The Facts: Scientific research has proven that the genes for hair loss can come from either or both sides of the family. The best indicator you have is your immediate family. Look around—are your parents, sibling, aunts & uncles losing their hair? If so, you may also be at risk.

The Facts: Women also suffer from hereditary hair loss — nearly 30 million women in the U.S. alone. Often termed fine or thin, women’s hair goes though the same thinning process that men experience. However, women generally experience diffuse thinning starting just behind the hairline to the top or over the entire head, while men usually experience typical “male pattern baldness” – crown (or vertex) balding and/or a receding frontal hairline. Women usually experience little or no recession of the frontal hairline.

The Facts: Although many women experience an increase in shedding after giving birth and around menopause, women can start experiencing the signs of heredity hair thinning as early as their 20’s. The signs are similar to men’s hair thinning – more hair loss on the pillow, in the drain, or on the hairbrush. However, instead of losing hair in the crown and hairline, women tend to experience a diffuse thinning that starts on the top of the head and can spread over the entire scalp.

The Facts: Stress affects the body in many ways; it is important not to underestimate the power of stress. However, usually it takes severe, traumatic stress (like that related to a severe psychological or physical experience—a natural disaster, death in the family or crash dieting) to cause hair loss. Some diseases of the hair and scalp that cause patchy hair loss, like alopecia areata, can be precipitated or aggravated by bouts of stress. Mild stress usually doesn’t cause hair loss—in fact, usually the opposite is true!

The Facts: Normally, between 50 and 150 individual hairs are shed from the scalp every day. This is not a sign of hair loss; rather, it is a sign that hair follicles are entering their resting phase – a natural part of the follicle’s life cycle. When enough follicles do not recover from the “resting phase,” you are suffering from hair loss. Hair loss is a progressive process during which affected follicles tend to produce thinner, shorter hairs until they eventually die.

The Facts: Shrinking follicles and hair loss is a normal part of the body’s aging process. Just like the skin wrinkles as you age, your follicles will shrink, making your hair seem thinner. How much you lose depends on your genes.

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