Mistakenly thought to be a strictly male disease, women make up a significant percentage of American hair loss sufferers. Forty percent of women have visible hair loss by the time they are age 40, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Hair loss in women can be absolutely devastating for self image and emotional well-being.
Unfortunately, society has forced women to suffer in silence. It is considered far more acceptable for men to go through the same hair loss process. Even more unfortunately, the medical community pays little attention to the issue of women's hair loss. Since hair loss doesn't appear to be life threatening, physicians often overlook women's complaints about hair loss and essentially tell their patients that "it's no big deal," and that "you'll just have to live with it."
Many women with hair loss suffer in silence, altering their hairstyle to hide thinning or patches. But the sooner you seek care, the better the chances of successfully treating it, says Mary Gail Mercurio, MD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y.
It's not as uncommon as you may think: As many as 5% of women under 30 and 60% of those older than 70 are affected, she says. At the recent meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in Miami Beach, Fla...
Of course what these physicians don't seem to realize is that the psychological damage caused by hair loss and feeling unattractive can be just as devastating as any serious disease, and in fact, can take an emotional toll that directly affects physical health.
The American Hair Loss Association recognizes that hair loss in women is a serious life-altering condition that can no longer be ignored.