How Common is Hair Loss?

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How Common is Hair Loss?

Hair loss is common. By the time we reach age 50, one out of every two people will have some form of hair loss. About 50-60 % of men and 30 % of women and will develop androgenetic alopecia by this age.  This translates into about 50 million men and 30 million women in North America. Other hairs loss conditions are also present in the population.  Most people, especially women, will experience temporary hair shedding at some point in their lives.  Common causes included iron deficiency, thyroid problems, pregnancy, weight loss, illnesses and certain medications.  10-30 % of black women experience a permanent form of hair loss known as central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia.  It leads to hair loss in the middle of the scalp and is associated with the development of scars deep below the scalp.

Other reasons for hair loss

Other hair loss diseases are less common.  However, it's likely that you'll know someone with the following conditions at some point in your life.  About 2 % of the population have, or will develop an autoimmune disease called alopecia areata.  This condition is often associated with hair loss in circular patches but can rarely be associated with total scalp and body hair loss.  About 1 % of the population will develop hair loss at some point in their lives from trichotillomania.  This is a form of hair pulling and plucking that may be associated with underlying emotional issues, including depression, anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder.  There are dozens of other forms of hair loss too, but they are less common.


Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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