Skip to main content

How you can combat female pattern baldness starting today

Losing your hair can be a devastating and stress-inducing event. According to the Mayo Clinic, hair loss (alopecia) can affect “just your scalp or your entire body, and it can be temporary or permanent.” For women, female pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss in women. According to Mount Sinai, it occurs “when the hair follicle shrinks over time, resulting in shorter and finer hair. Eventually, the follicle does not grow new hair.”

There are different treatment options available, but that doesn’t mean you have to act on it at all. Some women don’t do anything about it because it doesn’t bother them. Others may cover it up with different hairstyles, a new hat, or scarves that can hide their hair loss. Still, others choose a medical intervention that has been shown to regrow hair.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

What causes female pattern baldness

While there is no way to know for sure what’s causing your hair loss, there are several common causes that have been shown to cause hair loss. Aging, hormonal changes, family history, excessive bleeding during menstruation, poor dietary habits, and certain medications can all cause hair loss.

In women, thinning hair usually starts on the top and crown of the scalp, widening through the center hair part, which can be hard to hide. The good news is that this type of hair loss rarely results in total baldness, as it does for men. Regardless, it can be emotionally devastating when it happens.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Hair loss treatments

There are several treatment options available if you suffer from hair loss or thinning hair. Mount Sinai stated that the “only medicine approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat female pattern baldness is Minoxidil (Rogaine).” This medication is applied directly to the scalp and has been shown to help one in four women “slow or stop hair loss.”

Laser hair treatments are also available, albeit at a much higher price than other treatment options. Laser treatments can be done via light helmets, bands, and hair caps that can be used at home, which is convenient for many users.

There are also supplements like Hum, Moon Juice, Nutrafol, and Viviscal that include collagen minerals that can stimulate hair growth in women. Peppermint oil has also been shown to stimulate hair follicles, though more research needs to be done to be conclusive.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Hair loss prevention

When brushing or styling your hair, always use a detangler. If not, you’ll find yourself brushing your hair more excessively than needed, which can cause hair loss. Similarly, try to limit rollers, curling irons, or hair straighteners as much as possible. This can help keep your hair from thinning or falling out. If you get highlights or lowlights, try extending the time in between coloring. If you usually go every six weeks, try going every 12 weeks, and see if it helps.

The choice of how and whether to treat thinning hair is a very personal one. No one should make that decision for you. Losing your hair can be stressful and cause anxiety for many women, which is completely understandable. “Society and medicine haven’t taken hair loss seriously because it’s not life-threatening,” said Spencer Kobren, the AHLA’s founder. “But it’s a disease of the spirit that eats away at a person’s self-esteem, and the social ramifications, especially for women, are profound.”

Hair loss is typically addressed more as a “man’s issue,” but it’s estimated that more than 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss in their lives. If you suffer from hair loss and find it difficult to cope, don’t hesitate to reach out to your primary care physician or a dermatologist immediately. They can help reverse the damage early on and give you options for the future, which can prevent you from losing more hair.

Also, know you’re not alone. Female-pattern hair loss affects approximately 30 million women in the United States alone. If you are struggling, there may be community groups, therapists, and medical professionals that can help you manage any anxiety you may be feeling. The good news? No one can (or should) tell you how you should look. If you’re happy with your appearance and aren’t bothered by hair loss, doing nothing can be a pretty freeing feeling.

Editors' Recommendations

Kelly Kaliszewski
Kelly's work has appeared in blogs and on websites. When she's not writing, she is playing with her two dogs, cooking, or…
How to find the right natural and organic perfumes for you
Various perfumes laid out on a table.

Scent is everything. It makes you want to know when that delicious meal will be served and it tells you something is awry when a mysterious stench arises.

This is why picking out your signature scent can be a long process. You want to find one that you, and those around you, can stand to smell all day. For the safety of your body, you also want to ensure your product isn’t filled with harsh chemicals that can irritate your skin, nose, or throat. We'll make this process a little easier for you and walk through how to spot the best natural perfumes that will be kind to your skin and nose.

Read more
How often should you exfoliate? Here’s what experts think
A woman putting an exfoliating face mask on.

Smooth skin, an even tone, and a blemish-free face. Many believe this coveted trifecta of skin health can’t be achieved without the help of a celebrity dermatologist and $300 face cream.

Luckily, there are easier and less expensive ways to achieve glowing skin. Our favorite? Simply exfoliating. With a little help from our favorite experts, we're diving into the best exfoliation tips that will change your skincare game forever.

Read more
How many times a week should you exfoliate?
facial sponge and rotating brush exfoliation tools

No facial is complete without an exfoliation session to clear away all the dead skin cells that build-up within your pores. Additionally, exfoliation removes a layer of old cells, revealing the youthful and glowing skin underneath.

While exfoliation is a beneficial way to maintain healthy skin, too much of a good thing can be bad for you. So how do you know how much is too much?

Read more