Female pattern hair loss, which is also known as Androgenetic alopecia, is the hair loss that occurs in women. While it is seemingly like male pattern hair loss, there is a different pattern in which women lose their hair compared to men.

Female pattern hair loss is hereditary, and you should visit your doctor if you notice hair loss to ascertain whether or not it is Androgenetic alopecia.

Women that suffer from female pattern hair loss have a reduced rate in their hair growing phase. New hair also takes longer to start growing. If the hair grows, it would be thinner and finer because of the shrunken hair follicles. Research has shown that an average woman loses about 50 to 100 hairs per day, which is normally replaced by the new hair that grows in. These numbers are much higher in women that have female pattern hair loss.

Why it happens

The main reason why women develop female pattern hair loss is linked to genetics, meaning that it runs in families. The gene responsible for this baldness can be inherited from either parent.

While it can start at an early stage, female pattern hair loss is more prominent as women get older and reach the mid-stage of life. Women often develop this condition after menopause, which means that hormonal changes could be a causative factor.

Other causes

While genetics is mostly to blame for female pattern hair loss, it could also develop as a result of an underlying health problem that impacts androgen production. Androgen is involved in the process of pattern hair loss. Hair loss may also occur due to tumours of the ovary or pituitary gland, as they are known to secrete androgen.

Here are some other causes of hair loss in women:

  • Traction alopecia: This type of hair loss happens when a woman often does hairstyles that pull the hair firmly.
  • Illness: Women can develop hair loss following a severe illness, including a high fever or a serious infection. Surgery for an illness can also result in hair loss.
  • Medication: There are some medications that could lead to hair loss as a side effect, such as those used for treating cancer. This kind of hair loss is temporary, and effects should subside when the medication is over.
  • Autoimmune disease: Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that leads to hair loss by causing the immune system to attack hair follicles.

What to do about it?

If you are suffering from female pattern baldness, incorporating a new hairstyle might help you hide the hair loss at first. However, there might be excess thinning at the top of your scalp for you to camouflage your hair loss.

It is advisable that you get a diagnosis early so that you can hop on a treatment plan and prevent further hair loss. To treat hair loss, you will most likely follow a treatment plan consisting of one or more approved medications.

These are the treatment options available for female pattern baldness:


This is the only approved drug by the FDA for the treatment of female pattern hair loss. It usually comes in 2 per cent and 5 per cent formulas.

Minoxidil is used by applying it to your scalp daily. This medication is capable of growing back a significant amount of your hair, even though it won’t restore all your hair entirely. It will also leave your hair looking thicker.

Results may start showing after between 6 to 12 months of use. Ensure you keep using the medication, or its effect may fade.

Hair transplant

Getting a hair transplant is also an excellent treatment option. Typically, it’s just some parts of the scalp that is affected by hair loss. So the transplant involves taking hair from an area with healthy hair growth and placing it in the part that is affected.

Prevention techniques

While female pattern hair loss cannot always be prevented because it is genetic, there are steps to ensure your hair remains healthy.

Try taking the following hair care tips:

  • Do not brush your hair when it is fragile and wet.
  • Wear a hat or cap to protect your hair from the sun.
  • Incorporate a diet rich in iron, essential vitamins, and protein.


Female pattern hair loss can be upsetting and can impact your self-image and confidence levels. If you are noticing excessive hair loss, ensure you meet with your doctor for a proper diagnosis and possible treatment.