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Baldness 101

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Baldness 101

When it comes to baldness, people often don't think of it much beyond "Please, oh please, let that never happen to me." Well, maybe it's time you learned a bit more about baldness: its causes, its prevalence, its treatments and how we feel about it. Hold on to your hair; you're about to learn something.

Splitting hairs:

35 million men suffer from hair loss

By age 35, 66 percent of men will experience noticeable hair loss

By age 50, 85% of men will experience noticeable hair loss

By age 21, one-quarter of men will experience the beginning of male-pattern baldness

21 million women suffer from hair loss

By age 40, 40% of women will experience noticeable hair loss

There is an average of 100,000 hair follicles on a human scalp. The average number of hairs lost per day by those who are not balding is between 50 and 100.

Hair loss disorders:

  • Androgenetic alopecia (hereditary thinning) - Most common reason for hair loss - Occurs in both men and women. In men it usually results in a receding hairline; in women, it usually results in thinning all over
  • Alopecia areata

    - Believed to be an autoimmune disease

    - Causes bald patches, often on head but also on other parts of the body

    - Those affected tend to be in good health

    - Hair typically regrows once treated

  • Cicatricial alopecia

    - Those affected tend to be in good health

    - Scar tissue forms after destruction of hair follicles, preventing regrowth

    - Treatment addresses inflammation

  • Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia

    - Typically affects women with African ethnicity

    - Originates in centre of scalp, causing a bald spot that spreads outward

    - Other symptoms include tingling, burning, pain or itching if hair loss occurs rapidly

  • Other causes:

    - Underlying medical condition (any of about 30 diseases)

    - eating disorder

    - Illness or surgery (severe fever/inflection, flu)

    - Radiation or chemotherapy

    - Ringworm

    - Thrichotillomania (compulsion to pull out hair)

    - Giving birth

    - Menopause

    - Stress

    - Weight loss

    - Excess of Vitamin A

    - Iron deficiency

    - Medicine (blood thinner, birth control and more)

    - Hair products

    - Styling devices/accessories

    - Improper washing, drying, combing and handling

Female Baldness

19 percent of women are extremely concerned about hair loss

29 percent are not concerned at all

Of those who are concerned, the most popular actions are:

- Talk to the doctor (59 percent)

- Talk to a friend or family member (57 percent)

- Changing washing habits/products (53 percent)

- Change hairstyle (50 percent)

43 percent of doctors recommend just waiting


Hair loss is a $6 billion industry.

86 percent of men taking Propecia (finasteride) see their hair loss stop while 65 percent of men see hair growth increase significantly. This is recommended by the American Hair Loss Association as men's first choice for treating hair loss. Minoxidil (Rogaine) is comparatively much less effective and AHLA only recommends it for those who've tried finasteride with no success

More than one-third of all hair-restoration surgeries worldwide are done in the U.S.

Hair-restoration surgery patients by age:

Under 20: 1.4%

20-29: 19.3%

30-39: 30.4%

40-49: 26.3%

50-59: 15.4%

60 or older: 7.1%

One-quarter of men say they would trade five years of their life to prevent/reverse hair loss

Personal possessions men would trade for hair:

- stereo

- cell phone

- car

- laptop

- TV

When asked if they would rather have more money, hair or friends, 43.2 percent of men said they would rather have more hair

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