Thinning Hair in Women: Female Pattern Hair Loss

It is common to see advertisements and information on male hair loss, but did you know that women can also experience progressive hair loss? Although females may not lose all of their hair like some men, 40% of women report visible hair loss by the time they are 40, which makes female pattern hair loss (FPHL) the most common cause for hair loss in women.


FPHL, which usually begins midlife anywhere in the 40s to 60s, is hereditary, so if your parents experienced hair loss, chances are you may develop it. Changes in hormones, medications, emotional or physical stress are also possible causes in its development. Since it is a progressive condition, you may not notice the hair loss in the early stages, especially since the hairline does not change, but eventually you may notice that your part is getting wider or that your ponytail is decreasing in thickness.


  • Minoxidil is the only FDA-approved medication for FPHL. It may take up to a year for a noticeable difference, but applying it once or twice daily to dry scalp may lead to a decrease in hair loss.
  • Hair transplants remove hair follicles from thicker areas and move them to thinning areas. Transplants are successful in most people, although repeated transplants may be necessary.
  • Wigs, hairpieces, and styling products are safe, convenient, and inexpensive ways to hide FPHL. These are especially safe for pregnant or nursing women who cannot take other medications.

Before considering any of the above remedies for FPHL, it is important to first consult with a dermatologist to determine the best treatment plan. If there are underlying conditions that may be causing the hair loss, additional tests may be performed. For experienced, compassionate care, come make an appointment at Old Bridge Dermatology with Dr. Juan Vaillant. Dr. Vaillant is a board-certified skin, hair, and nail specialist who has been practicing for over 30 years. He commonly treats conditions like acne, dandruff, hair loss, eczema, nail fungus, and skin cancer. Please call our office in Old Bridge, NJ at (732) 679-0222!