Hair loss is typically considered the domain of aging men, but this equal-opportunity condition — which has many causes — can affect virtually anyone.

Everyone sheds about 100 hairs each day as part of the normal hair growth cycle, but excess loss is usually a distressing development.

Most people’s hair grows about a half-inch per month, and about 90 percent of your hair is actively growing at any given time, with the other 10 percent in dormant phase. After two or three months, this dormant hair falls out and its follicles begin growing new hair as other follicles begin a dormant phase.

The word alopecia refers to any type of hair loss, thinning hair or baldness in any hairy region of the body. Baldness tends to be a more specific term among lay people, as it usually refers to hair loss on the scalp – however, it can mean hair loss in any part of the body. Alopecia areata means “hair loss in areas”. In the majority of cases hair loss is a normal process of aging, and not a disease. Because it is not seen as life-threatening to doctors it is often disregarded. This is unfortunate because hair loss can cause serious distress in some people, with some far reaching psychological effects. In some cases hair loss may be a consequence of some medical treatment, especially cancer treatment drugs – when the hair loss is generally temporary.

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