Skip to content

Hair Loss Health Center

Font Size

Hair Loss - What Happens

Inherited hair loss

About half the population have some hair loss by about 50 years of age. Men may start losing hair between the ages of 15 and 25, and women are more likely to start losing hair between the ages of 25 and 30, or in some cases, after menopause.1

With inherited hair loss (androgenetic alopecia), men tend to lose hair on the front hairline and temples and on top of the head. Eventually, they may go completely bald.

Women generally lose less hair than men, but they have a similar pattern of hair loss. Women may have slight, moderate, or even severe hair loss, but they don't usually lose all their hair.

For both men and women, inherited hair loss camera.gif must be treated early for hair to regrow.

Other causes of hair loss

Alopecia areata is hair loss caused when the immune system attacks hair follicles camera.gif, where hair growth begins. It usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth bald patches on the scalp, and can progress to total scalp hair loss or complete body hair loss. It often begins in childhood. The hair usually grows back within 1 year. But hair loss in alopecia areata can come and go—the hair often will grow back over several months in one area but will fall out in another area.

With hair loss caused by stress, disease, medicines or medical treatments, clumps of hair may fall out. But after the cause is stopped, the hair usually grows back, although sometimes treatment may be needed.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    hair in hairbrush
    Ways to go about it naturally.
    Young woman with thick curly hair
    Causes and solutions.
     
    man with thinning hair
    How to keep the hair you have.
    Closeup of Hairbrush with Hair Loss
    Understand the basics.
     
    Mens Hair Loss When To Start Treatment
    Article
    A Dermatologist Talks About Hair Loss
    Article
     
    Rogaine And Propecia For Hair Loss
    Article
    Woman looking at thinning hair in hand mirror
    Video
     
    Balding man in mirror
    Slideshow
    Close up of comb in woman's hair
    Quiz
     
    Young woman with thick curly hair
    Slideshow
    hair problems
    Slideshow