Female hair loss occurs in more than one pattern. If you are a woman with loss of scalp hair, you should seek professional advice from a physician hair restoration specialist. In most cases, female hair loss can be effectively treated. If you are a woman who has started to lose scalp hair, you are not alone if: You are unpleasantly surprised by the hair loss, and You don’t understand why you are losing hair. The patterns of hair loss in women are not as easily recognizable as those in men. Hair loss in men is likely to occur primarily between late teen-age years and age 40-50, in a generally recognizable “male-pattern” baldness known as androgenetic alopecia. Men with male-pattern hair loss may have an expectation of hair loss if they have male relatives who lost hair in a recognizably male pattern (Click here to learn more about male-pattern hair loss).
Unlike hair loss in men, female scalp hair loss may commonly begin at any age through 50 or later, may not have any obvious hereditary association, and may not occur in a recognizable “female-pattern alopecia” of diffuse thinning over the top of the scalp. A woman who notices the beginning of hair loss may not be sure if the loss is going to be temporary or permanent—for example, if there has been a recent event such as pregnancy or illness that may be associated with temporary hair thinning. If you are a woman who is worried about loss of scalp hair, you should consult a physician hair restoration specialist for an evaluation and diagnosis.
Self-diagnosis is often ineffective. Women tend to have less obvious patterns of hair loss than men, and non-pattern types of hair loss are more frequent in women than in men. Diagnosis of hair loss in a woman should be made by a trained and experienced physician.
In women as in men, the most likely cause of scalp hair loss is androgenetic alopecia—an inherited sensitivity to the effects of androgens (male hormones) on scalp hair follicles. However, women with hair loss due to this cause usually do not develop true baldness in the patterns that occur in men—for example, women rarely develop the “cue-ball” appearance often seen in male-pattern androgenetic alopecia.