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Female pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is hair loss that affects women. It is similar to male pattern baldness, except that women may lose their hair in a different pattern than men. Female pattern baldness can be due to a combination of a family history of balding (in men or women from either parent's side of the family), aging, and hormones. Female pattern baldness is not because of any vitamin deficiency, poor circulation, dandruff, or wearing hats. There will be progressive shrinking of the hair follicles until they produce only a fine, wispy hair or cease functioning.


Genetics usually plays a part in the development of the female pattern baldness. You can inherit the genes that will female pattern baldness from one or both of your parents. It’s also possible that hormones contribute to the condition.

Female pattern baldness is very different from alopecia areata, which is an auto-immune disease resulting in hair loss from the scalp and other parts of the body.

Frequently Asked Questions

In female pattern baldness, the hair’s growing phase is slowed down. It also takes longer for new hair to start growing. Hair follicles shrink, leading the hair that doesn’t grow to be thinner and finer. This will result in hair that easily breaks.It’s normal for women who lose 50 to 100 hairs each day, but those with female pattern baldness can lose many more.In men, hair loss starts in the front of the head and recedes to the back till they go bald. Women lose hair from all over their head, starting at the part line. Hair at the temples may also recede.Women are less likely to go completely bald, but you may have a lot of thinning throughout your hair.
If you’ve noticed thinning hair on your scalp, see your doctor immediately or a dermatologist. Your doctor will examine the scalp to see the pattern of hair loss. Testing usually not required diagnosing female pattern baldness.If they suspect another type of hair loss, they might also perform a blood test to check your levels of thyroid hormone, androgens, iron, or other substances that can affect hair growth.

Finasteride (Propecia) and dutasteride (Avodart) are FDA-approved to treat the hair loss in men. They’re not approved for women, but some doctors will recommend them for female pattern baldness.

Studies are mixed as to whether these medicines work in women, but some research has shown that they do help regrow hair in female pattern baldness.

Side effects will include headaches, hot flashes, and a decreased sex drive, especially during the first year of use. Women shouldn’t get pregnant while using this drug, because it can increase the risk for birth defects.

Spironolactone (Aldactone) is a diuretic, which means it will be removes excess fluid from the body. It will also blocks androgen production, and it may help regrow hair in women.

This drug will cause a number of side effects, including:

  • electrolyte imbalances
  • fatigue
  • spotting between periods
  • irregular menstruation
  • tender breasts

You got to have regular blood pressure and electrolyte tests while you’re taking this drug. If you’re pregnant or conceive to become pregnant, you shouldn’t use this medication. Spironolactone may cause birth defects.

If low iron is causative to your hair loss, your doctor might prescribe an iron supplement. At this point, there isn’t any evidence that taking iron will regrow your hair. Other supplements, such as biotin and folic acid, are also promoted for thicken hair.

One study has shown that women developed thicker hair after taking omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants. However, it’s best to examine together with your doctor before taking any supplements to re-grow hair.

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