First things first, Anabel explained that hair loss is a very common problem for women – much more so that people realise. "Research shows that at least 1 in 3 women will suffer from hair loss or reduced hair volume at some point in their lifetime". So if you are losing strands, it's important not to freak out, your mane will recover. In the meantime, here's everything you need to know...
The warning signs for men and women with genetic hair loss are slightly different. For men, the two “danger zones” are the crown and the hairline, which are usually where evidence of thinning hair can signal the start of male pattern hairloss – although less eagle-eyed or image-conscious individuals may take many months or even years to notice the gradual changes.

Minoxidil (Rogaine) is approved by the FDA for female pattern hair loss. It can slow or stop it in most women and may help hair grow back. But the benefits go away when you stop using it. Corticosteroids can help regrow hair for women with alopecia areata. And if the cause is an underlying medical problem or poor nutrition, your locks should grow back on their own once things are under control.


I am a 22 year old female and the hair on my head is rapidly falling out. You can clearly see my scalp throughout the top. I saw my dermatologist and she recommended I use the men's rogaine solution. I am concerned that it will not work for me and that I risk loosing more hair (Which i can not afford). I am very concerned and this situation is detrimental to my self esteem. Please help. I feel... READ MORE
The warning signs for men and women with genetic hair loss are slightly different. For men, the two “danger zones” are the crown and the hairline, which are usually where evidence of thinning hair can signal the start of male pattern hairloss – although less eagle-eyed or image-conscious individuals may take many months or even years to notice the gradual changes.
Hair has deep psychological and sexual meaning. Both menopause and loss of hair are often associated with loss of femininity and sexuality. These thoughts and changes can all feed into each other, and it becomes a vicious and demoralising cycle. Rest assured, though, it is very rare for a woman to go bald. And things can be done to get the best out of your hair during this stressful time.
Another way to diagnose what the problem is just by looking and listening, Rogers says. She asks what a patient’s mother, aunts, or grandmothers look like - if they have similar, or greater amounts, of hair loss. Using magnification on the scalp can show if a woman’s follicles vary in size - with some thick and others thin. These are two telltale signs of female pattern hair loss, also called androgenetic alopecia.
Hormones are often not the only things to blame when it comes to female hair loss. Several factors can be at play. If female hair loss runs in your family, you may be more likely to experience hair loss during menopause. Other hormonal imbalances, nutritional or iron deficiencies, medication, illness, conditions (like thyroid disease and anemia), diets, and surgeries can also contribute to hair loss.

The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.


Most women with pattern hair loss don't get a receding hairline or bald spot on top of the scalp as is common in men. Instead, there is visible thinning over the crown. In men and women, hairs are miniaturized because of a shortened growth cycle where the hair stays on the head for a shorter period of time. These wispy hairs, which resemble forearm hairs, do not achieve their usual length.
Hi Prithak, I wouldn’t focus too much on the number of hairs lost each day. Look at your hairline and hair thickness and see if it decreasing over time. At your age there is a lot you can do to keep your hair. For starters, I would recommend alkalising your body and removing foods that could cause you allergic reactions, leading to inflammation. Also make sure you don’t use any chemical shampoos or hot water on your hair. That’s a simple way to get started and protect your hair.

Another sneaky culprit of hair loss is alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that confuses the hair for an attack on the immune system. According to Marc Glashofer, MD, a dermatologist in New York City, if your hair loss is occurring in round circles on your scalp, then you most likely are a victim of alopecia. Alopecia can be treated with steroids and even over-the-counter products like Rogaine.


The directions say patients will see an improvement in hair growth in six weeks, but Dr. Mirmirani suggested trying it for six months before deciding whether it works or not. About a third of patients who use it see significant improvements, another third find it prevents hair loss from getting worse, and the remainder don’t see any effect, she said.
If you’re beginning to notice more of your hair clogging up the drain, it may be time to do a thorough assessment of the products you’re using on a daily or weekly basis. For starters, as previously mentioned, it might be a good idea to replace your standard shampoo with one that is strictly clarifying. While you’re in the shower, right after you’ve rinsed the conditioner out of your hair, stimulate hair growth by giving your scalp a quick 30-second massage. Finally, forego the stigma of Rogaine to reap the scientifically-proven benefits that are an easy addition to your morning routine.

How to use minoxidil: Be sure that your hair and scalp are dry. Using the dropper or spray pump that's provided with the over-the-counter solution, apply it twice daily to every area where your hair is thinning. Gently massage it into the scalp with your fingers so it can reach the hair follicles. Then air-dry your hair, wash your hands thoroughly, and wash off any solution that has dripped onto your forehead or face. Don't shampoo for at least four hours afterwards.

Extreme hair loss should be discussed with your healthcare practitioner. But in the case of mild to moderate thinning hair, which is usually a result of thyroid imbalance, hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiencies, or elevated stress hormones, most women can get relief naturally — without having to resort to a new hair cut or experiment with hair thickening creams!
In men, male pattern baldness usually begins with thinning hair in specific areas. Typically these are around the crown, along the top of the head and/or a receding hairline. Men’s hair loss may involve one, two or all three of these patterns, and they may join up to form larger bald patches. A measuring tool known as The Norwood Scale provides a guide to “how far gone” a man’s hairloss is.
And once a lustrous dark curtain, my hair had taken on an alarming transparent quality. I spent hours staring at my scalp in the mirror, parting and re-parting my hair to see which side looked fuller. I drenched my head with volumizing sprays, detoxifying tonics, and shampoos for "weakened hair." Remedies were thick on the ground—but my hair kept getting thinner. I was molting. And I was scared.
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Decades ago, this would have been the most accurate way of determining your odds—looking at old photos of your ancestors—but now there are more scientific means of predicting hair loss. These days, your doctor can take a swab of DNA from the saliva inside your cheek, and it will show how sensitive you are to dihydrotestosterone (known as DHT, which is the hormone created by the body’s testosterone). This swab will also tell you your odds for balding (and how quickly), and can predict how you might react to hair-loss medications like Propecia or Finasteride treatment.
Women's hair loss is still so taboo because the socio-economic system we exist under puts unwarranted and unnecessary 'value' on physical appearance and social status, regardless of gender. Until we can liberate ourselves from this patriarchal and repressive system profiting from our insecurity, it will always be a taboo to stand out from 'the normal', which contributes to a lot of mental health problems across the board.
Hi Gabriel, the hair rinse tonic is a daily thing, it won’t clean the hair, it just provides ingredients to stimulate growth. We don’t want to clean the hair too much. So if you use the shampoo once or twice per week then there’s no real need to use the tonic on the same day. I would certainly stop using Alpecin C1, the SLS in it will damage your scalp.
Scalp reduction is the process is the decreasing of the area of bald skin on the head. In time, the skin on the head becomes flexible and stretched enough that some of it can be surgically removed. After the hairless scalp is removed, the space is closed with hair-covered scalp. Scalp reduction is generally done in combination with hair transplantation to provide a natural-looking hairline, especially those with extensive hair loss.

Is this a bigger issue for the current generation? (I'm 27, and it feels like so many of my friends suffer from this.) Is it a nutritional thing? That’s an excellent question and I don’t know the answer. 30 million women suffer from hair loss. That’s 1 in 4 before age 50 and 2 in 4 after age 50. We might be more hyper aware of hair loss at an earlier age now just as we are more hyper aware of a need for a facelift at earlier ages. Thing that we used to take for granted, we do not. Genetic hair loss will manifest itself in the 20s, if not sooner. The good news is that there are more things available to help than before. Will they work for everyone, no. However, topical minoxidil (Rogaine) is good for helping maintain what you have. So at the first sign of thinning hair, it’s not bad to use even if the hair loss is temporary.
I personally love short hair on women, I cut my own hair very short a couple of times. But it's hard to shake off that feeling that somehow you've failed as a woman, because you don't have luscious flowing locks. The amount of times I've had guys ask me if I was a lesbian when I had short hair just illustrates the fact that we live in a world where people judge even your sexuality by what your hair looks like!
Devices that emit low-energy laser light may help new hair grow. They're available in some clinics and for home use. Several are approved for both men and women, and studies show they do work. But it might take 2-4 months before you see results. Keep in mind: The FDA doesn’t require the same rigorous testing for devices as for medicines. The long-term safety and effects aren’t known.

Anagen effluvium is rapid hair loss resulting from medical treatment, such as chemotherapy. These potent and fast-acting medications kill cancer cells, but they may also shut down hair follicle production in the scalp and other parts of the body. After chemotherapy ends, hair usually grows back on its own. Dermatologists can offer medication to help hair grow back more quickly.


Just as pregnancy hormone changes can cause hair loss, so can switching or going off birth-control pills. This can also cause telogen effluvium, and it may be more likely if you have a family history of hair loss. The change in the hormonal balance that occurs at menopause may also have the same result. “The androgen (male hormone) receptors on the scalp becoming activated,” explains Mark Hammonds, MD, a dermatologist with Scott & White Clinic in Round Rock, Texas. “The hair follicles will miniaturize and then you start to lose more hair.”
Hair has deep psychological and sexual meaning. Both menopause and loss of hair are often associated with loss of femininity and sexuality. These thoughts and changes can all feed into each other, and it becomes a vicious and demoralising cycle. Rest assured, though, it is very rare for a woman to go bald. And things can be done to get the best out of your hair during this stressful time.
I took your quiz. Sadly, the answers I gave were as of my early 20s, when my hairline started receding and had that ‘M shape’. I receded to Norwood 3, but mysteriously, the receding stopped there. The only explanation I can think of is that I gave up junk food and started eating more fresh fruit and veggies and started regular running and hiking. I lost a lot of weight and felt great. Until my early 50s, when suddenly my hair began to rapidly recede and I developed a bald spot in back. I panicked, thinking that I might have a serious medical condition, since I had not changed my good living habits. My doctor reassured me that I was still very healthy. Next stop: hair restoration specialist. He informed me that I had male pattern baldness and would eventually go completely bald on top. To my surprise and delight, my wife was thrilled that I was going bald and begged me to just let nature take its course. She confessed to me that she had always secretly wished that I would someday go bald and was delighted that her wish was finally coming true. Reluctantly, I agreed to just let myself go bald. Two things amaze me: First, how fast I went bald (less than two years to go completely bald on top). It was as if I was making up for lost time. Secondly, the sudden change in my attitude. Whereas I was panicked my wife would hate it, now thanks largely to her encouragement, I couldn’t go bald fast enough. It was a huge turn of for my wife and me. She still loves to sneak up behind me while I’m relaxing watching TV news or sports and kiss me on top of my bald head. I haven’t just adjusted to being bald. I really love being bald and wouldn’t ever try to regrow my hair. Not at my age. I’m in my 70s and it is quite normal for someone my age to be bald. The information you email to me I will pass on to my two sons, who, like me, face the likelyhood that they will eventually go bald. They are in their mid 30s and their hairlines are beginning to recede a little at their temples. I chose to go bald. They don’t have to. Oh, a third thing amazes me: that there are women out there who prefer bald men to men with a full head of hair. Thank God I am married to one of those women.
I saw three or four doctors because I wasn't happy with their diagnosis. Because I'm black, doctors assumed my hair was falling out because of bad hair practices like wearing tight braids or a weave which couldn't have been more off the mark. At the time I was a hair blogger and really into holistic hair treatments, not to mention I'd never had braids or a weave.
Traumas such as childbirth, major surgery, poisoning, and severe stress may cause a hair loss condition known as telogen effluvium,[19] in which a large number of hairs enter the resting phase at the same time, causing shedding and subsequent thinning. The condition also presents as a side effect of chemotherapy – while targeting dividing cancer cells, this treatment also affects hair’s growth phase with the result that almost 90% of hairs fall out soon after chemotherapy starts.[20]
Female-pattern hair loss, called androgenic or androgenetic alopecia, is basically the female version of male pattern baldness. “If you come from a family where women started to have hair loss at a certain age, then you might be more prone to it,” says Dr. Glashofer. Unlike men, women don't tend to have a receding hairline, instead their part may widen and they may have noticeable thinning of hair.
Iron supplements. Iron deficiency could be a cause of hair loss in some women . Your doctor may test your blood iron level, particularly if you're a vegetarian, have a history of anemia, or have heavy menstrual bleeding. If you do have iron deficiency, you will need to take a supplement and it may stop your hair loss. However, if your iron level is normal, taking extra iron will only cause side effects, such as stomach upset and constipation.
Genetics is the most common reason for baldness, yes, but, according to this study in PLOS Genetics, it’s a more complicated process than we initially thought, and involves more than 280 genes. From this genetic map, researchers were able to determine which participants were in danger of losing their hair, and from those in the danger zone, about 20 percent could blame their mothers for such a predicament—not their father. Though, it is important to note that men and women lose their hair in very different ways. For men, the hair slowly begins receding at the temples, before eventually forming an M-shaped hairline, while women may notice a gradual widening of the scalp and thinning texture of their hair.
Congenital triangular alopecia – It is a triangular, or oval in some cases, shaped patch of hair loss in the temple area of the scalp that occurs mostly in young children. The affected area mainly contains vellus hair follicles or no hair follicles at all, but it does not expand. Its causes are unknown, and although it is a permanent condition, it does not have any other effect on the affected individuals.[24]
Mine has definitely thinned, but I am absolutely not willing to take drugs for it, or for any of the relatively minor issues that I’ve experienced. Although I do know men who have had great experience with hair drugs. Still, I don’t like putting more stuff into my body if I don’t have to. I’d like better hair, but my self-image doesn’t depend on it.
There are two types of identification tests for female pattern baldness: the Ludwig Scale and the Savin Scale. Both track the progress of diffused thinning, which typically begins on the crown of the head behind the hairline, and becomes gradually more pronounced. For male pattern baldness, the Hamilton–Norwood scale tracks the progress of a receding hairline and/or a thinning crown, through to a horseshoe-shaped ring of hair around the head and on to total baldness.
Finally, while it’s hard, it’s just as important to keep things in perspective with hair loss at 20. Yes, it’s creepy when you first see it, but you’re not alone. Many guys lose hair in their twenties, and a whopping one in every two will have it by 50. So you’ve got hair loss at 20. That’s a good thing. You’ve got a 30 year head start to learn how to rock that look over the guy who loses hair later in life.
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