August has been declared National Hair Loss Awareness Month by the American Academy of Dermatology (www.aad.org). This one month long campaign is designed to educate the public about hair loss and its effect on those with the condition. The goal of this program is to raise awareness about hereditary hair loss which affects over 80 million men and women in the United States and millions more around the world. This is an ideal time for men and women with hereditary hair loss to talk to their doctors about the newest tests and treatments available to help them.
Here are some of the facts that aid in the basic understanding of hereditary hair loss:
- Hair loss can be inherited from your mother, your father, or both.
- About 1 in 4 women in the US experience hereditary hair loss so the condition doesn’t just affect men.
- All people regardless of racial or ethnic background experience hair loss And, below are some facts about androgenetic alopecia (hereditary hair loss) prevalence, and hallmarks of the condition:
- Hair loss can occur as early as the teen years for males and for females can begin in their 20’s.
- By age 40, 40% of both men and women can have visible signs of hereditary hair loss
- By age 50, 50% of both men and women can start to see signs of the condition.
- Men tend to show hair loss around the hairline, at the back of the head and at the crown which is generally called a “receding hair line”. Women on the other hand, generally experience more diffuse thinning.
There are some other visible early signs of hereditary hair loss, such as increased shedding of hair, hair in the top of the head growing in shorter than the rest, and the part in the center of the hair showing more scalp as time goes on.
Hereditary hair loss can cause significant distress in women as well as men, so it’s important for people to get accurate information about this medically-treatable condition. There are effective hair loss treatments available from physicians that range from FDA-approved medications to laser phototherapy devices such as the HairMax LaserComb® which is FDA cleared for marketing, to hair transplant surgery.
Hopefully this campaign will raise awareness that hereditary hair loss is a treatable condition, and that there is no need to suffer from hair loss in silence and do nothing about it. It is important to know that the best time to seek treatment is when the first signs of hair loss appear, because early treatment will offer the best chance for success.