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Well, it's another year - and that means it's time for those year-end retrospectives and new year forecasts. 2014 was certainly an interesting year for hair - from hipster facial hair transplants to a promising new treatment for alopecia universalis.
So what will 2015 bring? While I'm sure we'll see a wide range of new celebrity hair styles, gossip over leading men's possibly receding hair lines, new hair loss treatments, etc. - however, if it was up to me, here are four things I'd especially like to see this year:
- More Openness About Hair Loss - Almost everyone (men, women, old, young) will eventually be touched by hair loss. It's just a part of life. But no one has to accept baldness as their fate - there are so many highly effective medical treatment options available that going bald really is optional. What I hope for this year is that more public figures will openly discuss their hair loss and the efforts they've used to treat it. Whether it's LeBron James, Gordon Ramsay, Bradley Cooper, etc. any one of these leading figures could do wonders for the general public simply by admitting their own battles with male pattern hair loss.
- Better Education and Support for FPHL - At least 30 million US women suffer from hair loss, and that is a very conservative estimate. Like men, women can be genetically predisposed to hair loss - but there are also a number of other potential causes, from hormonal changes to health/diet, medications, etc. Since female pattern hair loss (FPHL) is more closely linked to depression and social alienation than it is in men, more openness, education and support for these women is one of my top hopes for 2015.
- Understanding the Need for Hair Loss Specialization - As hair loss treatments have improved over the years, a number of non-specialists have entered the field, offering a wide range of services that they have received very little training in. Hair loss can be difficult to treat unless the physician specializes in this field - and this is particularly true when it comes to performing micro-surgical hair transplants. Hopefully in 2015, more consumers will do the due diligence on their doctors before seeking treatment - that means checking for board-certifications, medical training and experience for specific treatments, before-and-afters of prior patients, etc.
- Stop Promoting Hair Extensions - For anyone who's followed my work over the years, you'll know that I'm a strong critic of hair extensions. These can do so much damage to women's hair, it's disturbing to see how they continue to be promoted - often by leading female celebrities, fashion designers and hair stylists. Hopefully in 2015, more women will realize the long-term damage these tresses can cause.