Quick: Think of some of your favorite movies and sitcoms of all time. We bet at least one starred a middle-aged man whose male-pattern baldness added to his charm. Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince, anyone? Mr. Hall of Clueless fame? But for women, hair loss is never taken lightly — or even really talked about. According to the American Hair Loss Association, however, females make up 40% of Americans who suffer from hair loss. For many, it can be quite harrowing.
"Visits with female patients suffering from hair loss can be challenging," says Yolanda M. Lenzy, MD, MPH, dermatologist and owner of Massachusetts-based Lenzy Dermatology & Hair Loss Center. "It's traumatic for a woman to lose her hair, so patients are often very emotional." So, know that if you are losing your hair at any age (it can happen in your 20s), you're not alone.
The most common form is androgenetic alopecia (a frequent cause of hair loss in men and women), which affects an estimated 30 million women in the U.S. It's typically hereditary or a response to an underlying medical condition, pregnancy, or menopause. But there are less obvious culprits and a host of other types of hair loss that could potentially be affecting you.
Not to worry: Ahead, we consulted with top hair-loss specialists across the country — and in Europe — to find out what's causing hair loss in women, how to treat and prevent it, and what products to use along the way.