Hair are the main frames of our faces. It is among those few attributes that we can voluntarily control, through hair length, style, and color. Our hairstyle is often a nonverbal expression of our personality. Male and female pattern hair loss affects 50% of men by 50 years of age and nearly 50% of women. The slow, relentless, involuntary loss of hair creates emotional stress for millions of men and women. Countless Internet sites and late night infomercials purport to have discovered a ‘‘miracle’’ cure for male and female pattern hair loss. Unfortunately, these ‘‘cures’’ are nonexistent and only serve to create cynicism and further stress for patients.
The most common type of hair loss occurs in a predictable pattern, and pattern hair loss occurs when the normal cycle of hair growth changes. Usually pattern hair loss starts slowly, and continues to get progressively worse. Progressive pattern hair loss is a common occurrence among men, and less apparent but still quite common among women. While men typically suffer pattern baldness with receding hairlines and bald spots on the crown of the head, women typically experience generalized thinning hair over the entire top of the head. And as we age, the occurrence and degree of hair loss increases.