Survey: Most think stress hair loss cause

Feb. 2, 2010 at 3:12 PM

MORRIS PLAINS, N.J., Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Forty percent of married Americans would rather their spouse be overweight than bald and 45 percent try to hide thinning hair, a U.S. survey indicates.

The survey of 1,001 U.S. adults, conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Rogaine, an over-the-counter brand-name version of minoxidil made by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary McNeil-PPC Inc. that promotes hair regrowth, also says 57 percent say they are not physically attracted to people with thinning hair.

Seventy-five percent of Americans incorrectly cite stress as a leading cause of hair loss, while 35 percent say frequently wearing a hat thins hair and 24 percent blame over-styling of hair.

"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 20s," 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, said in a statement. "By age 40, approximately 40 percent of women will experience some degree of thinning hair."

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, Leonard adds.

The online -- by invitation -- survey was conducted Nov. 12-17 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

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