If we were to poll 10 random people and ask them what male hair loss looks like, they would probably all give similar answers about starting as receding in temples, with thinning in the crown and eventually balding on top with a ring of hair around the head. If we then asked those same 10 people what female hair loss looks like, I am pretty confident we would get 10 different answers. This is one of the complexities about female hair loss. For many women, it is hard for them to realize if they are experiencing it since it can differ so much from person to person. It can even be hard for some medical practitioners to properly diagnose as its causes and presentation are so varied.
On our website there is a questionnaire that visitors can fill out that asks them various questions about their experience with hair loss. With over 1000 responses, it provides a pretty good snapshot of what our patients are experiencing. As expected, the experiences vary widely.
If people think they may be experiencing hair loss, often their first thought is to consider their family history. While the myths talk about different grandfathers, the truth is that genetic hair loss can come from anyone in your family. However, of the survey respondents only 55% felt there was a history of it in their family, which means that 45% did not believe that they had a family history of hair loss. While genetics can play a big role in causing hair loss, it is only one potential factor.
Often times our perception of hair loss is rapid sudden shedding happening over a short period of time. However, only 22% of the respondents felt their hair loss was sudden, while 78% felt that it had been gradual over time. Unfortunately, with gradual hair loss it has probably been happening longer than you thought, as it takes time to notice, which is why it is so important to seek treatment once you feel you are experiencing hair loss.
As we noted above, male hair loss is fairly consistent, but there was pretty big variation in how the respondents described their hair loss. The percentages below do not equal 100% as respondents were asked to select all that applied. Below is what patients felt they were experiencing, from most common to least common:
Lastly, 63% of the survey respondents had never received a diagnosis for their hair loss, while 37% had. If you think you are experiencing hair loss, it is so important to get a diagnosis from a practice that is trained in evaluating and treating female hair loss. If you have received a diagnosis from a dermatologist or primary care physician, make sure you meet with a hair loss specialist who can get you started on a treatment plan right away. Most importantly, if you think you are seeing any signs of hair loss, know you are not alone and there are great treatment options available