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Why is baldness so much more common in men than in women?

Women lose their hair as often as men do. They just don't lose as much. All women lose hair when they have a sudden loss of estrogen after stopping birth control pills, after giving birth and after entering the menopause. They also lose hair after various illness, after suffering a high fever, and after losing weight rapidly. These factors rarely cause permanent hair loss; hair growth usually returns to normal within nine months. Hair grows for three years, rests for three months and then starts to grow again. You cannot reverse hair loss until most hairs have gone from resting to active growing and that takes about nine months. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common curable causes of male pattern baldness in women.

Don’t believe the ads that tell you baldness is caused by blocked pores and that you can cure baldness by applying a special shampoo that opens the pores so that hair can break through the skin and reach the surface. Bald men have almost the same number of hairs on their heads as those who have full heads of hair. However, the hair of bald men is so thin, light and short that you can see it only when you look very closely. Blocked pores do not cause baldness and unblocking pores will not cause hair to grow.

Checked 1/14/16

May 16th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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