As a child, you likely played with Wooly Willy, a cartoon face printed on cardboard under a bubble filled with metal filings. Using the “magical” metal wand, you moved the filings around to create eyebrows, beards, mustaches and a full head of hair.
In real life, the god who controls the wand has a pretty wacky sense of humor. Thick, lustrous locks can become dull and sparse. The appearance of whiskers, a welcome rite of passage for teenage boys, is an unwelcome rite of passage for menopausal women. What you lose on your head suddenly seems to sprout from your ears and nose.
Meanwhile, hair or the lack thereof remains a style statement. While many still consider long tresses a thing of beauty—witness the Real Housewives and their inevitable extensions—hair in your nether regions is a no-no.
All this has been a boost for the hair care industry. By 2016, the hair-product manufacturing sector is expected to reach the $15 billion mark, according to IBISWorld, which conducts industry and market research. The marketing firm also reports that the hair loss treatment and hair-removal industry is expected to top $550 million.
Whether you’re losing it, gaining it or removing it, getting to the root of the matter can help you cope with it.