The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) is the leading authority on hair restoration with over 1,100 members throughout the world.  We are lucky to have a Fellow of the ISHRS on staff in Dr. Mark DiStefano, who is one of just over 100 hair restoration physicians with that status.  Every couple of years the ISHRS conducts a practice census to get a sense of the number of patients seeking hair restoration treatments and the types of treatments patients are seeking.  They recently released their 2020 census, which looks at 2019 information.  Let’s see what we can learn about trends in the treatment of female hair loss from the 2020 ISHRS Practice Census.

In 2019 females made up 15.8% of the surgical patients and 40% of the non-surgical patients.

In 2019, the percentage of female patients were fairly similar to the 2016 numbers, which was the year of the last census.  However, when you compare these numbers to just over 10 years ago, in 2008, female patients made up 13.8% of the surgical patients and only 31.8% of the non-surgical patients.   In the US women make up 40% of those experiencing hair loss, so the fact that women now make up 40% of the non-surgical patients is a positive step towards more women seeking treatment.

On average, female patients tended to be slightly older than male patients.

While we see patients of all ages, on average female patients tend to see hair loss later in life than men. In the practice census, approximately 50% of the male patients were 39 or under and 50% were 40 or older.  For the female patients, approximately, 43% were 39 or younger and 57% were 40 or older.  It is estimated that by age 50, 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss, while by the same age, 85% of men will experience hair loss.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy has become one of the most popular treatments available for hair restoration experts.

In 2019, almost 80% of the survey respondents said they had prescribed Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy to their patients.  It was not that long ago that most practices did not offer PRP Therapy. The 2013 practice census did not even include statistics on PRP Therapy and now it has become widely accepted amongst hair loss experts as a valuable treatment option for hair loss.

Scalp and Eyebrows were the two most common types of hair transplants for females in 2019.

In 2019, 82% of females that had a hair transplant procedure targeted the scalp as the recipient area.  While that is far and away the most common, eyebrows accounted for 12% of female hair transplant procedures.  Hair transplants for eyebrows continue to be a popular option for women looking for increased eyebrow density, shape, or definition.

Posted by Dr. Mary Wendel