But in recent years, hair loss or thinning hair has become so prevalent among women and men that even families that have no history of hair loss are progressively balding.
According to Dr Ryan Janks from Medical Hair Restoration, the most common form of permanent hair loss is called Androgenic or Androgenetic Alopecia (AA), affecting as many as many as 80% of men. This is because men produce significantly more of the hormone responsible for causing AA, explains Janks.
Janks says hair loss is not the end of the road though. Hair loss can be prevented by using tablets or topical solutions. Once the hair bulb has been destroyed the only way to replace that follicle is by hair transplant.
According to Janks, the common reason for hair thinning and hair loss among women can be hair extensions. He says such extensions can cause a form of temporary hair loss that can progress to permanent hair loss if the extensions are left in for an extended period. He said many women suffered from a condition called traction alopecia, and middle-aged women from age 50 upwards were more at risk of hair loss.
Chemical straighteners and dyes can also damage hair and even burn the skin but they are not usually responsible for permanent hair loss.
There are many ways to see signs of hair damage, whether it’s permanent or temporary. Temporary hair loss often presents as hair shedding such as hair on the pillow, in the hairbrush and the drain.
Janks says while prevention is better than treatment, the most important part of treating hair loss is getting the correct diagnosis.
“Unless you are treating the real cause you may ultimately fail to improve the situation. The correct treatment may be as simple as correcting a dietary deficiency or changing your medication but unless you identify the cause it may prove difficult to treat the hair loss or thinning hair,” he says.
Because females experience hair loss differently to males, self-assessments may be difficult and not accurate. and most need a diagnosis. A consultation of a knowledgeable transplant specialist would be ideal to determine the best treatment options available.