Most people will experience some type of hair thinning over the course of their lives. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most interesting hair loss statistics to help shed some light on hair shedding. (Sources are included via hyperlinks.)
1. Not all men experience hair loss, but most do.
Up to 85% of men in the USA will experience some type of hair loss by their 50th birthday, according to the American Hair Loss Association.
2. Men and Women experience hair loss in similar numbers.
Women actually make up more than 40% of all Americans experiencing hair loss.
3. Men get hit hard with hair loss earlier in life.
DHT – a kind of testosterone – is the key player in most forms of hormonal hair loss. Men have more of it earlier in life and less estrogen to protect against it. Because of these two factors combined, about 25% of men experience some degree of hair loss before age 21.
4. Age plays a big role in female hair loss too.
Estrogen and lower testosterone levels protect most women from substantial hair loss during their reproductive years. This is why men appear to lose their hair earlier in life than women. Women catch up to men once they reach the years of perimenopause and beyond.
5. Children can experience hair loss.
Hair loss accounts for roughly 3% of pediatric doctor’s office visits in the US every year.
6. Your hair is constantly falling out and regrowing.
Most people lose an average of 50 – 100 strands of hair a day! The crucial part is the regrowth. If the hair falls out and is meant to regrow, it will regrow. Simple as that!
7. Stress and trauma can make your hair fall out – but it will most likely grow back.
Stress interrupts the normal hair cycle. This can be emotional or physical stress – because remember that your brain is part of your body too! If you’re stressed to the max, this is just as hard on you physically as physical trauma. Try your best not to get too stressed about the shedding (easier said than done, for sure) because this can worsen or prolong the problem.
8. Radical changes to your physical condition can also encourage shedding.
A super high fever, child birth, or rapid weight loss are very good examples of physical changes or conditions that can cause you to lose a lot of hair quickly. Again, shedding is normal. It’s whether or not it grows back that you should focus on – and that can often take several months before you notice improvements post-shed.
9. Normal shedding and hair loss are technically different.
Shedding is normal and something that happens every day of your life. We’re mammals, after all, and hair serves many purposes. It needs to reboot and regenerate to be in tip-top shape. Hair loss, on the other hand, is when the hair doesn’t grow back after it’s been shed. This is called anagen effluvium.
10. LOTS of medications can cause hair shed as a side effect.
Get ready for a very long “short list” of some of the most common culprits. Bear in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. You will want to read the information pamphlet provided by you pharmacist – or call your doctor – for more details.
Anticoagulant medications (Panwarfarin, Sofarin, Coumadin and heparin injections);
Gout medications (Allopurinol, Lopurin and Zyloprim); Beta blockers (Atenolol, Tenormin, Metoprolol, Lopressor, Nadolol, Corgord, Propranolol, Inderal, Inderal LA, Timolol, Blocadren); Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, or ACE inhibitors (Captopril, Capoten, Lisinopril, Zestril, Prinivil, Enalapril, Vasotec); Vitamin A; Acne medication (Isotretinoin, Accutane); Female hormone therapy and oral contraceptives (birth control pills, estrogen, progesterone);
Men who take testosterone or anabolic steroids may experience male pattern balding;
Antidepressants, mood stabilizers and anti-anxiety medications (Amitriptyline, Elavil, Endep, Amoxapine, Asendin, Clomipramine, Anafranil, Desipramine, Norpramin, Pertofrane, Doxepin, Adapin, Sinequan, Fluoxetine hydrochloride, Prozac, Haloperidol, Haldol, Imipramine, Janimine, Tofranil, Tofranil PM, Nortriptyline, Pamelor, Aventyl, Paroxetine, Paxil, Protriptyline hydrochloride, Vivactil, Sertraline hydrochloride, Zoloft, Trimipramine, Surmontil); Anticonvulsants or anti-seizure medications (Trimethadione, Tridione, Valproic Acid, Depakote); and, of course, a whole buffet of chemotherapy medications have been known to cause hair shedding.
11. Rogaine isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Rogaine is a vasodilator that can help prevent hair shed but does not normally cause lost hair to regrow. Plus, you have to apply the stuff every day of your life or the shedding will resume.
12. You probably have more hair follicles than you realize.
The average human scalp has about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs on it. The thickness and distribution of those individual strands of hair account for a lot of the appearance of thick, full hair.
13. Ethnicity – and its impact on your hair texture – influences your rate of hair growth.
For example, Asian women – who typically have silky, straight, durable hair – often see faster hair growth than women of African heritage – who often have very curly, easily broken hair.
14. Men in Asia seek surgical options for their hair loss more than any other demographic in the world.
The ISHRS puts the number of surgical and nonsurgical patients seeking help for hair loss issues at more than 971,000 as of 2012. Just over 86 percent of patients were male, although the number of women seeking surgical remedies jumped by 20 percent between 2004 and 2012.
While over 250,000 of them live in the U.S., Asia takes the largest share of the market with close to 400,000 people going through the hair restoration treatment process every year.
15. Not everyone is a good candidate for hair restoration surgery.
Many factors are generally taken into consideration including: gender, number of grafts required to meet expectations, density and health of hair in donor areas, blood supply to the scalp, color of hair and skin, the texture of your hair compared to the donor hair, and your future hair loss based on the doctor’s projections.
16. Women are generally poor candidates for hair restoration surgery.
Most women have diffuse hair loss as opposed to the classic male presentation of Androgenic Alopecia. Men have better results with this surgery because they usually have very thick, healthy hair in the back of their scalps. Women typically lose from all over the scalp but with a higher concentration on the top, making it nearly impossible to take healthy grafts from existing hair. The chances of the grafted hair falling out are also higher for women due to this fact.
17. Even if the surgery works for a woman, it may not give her the results she’s looking for.
According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, the most common complaints after surgery in 2016 were: less density than expected (54%), post-operative shock loss (36.9%), pain after procedure (24.5%), and post-operative graft shedding (18.4%).
18. This is probably why the largest supplier of hair restoration surgeries in the world also owns the world’s largest wig company!
Aderans Hair Goods – parent company of Rene of Paris, Amore, and Noriko wigs, among others – also owns Bosley Hair Centers and The Hair Club (formerly The Hair Club for Men).
19. Reasons for hair loss differ greatly from person to person.
LOTS of things can cause or contribute to stopping the natural regrowth that occurs at the end of the hair cycle, resulting in permanent hair loss for men and women. These include: medications, genetic predisposition, hormonal factors, prolonged stress or trauma, autoimmune disorders, dermatological disorders, PCOS and a wide variety of other health conditions, child birth, trichotillomania, extreme weight loss, hair styles that pull the hair (such as braiding under weave extensions or really tight pony tails), and menopause.
20. August is Hair Loss Awareness Month.
The American Academy of Dermatology has designated August as National Hair Loss Awareness Month. (It is also Psoriasis Awareness Month. There just aren’t enough months in a year!)