A new national survey reveals Americans are at a loss when it comes to loss of a different kind: their hair. The new survey Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: The Myths & Truths Behind Hair Loss, conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of the ROGAINE® Brand, reveals a surprising lack of understanding of the prevalence, incidence, causes, and treatments for thinning hair and hair loss.
Hair loss affects up to 40 percent of American men and 25 percent of American women. According to the survey of 1001 respondents, Americans consider hair one of their best features, second only to eyes - yet many seem unaware of how hair loss happens.
Many are unclear on the true causes of hair loss. According to the survey, more than 75 percent of Americans incorrectly cite stress as a leading cause of hair loss, while more than one-third think frequently wearing a hat (35 percent) and over-styling hair (34 percent) can cause hair loss.
"What people don't always know is that Hereditary Hair Loss accounts for 95 percent of all hair loss, and can affect men as early as their late teens and early twenties," says hair loss expert Dr. Robert Leonard, founder and chief surgeon of Leonard Hair Transplant Associates and member of the Board of Governors for the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. "And by age 40, approximately 40 percent of women will experience some degree of thinning hair," he adds.
"Unfortunately most don't realize their hair is thinning until they have lost 50 percent of it - but it's easier to keep the hair you have than to restore what you have lost. Know the facts about hair loss, so you can act early," Dr. Leonard cautions.
When it comes to effectively treating hair loss and thinning hair, most consumers are in the dark. According to the survey, approximately half of Americans would try a healthy diet (50 percent), hair vitamins like Biotin (49 percent), or hair thickening shampoos, conditioners and serums (46 percent) to treat thinning hair.
"The truth is healthy diets, hair vitamins and thickening shampoos, conditioners and serums are not effective treatments for regrowing hair," Dr. Leonard says. "People may not understand there's a difference between hair health and hair regrowth, and that temporarily increasing the appearance of thicker hair is not the same as treating hair loss."
Getting the facts straight on hair loss is critical for an American public that still clings to the social stigma surrounding thinning hair. A myriad of health risks are associated with being overweight - from heart disease and diabetes, to stroke. Despite this, more than 40 percent of married Americans would rather their spouse be overweight than bald. And nearly half (45 percent) of Americans have actively tried to hide their thinning hair.
Hair is critical to younger Americans, as well, with a majority (57 percent) who say they are not physically attracted to people with thinning hair, according to the survey.
These, and other findings, indicate that while hair is top of mind for many, there remain a host of perpetuating myths and social stigmas surrounding thinning hair and hair loss.
"If you suffer from hair loss, or hair loss runs in your family, the best thing you can do is get a handle on what works," says Dr. Leonard. "ROGAINE® is the only topical brand FDA-approved to regrow hair. In clinical testing, Men's ROGAINE® Foam with five percent minoxidil regrew hair in 85 percent of men with twice daily use after four months, and most women experience hair regrowth with Women's ROGAINE® Topical Solution with two percent minoxidil after six months."
About the Survey
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: The Myths & Truths Behind Hair Loss was conducted among 1,001 nationally representative American men and women ages 18 and older. The interviews were conducted online by Wakefield between November 12th and November 17th, 2009 using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population over ages 18 and older.
Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
ROGAINE®, one of the brands of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., is the first and ONLY topical brand FDA-approved to regrow hair and the number one dermatologist-recommended brand for hair regrowth. ROGAINE® pioneered the hair regrowth category in 1986 when it was initially launched as an Rx product and has been the sole driver of innovation ever since. ROGAINE® contains minoxidil, the ONLY ingredient FDA-approved to regrow hair in both men and women. Men's ROGAINE® Topical Solution and Men's ROGAINE® Topical Aerosol Foam contain five percent minoxidil and Women's ROGAINE® Topical Solution contains two percent minoxidil. ROGAINE® is available at food, drug and mass merchandisers or online at www.rogaine.com.