Hair Loss Men
Most men experience at least some degree of hair loss in their lifetime, with the numbers increasing continuously with age. By their late 20’s, approximately 12% of men experience some hair loss. By the time a man is in his 50s, he has a greater than 50% chance of displaying some genetic baldness.
The psychological effects of male hair loss vary greatly, with some people barely paying attention to their thinning hair and others being affected so severely that even a small amount of hair loss can limit their ability to feel comfortable in social situations and prevent their normal functioning at work. It is important that those who are having unusual difficulty dealing with their hair loss receive psychological support or counseling as well as medical treatment.
Hair Loss Women
Hair loss is relatively common in women with about 30% experiencing at least some degree of thinning in their lifetime. Because female hair loss tends to be diffuse (less hair all over), rather than showing the characteristic “patterned alopecia” of men, and the fact that the frontal hairline in women is often maintained, there is a misconception that hair loss in women is rare – but it is not.
The psychological effects of hair loss can be significant, and many women are emotionally affected even when thinning is in its very early stages. This is, in part, due to the assumption that few women lose their hair and that, in contrast to men, where it is “OK to be bald,” any hair loss in women is socially unacceptable. Both of these erroneous perceptions make dealing with hair loss particularly difficult for women.
Medical Treatments and Other Non-Surgical Therapies
Medications serve an important role in both the prevention and treatment of hair loss, particularly in the early stages of the balding process. The FDA approved medication Propecia (finasteride), which inhibits DHT, is particularly helpful in reversing genetic baldness in its early stages. Rogaine (minoxidil) can sometimes be useful for early hair loss by stimulating hair growth, but it is more effective when used in conjunction with Propecia. Because medical therapy works to thicken hair in areas that are thinning (miniaturized), rather than to grow hair once it is lost, medical treatment is best started as soon as possible.