Which is Tougher: Hair Loss in Men or Hair Loss in Women? Part 2
Last Week’s Hair Blog Takeaway: Hair Loss in Women is Quite Common
On last week’s blog, we set out to answer the question: Is hair loss tougher and more difficult for men or women? Unsurprisingly, there is heated debate between the sexes, so we weren’t able to completely answer this complex question, hence, part 2.
Last week’s blog is an informative read regarding hair loss between the genders. The takeaway from last week: Hair loss in women is more common than many realize; however, due to longer hair and more styling options, female hair loss is easier to hide. Men, on the other hand, are affected by hair loss more often, but are forced to resort to the unsightly “comb over” or the short buzz cut to hide it.
Differing Patterns of Male Hair Loss vs Female Hair Loss
In men, hair loss typically progresses from the hairline (“receding hairline”) and from the crown of the head (If you follow San Antonio basketball, we call this the Manu Ginobli). In other words, you can see a man’s hair loss coming or going or both.
In women with hair loss, the frontal hairline is mostly preserved. Female hair loss tends to occur in a diffuse manner across the entire top of the scalp. This causes a gradual widening of the part line or a more see-through nature, but no obvious bald spots.
Differing Media Portrayals of Female Hair Loss vs. Male Hair Loss
In both genders, body hair is considered a “secondary sexual characteristic.” In a February article in Marie Claire, London trichologist Dr. Philip Kingsley explained, “You don’t need it [hair] to keep you either warm or cool, so its primary function is to increase attractiveness.”
This fact is probably more pronounced in women. Think about it: How often do we see short-haired leading ladies in movies or TV? Rarer still are bald or shave-headed leading women. When we do see such characters, their heads are often shaved in rebellion or as a form of punishment.
In 2012, actor Ann Hathaway was devastated when she cut her hair for the film Les Misérables. She reports: “I’ve now done backflips out of windows. I’ve jumped off buildings. And cutting my hair reduced me to, like, mental patient-level crying.”
On the other side of the gender equation, leading men run the gamut in terms of hair length and style. There are shave-headed leading men aplenty in Hollywood (e.g., Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, and Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad,), along with plenty who are fully bald (e.g., Patrick Stewart, Woody Harrelson, Sean Connery). There are also flat tops, crew-cuts, Caesars, or those neatly coifed above the collar (e.g., Zac Efron, Ryan Renolds, George Clooney)—not to mention flowing locks of long hair (e.g., Jason Momoa in Game of Thrones, Chirs Hemsworth in Thor).
Actor Bruce Willis, whom we credit for bringing the shaved head into fashion, once said, “I’ve seen all those little digs where they try to make you feel less of a man because you’re losing your hair. I’m a man and I will kick anyone’s butt who tries to tell me I’m not a man because my hair is thinning.”
Let’s face it, hair is important in Hollywood, but men definitely have more options.
Female Hair Loss = Higher Costs
You’ve heard of the glass ceiling and salary inequality, but did you ever think hair loss could translate into economic disparities between men and women?
In June, Time magazine reported that Dr. Jules Lipoff, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, made a surprising discovery: He and his team compared prices at 21 pharmacies in four states, discovering that, ounce for ounce, retailers charge women significantly more than men for minoxidil (Rogaine). Rogaine manufacturer Upjohn stressed that they sell Rogaine products for men and women at identical prices. Lipoff details his findings in a June letter to medical journal JAMA.
Gender-based pricing that places a higher cost on items for women is hardly new. In fact, in 2015, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs published a study finding that women pay more for almost everything.
Male Pattern Baldness, the Emotional Toll
As we mentioned last week, a 2004 study found that 24% of women equate losing their hair to losing a limb. A 1992 study in the Journal Current Medical Research and Opinion found that, compared to men, women with hair loss were more likely to develop a negative body image.
In regards to male hair loss, this same study found that 75% of men suffer a significant loss of confidence because of the problem. Another 60% percent of male hair loss sufferers say they’ve been ridiculed for being bald.
Still, it seems safe to say that male pattern baldness is more acceptable in society and popular culture. Think about it: Have you ever joked about a male comb over or toupee? Everyone’s got an uncle whose part line gets closer to his ear every year. While many openly talk and laugh about, or even ridicule the idea of a man wearing “a piece,” this doesn’t make it any less psychologically damaging.
At The Limmer Hair Transplant Clinic, we’ll never be able to forge complete harmony between the genders; however, whether you’re a man or woman, we’ll help you find a solution to your hair loss—a solution guaranteed to deliver natural-looking results. We’ve worked with thousands of patients just like you. Contact Limmer Hair Transplant Clinic today and let’s get started helping you achieve a fuller life through a fuller head of hair.