body changes in your 40s

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Hair Loss Is More Widespread Than You've Heard

What you know: Hair often gets thinner with age, and it can become more noticeable starting in your early 40s. Why? In a word (and it's a word you'll hear a lot): perimenopause, which typically starts in your 40s, but for a small percentage of women, it can start as early as the 30s.

What might surprise you: "The hair loss happens everywhere," says Elizabeth Roth, MD, an internist at Women's Health Associates in the department of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. That means potentially less leg hair (three cheers for not having to shave as often!) and less pubic hair, which, depending on how your feel about grooming down there, could be good or bad.

What you can do about it: There are effective options for hair loss on the head (find out more about them here), but if you're worried about other areas of your body, you'll be happy to hear "it's not an overnight change," says Roth. "It starts years before menopause and progresses pretty gradually."