Chinese press reports suggest hair loss is on the rise and affecting more younger people than ever. We take a closer look.
Hair Loss In China
A survey conducted by the China Association of Health Promotion and Education (CAHPE) put the number of hair loss sufferers at 250 million. They put the number of men in that group at 160 million. It is a staggering figure, but one that is equivalent to 23% of the male population and so to be expected. There is another statistic however that might point to something more unusual.
Alibaba Health Information Technology Company is a Hong Kong-based investment firm deeply invested in China’s health industry. They published a white paper last year which showed that the post-1990’s generation accounts for 36.1% of hair loss sufferers. The same paper gave the figure for the post-1980’s generation as 38.5%. This suggests a problem that is getting worse among the younger generation.
That is backed up by Yang Shuxia, a dermatologist at the Peking University First Hospital who said, “When we make the clinical rounds, we see more young patients with thinning hair, so it does exist.”
That hair loss is becoming an issue for younger people in China was further supported by a 2017 survey. The 4,000 students at Tsinghua University were polled. A jaw-dropping 60% reported thinning hair with 40% claiming to have noticed receding hairlines.
As you might expect, each of these surveys and reports makes suggestions on what is causing this rise in young hair loss. Prime suspects were given as stress, insomnia, and irregular living patterns. These are widely recognised as triggers for failing hair health around the world, along with pollution and poor diet. While the principal determining factor remains genetic, you get your hair genes from both parents, and this will largely dictate the point at which you will start to lose your hair, environmental and social factors can and do have a bearing.
As you might expect, the hair loss treatment market in China is growing at an exceptional pace. JD.com report that sales of shampoos promoted as hair-growing were up 136% year on year. More interestingly, and significant, is that Taobao, Chinese E-Commerce giant, reported that in 2017 a number of hair loss products were in its top 40 bestselling lines. They included vibrating hair brushes, herbal remedies, adhesive hair pieces, and minoxidil, the FDA approved hair loss drug. Even more remarkably, over 40% of those sales went to consumers under 30 years old.
HIS Hair Clinic
China has seen spectacular growth over the last few decades. This has seen tens of millions change their lifestyle in radical ways. No doubt this will have played into the issues of stress and might be a key factor in these statistics. The numbers certainly suggest there is something of an epidemic occurring and it will be interesting to watch the results of future surveys to see how it develops from here.
Hair loss sufferers everywhere might be encouraged that China, with its breathtaking scale of resources, could lead future research into a cure.
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