female pattern baldness:
- Hair thins mainly on the top and crown of the scalp. It usually starts with a widening through the center hair part.
- The front hairline remains unaffected except for normal recession, which happens to everyone as time passes.
- The hair loss rarely progresses to total or near total baldness, as it may in men.