hair loss in women

Understanding Female Pattern Baldness

Published 10 January 2019

The song says that “it is a man’s world.” However, we really know it’s “I am woman hear me roar!’ Just like men, women may also suffer from hair loss. Usually, it is the men who would find themselves in this struggle and science has come up with different ways of treating it. But, for the women who suffer from a hair loss condition, there can be many reasons; some being genetic hereditary hair loss, though sometimes there can be other medical reasons, therefore step one is to insist on full blood count FBC from your treating Physician, to explore all possible reasons, before looking to hair transplantation.

What is Female Pattern Baldness?

Medically known as androgenetic alopecia, it is the type of hair loss that can affect both men and women. It is fairly similar to male pattern baldness but the pattern in which women lose their hair is different from that of their male counterparts.

One thing about Female Pattern Baldness is that it is common for women to experience it as they age. A whopping two-thirds of women would go through it right after menopause, with less than half of the female population reaching the age of 65 without noticing some degree of noticeable changes to their hair, be that more thin, brittle hair prone to easily breakage or some form of thinning. But there is hope for this condition and the sooner the patient is treated, the faster you too may be able to stop the thinning.

What Does it Look Like?

With female pattern hair loss, you can expect the growth phase of the hair to slow down as well as the rate at which the new hair grows. This is primarily caused by the shrinkage of the hair follicles. Aside from the growth of the hair, this can also make your hair break a lot more easily.

Women can easily detect it because while it is normal to lose 50 to 100 hairs per day, those afflicted with the condition lose a lot more than what is usually experienced. And while men tend to lose their hair from front leading to the back and eventual complete baldness, female hair loss is diffused in nature, starting with immediately obvious effects in the midline partition of the scalp.

There are basically three types of female pattern baldness. The first is Type 1, which is evident with a minimal thinning of the hair usually occurring around the parting area of the hair. This can still be camouflaged with hair styling. The second one would be the widening of the middle hairline with noticeable thinning around that area. Type 3, is evidenced by hair thinning throughout the scalp with excessive and obvious thinning at the top of the scalp.

Is Genetics to be Blamed?

It is not exactly the kind of trait that you would like to pass on to your children, but a good part of those who suffer from female pattern baldness have a genetic predisposition. So, if you look at your parents and relatives and notice that they have already lost a significant amount of hair, it may be a genetic trait that runs in the family and early detection is the best way to halt it in its tracks.

What are the Other Causes of Female Pattern Baldness?

For hair loss that happens without any other symptoms, the usual culprits could be an underlying endocrinal condition or low Iron levels, thyroid conditions and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can all cause hair loss in women. You should consult your primary care physician to identify which specific kind of hair loss you are experiencing, by way of blood tests and a thorough investigation.

How Do You Know it is Female Pattern Baldness?

Aside from the unusual increase in the number of hair strands that you lose in a day, the most accurate way to know is to go to your doctor immediately. They can prescribe the necessary blood tests to check your iron levels, thyroid hormones, and other hormones that can affect hair growth.

What are the Available Treatments for Female Pattern Baldness?

Once diagnosed with female pattern baldness, there are medical treatments that align with the plan of your doctor for stopping the baldness. These maybe non-medical or prescription medication.


This drug holds the distinction and honour of being the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for female pattern baldness. It comes in 2% and 5% formulas with the latter being the more advisable. All you need to do is apply it to your scalp daily. This can make hair grow back in significant amount to make your hair look thicker. Just give it 6 to 12 months before you see the results. It’s available over the counter at any good pharmacy. However, this medication only works whilst you keep using it, if you stop once you have achieved your desired results, you may start to regress back to a thinner look. There is very little to no side affects with this medication, the most common is slight pinkness to the scalp or scalp itchiness. Please discuss with your treating Pharmacist or Physician.

Finasteride, and Dutasteride

Both drugs are FDA-approved for hair loss in men. But even if this is the case, some surgeons also recommend them to their female patients. Though nothing conclusive has been found, research shows that it does help women regrow their hair.


Spironolactone (also known under the brand name Aldactone) is a synthetic drug available via prescription only. It belongs to a class of drugs known as potassium-sparing diuretics, and is used primarily as a diuretic, antihypertensive and for hypertension. However, Doctor’s in the hair loss field have found that a secondary anti-androgenic application has been discovered that has shown to help reduce hair loss, reduce body hair (hirsutism), reduce acne, help women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and improve seborrheic dermatitis. Please discuss if this medication is suitable for you from your treating Physician.

Hair Transplants

Because female pattern baldness affects the entire scalp in a generalised fashion and not just specific parts of it, our hair transplant doctor should be the right person to advise if a hair transplant is the best option for you. The right candidates for hair transplant are those who’s hair loss has stabilised or their hair loss is due to traction alopecia (tying your hair tightly in a pony tail over a pro-longed period), women who have always had a high hairline and want to lower it, or women who have had cosmetic surgery in the past and are just concerned with the hair loss that happened around the incision sites, those who’ve suffered hair loss from trauma and for those with a distinct pattern of baldness that closely resembles its male counterpart.

Once our doctor gives you the proper diagnosis and the go-signal, you are on your way to getting back your hair and keeping it! because the best part about hair transplantation is that the effects are permanent, saving your hair, time and money. So you can enjoy your best life, with confidence!

If you are a woman seeking treatment for your hair loss problems, come and visit us at Medihair Hair Transplant Clinics in Melbourne, Australia. Our hair restoration surgeons, have 100’s of satisfied clients over many years of experience, performing both FUE and FUT hair transplants for both men and women.

Call us now or simply fill out our inquiry form to schedule your consultation with us today! 

Call 1300 355 325


Bianca Shaw

A well-respected surgical stylist, Bianca Shaw has worked in the hair loss industry for 28 years, educating and supporting patients, and working alongside many of Australia’s leading surgeons. Qualified in Trichology and Hairdressing, Bianca was initially trained by a leading hair transplant surgeon and can perform a range of procedures including hair line design, placement of grafts for maximum density, and the dissection and implantation of hair follicles.

Having worked for leading hair loss companies, and managing a number of successful hair transplant practices, Bianca is committed to helping patients understand the treatment options available, ensuring they make the best decision and get the best results to improve their appearance and quality of life.