Hair loss in women

Hair loss in women

By Dr. Mark Korman MD FRCSC,
Hair Restoration Surgeon

While baldness can be unsettling for men, the emotional and social repercussions of hair loss in women can be profoundly distressing. Many women seeking my assistance express frustration, fear, and isolation. Thankfully, most women can receive accurate diagnoses and effective treatment with modern techniques.

Social expectations vary between men and women. While most of my male patients view thinning hair as a natural albeit unwelcome occurrence, female patients often experience significant anxiety about how hair loss impacts their self-esteem, sexuality, career, dating prospects, or attractiveness to their partner. Many of my female patients have invested considerable sums in hair care products, styling, and various lotions and treatments.

While not generally talked about, female hair loss is very common and can be particularly damaging to a woman’s self esteem. More and more women are now recognizing the reality of hair loss and there is a worldwide trend toward women taking control and seeking treatment. It is a misconception that only men are candidates for hair restoration. According to a survey conducted by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, 15.1% of surgical hair restoration patients in 2008 were women, up from 11.4% in 2004. In 2008, almost 32% of non-surgical hair restoration patients were women.

Although not frequently discussed, female hair loss is highly prevalent and can significantly impact women’s self-esteem. Increasingly, women acknowledge the reality of hair loss, and there is a global trend towards women proactively seeking treatment. It’s a misconception that only men are eligible for hair restoration procedures. According to a survey by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, the proportion of women undergoing surgical hair restoration rose from 11.4% in 2004 to 15.1% in 2008. Additionally, in 2008, nearly 32% of non-surgical hair restoration patients were women.

Hair loss in women


shows widening of the central part

Hair loss in women


shows widening of the central part and loss of volume lateral to the part line

Hair loss in women


shows the development of a bald spot anteriorly

Hair loss in women


shows advanced hair loss

Similar to men, the primary cause of hair loss in women is often hereditary male pattern baldness. However, the pattern of hair loss in women typically differs from that observed in men. While female pattern hair loss may commence earlier, it commonly starts later than its male counterpart. It is also more commonly characterized by diffuse thinning across the entire scalp, with occasional preservation of the frontal hairline. Many women express concern about noticing a widening part in their hair.

When women experience significant hair loss, it necessitates thorough investigation through a comprehensive history, physical examination, and appropriate medical tests. This often begins with proactive measures by the woman, who may bring the issue to the attention of her family doctor, gynecologist, or dermatologist. Potential underlying conditions to be ruled out include deficiencies in iron or thyroid hormones and other hormonal imbalances. Hair loss in women can also be linked to recent pregnancy, long-term hair pulling due to ponytails or tight braids, or harsh straightening techniques. While certain causes of hair loss may require specialized treatment by an endocrinologist or medical dermatologist, the most common causes of female hair loss can often be effectively managed with medication or surgical hair restoration.

The sole medical treatment proven effective in rigorous clinical trials and FDA-approved for treating female pattern hair loss is topical minoxidil (Rogaine®). Clinical studies have confirmed its ability to promote new hair growth and halt hair loss in both men and women experiencing pattern hair loss. There is also evidence that low-level laser therapy can have a beneficial effect. None of the witches’ brew of herbal treatments, vitamin and nutritional supplements and other remedies touted on the internet and elsewhere as miracle cures have demonstrated efficacy in scientifically rigorous studies.

There has been a growing acknowledgment of the significance of hair transplant surgery for women. Contemporary hair transplantation entails relocating hair from regions of the scalp with greater abundance, such as the back of the head, to areas where hair is visibly thin. The procedure is conducted on an outpatient basis, utilizing mild sedation and local anesthesia. Discomfort is minimal, and serious complications are uncommon. When executed effectively on suitable candidates with realistic expectations, hair transplantation yields highly satisfactory outcomes, significantly enhancing hair density.
Besides addressing scalp hair loss, contemporary hair transplant methods can effectively treat hair loss in delicate eyebrow and eyelash regions, often resulting from excessive plucking. Additionally, these techniques can repair scars or hairline irregularities stemming from previous trauma or cosmetic procedures.

Fortunately, more and more women are recognizing that effective treatment is available for their hair loss and are overcoming the anxiety and despair that frequently accompany thinning hair.

Feel free to browse through the content provided on this website, and we urge you to contact us to arrange an in-person or virtual consultation with one of our board-certified surgeons. We are here to assist you in navigating the process and clarify any potentially confusing or misleading information you may encounter. Take the initial step toward regaining your confidence by contacting us.

We invite you to explore the information on this website and encourage you to contact us to schedule an in-person or virtual consultation with one of our board-certified surgeons. We can guide you through the process and help you make sense of the sometimes confusing or even misleading claims that you may be confronted with. We encourage you to take the first step toward restoring your confidence.

Visit the Follicle HT Clinic and let us show you the reality of modern hair restoration.