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Hair Loss Can Signal Aging

Most changes in hair color and thickness are natural with aging. However, graying and hair loss may begin as early as your 30s.

With age, almost everyone experiences some hair loss because the rate of hair growth slows. Baldness or bald patches are much more common in men than women, but both sexes may experience hair loss to some degree.

Typical male-pattern baldness involves a receding hairline and thinning around the crown. With female-pattern baldness, hair may thin all over the head or just on the crown.

Some women develop a particular pattern of hair loss because of genetics, age and the male hormone testosterone. However, hair loss also can occur because of:
- Diseases such as diabetes, lupus, thyroid disorders and alopecia areata
- Certain medications and chemotherapy
- A recent high fever, severe illness or surgery
- Inadequate protein or iron in your diet, or poor nourishment caused by fad diets or an eating disorder
- Chemicals used for dying, bleaching, straightening or perming hair as well as excessive hairstyling or hairstyles that pull your hair too tight

If you notice unusual hair loss or suspect you have an underlying medical problem causing changes in your hair, see your doctor.

For hair loss due to heredity, age, hormones or certain medical conditions, the topical medication minoxidil (Rogaine) can help regrow hair or prevent more hair loss.