Tips and Treatment for Women With Thinning Hair

  • Portrait of laughing office workers
    First, know you aren’t alone.
    When it comes to hair loss, our society tends to focus on men. But hair loss can be a problem for women, too. In fact, women make up 40% of the population struggling with hair loss. And it can take a great emotional toll. Learn more about female hair loss and what you can do about it.

  • Doctor and patient conversation
    Get to the root of the problem.
    Most male hair loss is due to heredity, but this isn’t always the case in women. Although thinning hair in women can run in families, the cause may be more complicated. Hair loss in women can stem from a host of issues—from medications and hormone changes to stress and medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders. To effectively treat the problem, see a dermatologist to identify the cause of your hair loss.

  • hair dryer comb brush mirror and towels on bathroom counter
    Act on early signs.
    Unlike men, who tend to lose hair in patches, women often experience overall hair thinning. Although regular hair loss is natural—everyone loses about 100 strands a day—pay attention if you’re shedding more than normal. One of the first signs may be your part growing wider. If you notice this, call your doctor. Hair loss is easier to treat in the early stages.

  • Dark hair woman smling and looking at a baby boy
    Hair loss may be temporary.
    It’s good to know thinning hair in women often stems from issues that correct themselves. For example, many women tend to lose extra hair after the birth of a baby, when they stop taking birth control pills, or following a period of stress. However, hair loss usually stops when hormones related to these events get back into balance.

  • Young woman in hair salon
    Watch your hair care.
    When getting to the bottom of your hair loss, don’t overlook how you care for and wear your hair. In the quest for beauty, we can sometimes do more harm than good. For example, twisting or pulling hair into ponytails or braids can lead to hair breakage and loss. So can overprocessing hair with perms and other treatments.

  • Daily Life
    Treatment is available.
    Whether or not hair will grow back depends on the cause of hair loss. Sometimes addressing a medical problem or waiting until hormones stabilize solves the problem. If not, there are treatments that can help. Minoxidil (Rogaine) is currently the only FDA-approved treatment of hair regrowth in women. This topical treatment has been shown to speed growth and help prevent additional hair loss.

  • Smiling female doctor talking to patient in office
    Ask about other therapies.
    More treatment options are becoming available for female hair loss. If you can’t take minoxidil (due to an allergy, for instance) or it doesn’t provide results, ask your dermatologist about other options. You may be a candidate for laser treatment, hair transplantation, oral or topical estrogen treatment, or cortisone shots to help improve hair growth.

  • Senior hairstylist consulting with client about desired hairstyle during appointment
    Explore options with your stylist.
    Just because you’re experiencing hair loss doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful. But if you desire fuller-looking hair to feel more confident, ask your stylist about hair extensions or hair weaving. Women with extensive hair loss have also opted to wear wigs to create the look they desire.

  • Young, free and wild
    Speak up and get help.
    Although millions of women are struggling with hair loss, it’s normal to feel depressed and upset if you’re among them. Be kind to yourself. Seek solutions to the problem. Find things that make you feel good about yourself. And if you are feeling depressed, talk with a professional about your feelings.

Tips and Treatment for Women With Thinning Hair

About The Author

  1. Causes of hair loss. American Hair Loss Association. http://www.americanhairloss.org/women_hair_loss/causes_of_hair_loss.asp
  2. Diagnosis. American Hair Loss Association. http://www.americanhairloss.org/women_hair_loss/diagnosis.asp
  3. Female pattern hair loss. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. http://www.aocd.org/?page=FemalePatternHair
  4. Hair loss. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/conditions/hair-loss
  5. Hair loss: diagnosis, treatment, and outcome. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/e---h/hair-loss/diagnosis-treatment 
  6. Hair loss: who gets and causes. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/e---h/hair-loss/who-gets-causes
  7. Introduction. American Hair Loss Association. http://www.americanhairloss.org/women_hair_loss/introduction.asp
  8. Treatments for alopecia areata. National Alopecia Areata Foundation. https://www.naaf.org/alopecia-areata/alopecia-areata-treatments
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Last Review Date: 2019 May 30
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