For decades we’ve been seeing ads that show worried men looking at their locks (or lack there of) in bathroom mirrors and hearing that baldness treatment medication may solve all their problems. Cue the tentative smile. But over time, there’s been a complete reversal. Now, according to new estimates, nearly nine out of ten requests for hair loss treatment come from women.
‘When I started 20 years ago I would say, of our clients, the proportion was 90 per cent men,” Steve O’Brien, of the prominent London Centre of Trichology, told the U.K.’s Daily Mail. “But in the last ten years in particular, it was well over 50 per cent women. And I would say in the last five years, getting on for 85-90 per cent women.”
It is estimated that more than 50 percent of women will experience noticeable hair loss. The most significant cause of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss, according to the Cleveland Clinic, which affects about one-third of susceptible women. That equals out to some 30 million women in the U.S.
Female-pattern hair loss often impacts women over 40 and menopausal women (in other words, us), and usually results in thinning on the top of the head or the sides. Lovely.
Getting to the Root
The problem on thinning hair is made worse by stress, and we sure have had enough of that this past year. “We see a lot of women getting older, and a lot of it is peri-menopause,” O’Brien said. “But the main reason we have so many women clients is stress.” He added that female hair growth is strongly related to hormonal levels, and any disruption to a woman’s hormones, whether physical or emotional, can result in hair being lost.
‘Women perhaps are more willing to seek treatment nowadays, and once they’ve been they recommend to their friends more than men do,” O’Brien said. “Women clients are more willing to recommend to their friends than men, who don’t want to admit they’ve had treatment.”
Among the treatments for hair loss are Minoxidil (brand name, Rogaine) and an FDA-approved device by HairMax that uses laser to stimulate hair growth. There are also supplements that help with hair thinning, including Nutrafol’s Women’s Balance, which targets the root causes such as hormones, stress, and metabolism with medical-grade, natural ingredients.
As a last resort, men can always shave their heads, but what about women? The cue-ball look isn’t exactly a thing. For us, thank God for high quality wigs and hair extensions.