A recent survey of over 1000 women found that a staggering 33% (or 1 in 3) reported hair loss. This was observed as an increase in the amount of hair shed or a reduction in the length grown, both of which contribute to a reduction in hair volume if the problem persists for any length of time.
Hair volume varies between individuals with some people having finer (or thinner) hairs than others. As we grow older, there is a tendency for our hair fibres to become finer and shorter over successive hair cycles, but years may elapse before any obvious difference is seen.
Hair volume is determined by three factors (5, 6):
- the number of hairs present per square centimetre
- the proportion of hair follicles in the growing phase
- hair fibre thickness
Almost all hair problems show up as a change in one or any combination of these three factors (7). Understanding what has changed is the key to identifying the underlying cause. It is important to understand that 95% of hair loss complaints seen in women are caused by just two conditions.
- Chronic Telogen Effluvium (CTE)
- Genetic hair loss (androgen-dependent alopecia)
Both of these are covered in detail in this booklet and the causes of the remaining 5% of cases are also summarised.