Healthlinks Upstate March/April 2022

34 | www.Ups tatePhys i c i ansSC . com | www.Hea l thL i nksUps tate. com “With hair loss, people immediately think about men, but a substantial percentage of women have significant hair loss, which can be very anxiety-producing. In fact, half of our patients who present with hair loss complaints are women,” Dr. Hochman said. That’s because society accepts hair loss in men but not so much in women, according to Amanda Dyar Moss, a family nurse practitioner with Forum Health in Greenville. “For women, there’s a societal view that equates long, luscious hair with youth and beauty,” she said. “There’s a different stereotype for men. Men losing their hair is more accepted and less of an issue.” About 50% of women will experience hair loss during their lifetime. “Women are very adept at camouflaging hair loss, so it may not be as noticeable,” Dr. Hochman said. “They notice hair loss more acutely and maybe seek help early, whereas, in men, it’s often considered as more of an expectation.” There are many reasons women experience hair loss, from heredity, illness, nutritional deficiency, hormones and even wearing hairstyles that are too tight, such as braids and ponytails, Moss said. The most common cause of hair loss in women is female pattern hair loss. Male pattern hair loss starts in the front of the head and recedes to the back until the person goes bald. In female pattern hair loss, hair thins mainly on the top and crown of the scalp. It usually starts with a widening through the part. According to the American Hair Loss Association, in female pattern hair loss, the front hairline isn’t as commonly affected, and hair loss rarely progresses to total or near-total baldness as it may in men. COVID-19 has also been linked to hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, possibly because of the stress of having the illness rather than the virus itself. Known as telogen effluvium, it is the second most common type of hair loss and usually happens about three months after a stressful event that causes hair follicles to go into a resting state, according to the AHLA. Most people think of men when they think of hair loss. However, hair loss in women is more common than they realize, said Dr. Marcelo Hochman, a facial plastic surgeon with The Facial Surgery Center in Charleston.