Alopecia epidemiology and demographics

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ogechukwu Hannah Nnabude, MD


The epidemiology and demographics of alopecia vary by the type of alopecia as well as the age, race, sex, hygiene, hair care habits, and health status of an individual. For example, in androgenetic alopecia, which has the highest prevalence of all the types of alopecia with about 50,000 per 100,000 men and 15,000 per 100,000 women worldwide, age and sex playing a role shown by the fact that men are more affected than women and post-menopausal women represent the highest proportion among females. In the case of alopecia areata, sex plays no role [1] but fair-skinned races are more commonly affected and the prevalence is about 100-200 per 100,000 individuals [1] [2].

Epidemiology and Demographics


  • Androgenetic alopecia is believed to have a worldwide prevalence of about 50,000 per 100,000 men and 15,000 per 100,000 women with post-menopausal women making up the majority. [3]
  • Alopecia areata has a prevalence of 100-200 per 100,000 individuals, [1] [2] and a risk of about 2% over an individual's life. [1] [2]. The mean age for diagnosis of alopecia areata is 32 years in males and 36 years in females based on a study of the population of Olmsted County, Minnesota which was done between 1990 to 2009 [4].
  • Only limited studies on the prevalence of trichotillomania have been performed and these were done among U.S. university students, Israeli adolescents, and older adults within the same community. The prevalence was between 500 per 100,000 to 2000 per 100,000. [5] [6] [7]
  • Traction alopecia is more commonly seen among black populations with females being affected more often than males at a rate of about 31,000-32,000 per 100,000 women compared to about 2,300 per 100,000 men. Traction alopecia was seen in 18,000 per 100,000 girls between the ages of 5.4 to 14.3 years based on a study of African-American girls. An 8-month old girl was the youngest reported case in the study. [8]
  • Although considered to be a relatively common condition, the precise prevalence of telogen effluvium remains unknown. [9]



  • Tinea capitis is more common among children and adolescents than in adults. [12]
  • The risk of androgenetic alopecia increases with age. Up to 80,000 per 100,000 Caucasian men over the age of 70 years have androgenetic alopecia compared to 50,000 per 100,000 in Caucasian men who are 50 years.
  • Although the link between age and risk of telogen effluvium is currently unclear, it has been observed that elderly women are more susceptible to telogen effluvium after sustaining severe trauma or bleeding, having a high fever, or going through psychological stress. [13] Studies have reported the incidence of telogen effluvium in children to be around 2.7%. [14]



  • Traction alopecia is seen most commonly in African-American females. This is likely as a result of certain hairstyles that are more predominantly made by African-Americans. [8]
  • Caucasian males have the highest incidence of androgenetic alopecia. They are followed by Asian males, African-American males, and lastly, Native Americans and Eskimos. [10]
  • Tinea capitis has a higher incidence among darker races. [15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Strazzulla LC, Wang EHC, Avila L, Lo Sicco K, Brinster N, Christiano AM; et al. (2018). "Alopecia areata: Disease characteristics, clinical evaluation, and new perspectives on pathogenesis". J Am Acad Dermatol. 78 (1): 1–12. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2017.04.1141. PMID 29241771.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Safavi KH, Muller SA, Suman VJ, Moshell AN, Melton LJ (1995). "Incidence of alopecia areata in Olmsted County, Minnesota, 1975 through 1989". Mayo Clin Proc. 70 (7): 628–33. doi:10.4065/70.7.628. PMID 7791384.
  3. Rinaldi F, Marzani B, Pinto D, Sorbellini E (2019). "Randomized controlled trial on a PRP-like cosmetic, biomimetic peptides based, for the treatment of alopecia areata". J Dermatolog Treat. 30 (6): 588–593. doi:10.1080/09546634.2018.1544405. PMID 30513014.
  4. Mirzoyev SA, Schrum AG, Davis MDP, Torgerson RR (2014). "Lifetime incidence risk of alopecia areata estimated at 2.1% by Rochester Epidemiology Project, 1990-2009". J Invest Dermatol. 134 (4): 1141–1142. doi:10.1038/jid.2013.464. PMC 3961558. PMID 24202232.
  5. Christenson GA, Pyle RL, Mitchell JE (1991). "Estimated lifetime prevalence of trichotillomania in college students". J Clin Psychiatry. 52 (10): 415–7. PMID 1938977.
  6. King RA, Zohar AH, Ratzoni G, Binder M, Kron S, Dycian A; et al. (1995). "An epidemiological study of [[trichotillomania]] in Israeli adolescents". J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 34 (9): 1212–5. doi:10.1097/00004583-199509000-00019. PMID 7559316. URL–wikilink conflict (help)
  7. Duke DC, Keeley ML, Geffken GR, Storch EA (2010). "Trichotillomania: A current review". Clin Psychol Rev. 30 (2): 181–93. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2009.10.008. PMID 19926375.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Aguado Lobo M, Jiménez-Reyes J (2018). dbfrom=pubmed& "Traction alopecia" Check |url= value (help). Int J Dermatol. 57 (2): 231–232. doi:10.1111/ijd.13846. PMID 29265342.
  9. Sant'Anna Addor FA, Donato LC, Melo CSA (2018). "Comparative evaluation between two nutritional supplements in the improvement of telogen effluvium". Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 11: 431–436. doi:10.2147/CCID.S173082. PMC 6136400. PMID 30237729.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Mahmoudi H, Salehi M, Moghadas S, Ghandi N, Teimourpour A, Daneshpazhooh M (2018) Dermoscopic Findings in 126 Patients with Alopecia Areata: A Cross-Sectional Study. Int J Trichology 10 (3):118-123. DOI:10.4103/ijt.ijt_102_17 PMID: 30034191
  11. 11.0 11.1 Jarukitsopa S, Hoganson DD, Crowson CS, Sokumbi O, Davis MD, Michet CJ; et al. (2015). "Epidemiology of systemic lupus erythematosus and cutaneous lupus erythematosus in a predominantly white population in the United States". Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 67 (6): 817–28. doi:10.1002/acr.22502. PMC 4418944. PMID 25369985.
  12. Pires CA, Cruz NF, Lobato AM, Sousa PO, Carneiro FR, Mendes AM (2014) Clinical, epidemiological, and therapeutic profile of dermatophytosis. An Bras Dermatol 89 (2):259-64. DOI:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20142569 PMID: 24770502
  13. Grover C, Khurana A (2013). "Telogen effluvium". Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 79 (5): 591–603. doi:10.4103/0378-6323.116731. PMID 23974577.
  14. Nnoruka EN, Obiagboso I, Maduechesi C (2007). "Hair loss in children in South-East Nigeria: common and uncommon cases". Int J Dermatol. 46 Suppl 1: 18–22. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2007.03457.x. PMID 17919200.
  15. Owczarczyk-Saczonek A, Wygonowska E, Budkiewicz M, Placek W (2019) Serum sickness disease in a patient with alopecia areata and Meniere' disease after PRP procedure. Dermatol Ther 32 (2):e12798. DOI:10.1111/dth.12798 PMID: 30511475

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