There are many reasons why people lose their hair. For example, hair loss can be triggered by stress, using damaging hair products, and certain types of medications. However, this type of hair loss is generally temporary. Hair loss can also be permanent and have a genetic component, as is the case with male and female pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). Androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of baldness and involves progressive hair loss.1 In males, androgenetic alopecia is characterized by a receding hairline at the temples and balding on the crown of the head which gradually becomes bigger and joins together. In females, there can be an overall decrease in hair thickness along the frontal and central part of the scalp or on the crown of the head.
Studies have found that thinning of the hair can begin as early as 12 years of age or as late as 40 years of age for both men and women2, although factors such as genetics and race may impact when hair loss begins. The American Hair Loss Association states that around 67% of men experience a fair amount of hair loss by the time they are 32 years old.3 By age 50, 85% of men will have significant hair thinning, with 50% of men having androgenetic alopecia.3 Female androgenetic alopecia is less common, occurring in around 40% of women at some time in their life.4
Like many things in life, there is no clear-cut answer as to when people may start losing their hair. Hair loss may begin at a young age but it is more likely to occur in people’s 30s and progress as they continue to age. If you are concerned that you may be losing more hair than usual, it is best to seek advice from your doctor.
Article by: M.A. MacLeod, MSc., Mediprobe Research Inc.
- Jang WS, Son IP, Yeo IK, et al. The annual changes of clinical manifestation of androgenetic alopecia clinic in Korean males and females: an outpatient-based study. Ann Dermatol. 2013;25(2):181-188. doi:10.5021/ad.2013.25.2.181.
- Price VH. Androgenetic Alopecia in Women. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2003;8(1):24-27. doi:10.1046/j.1523-1747.2003.12168.x.
- American Hair Loss Association. Men’s Hair Loss Introduction. http://www.americanhairloss.org/men_hair_loss/introduction.asp. Accessed November 3, 2015.
- Santos Z, Avci P, Hamblin MR. Drug discovery for alopecia: gone today, hair tomorrow. Expert Opin Drug Discov. 2015;10(3):269-292. doi:10.1517/17460441.2015.1009892.