Hair Loss in Women: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

hair loss in women

Hair Loss Occurs in Women, too. 

Hair loss is most commonly associated with men, but very few people realise that it is also very common in women, too.  50% of women suffer from some form of hair loss by the age of 40, and up to 70% of women experience hair loss by the age of 65. Women's hair loss is definitely an issue, and with no cure, it's not about to go away any time soon. 

Although there isn't a cure for chronic types of female hair loss, there are various treatment options, including topical medications, light therapy, hormone therapy, or in some cases, surgical procedures. Diet and lifestyle can also help keep the hair healthy.

Before we look at the treatment options, let's first look at the main causes and symptoms of baldness and thinning hair in women. 

What are the types of hair loss in women?

There are three types of hair loss in women (and men), each with varying subtypes: anagen effluvium, telogen effluvium and FPHL.

Anagen effluvium

This is usually something caused by medications that damage a growing hair follicle, like chemotherapy, for example. The damage can be temporary, or permanent, depending on the treatment or procedure.  

Telogen effluvium

This is caused by an increased number of hair follicles reaching the telogen phase, which is the stage where hair falls out. This is usually a temporary type of hair loss, but in many cases, it can lead to longer lasting problems. 

Androgenetic alopecia

Also known as female pattern hair loss (FPHL), this type is the most common, which is hereditary. Hair thins over the top of the head and on the sides, and is permanent. 

hair loss in women

What are the main sub-types of hair loss in women? 

There are varying sub-types of hair loss in women. Here are the most common forms. 

Female Pattern Baldness

The most common form of hair loss in women is female pattern baldness. This usually occurs in women in their 30s, but is also commonly occurring in the 40s and beyond. 

Female pattern baldness usually starts with thinning, evenly throughout the top of the scalp. The thinning can worsen over time, and can lead to eventual baldness. Over two thirds of women will suffer from some stage of pattern baldness by the age of 65. Some women will experience more severe thinning than others. 

Female pattern baldness cannot be cured, but it can be treated, if tackled early. 

Menopausal Hair Loss

According to the Cleveland Clinic, it is estimated that over 50% of women experience menopausal hair loss. Hair loss during menopause is the result of lowered production of oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones help hair grow faster and stay on the head for longer periods of time. When the levels of oestrogen and progesterone drop, hair grows more slowly and becomes much thinner. 

Menopausal hair loss can be treated to a certain extent. 

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Postpartum Hair Loss

Many women see noticeable hair loss just a few months after giving birth. This is perfectly normal, and common. Dermatologists refer to this condition as excessive hair shedding. The excessive shedding is caused by falling estrogen levels.  This is usually a temporary form if hair thinning, but in some cases it can lead to longer spells of hair loss, if not treated correctly. 

Seasonal Shedding

Seasonal hair loss is a temporary form of shedding that occurs during certain parts of the year, depending on each individual. Seasonal hair shedding generally lasts for 2-3 months. It most commonly begins in summer, heightens in fall and can linger around through winter. During wintertime, Telogen levels are the lowest as growth slowly begins again. 

Although seasonal shedding is temporary, it can accelerate hair loss in women who already suffer from other types of hair loss, such as pattern baldness, menopausal and postpartum baldness, for example. An estimated 75% of women are unaware they experience seasonal hair loss. 

Like most forms of hair loss in women, seasonal hair loss can be treated and minimised. 

How To Treat Hair Loss in Women

Without a cure for hair loss, all can seem a bit doom and gloom. However, there are ways in which hair loss, in whatever form, can be treated. Treatments can help slow down and even halt the hair loss, but the effectiveness depends on a number of factors, such as how early you treat it, and what types of treatments are used. 

Here are the most common and effective ways to treat hair loss in women. 


Minoxidil, sold under the brand Regaine (or Rogaine in the US), is the only medically approved topical treatment for hair loss. Minoxidil can be purchased over-the-counter, with no prescription needed. Minoxidil is generally regarded as a safe treatment for both males (5% solution) and females (2% solution), but actual results are usually on a minimal scale.

Minoxidil stimulates growth in the hairs and may increase their growth cycle. It can help reduce the appearance of patchiness or a widening hair parting, but again, only on a minor scale. Minoxidil does not regrow a full head of hair, and should not be viewed as a cure for baldness. 

If a person finds success with minoxidil, they should continue using it indefinitely. When a person stops using minoxidil, the hairs that depended on the drug to grow will likely fall out within three to six months.

Negative side-effects from minoxidil can include some irritation or an allergic reaction to ingredients in the product, such as alcohol or propylene glycol, leading to skin rash. Severer side-effects can include weight gain, headaches, and fatigue. 

Laser Therapy

You may have heard that laser combs, brushes, hoods, and caps can help halt hair loss. The theory is that when hair follicles absorb laser light at a certain level, it stimulates hair to grow. But there's not enough evidence that any of these devices restore hair or prevent balding. However, some people have reported a slowing down of shedding, and hair regrowth from doing hair laser therapy. 

Low-level laser therapy may not be sufficient treatment for hair loss on its own, but it may be effective when used in conjunction with treatments like Minoxidil.


Ketoconazole may help treat hair loss in some cases, such as androgenetic alopecia. It can help reduce the shedding, thicken hair strands, and improve the strength of the hair.  

Ketoconazole is available as a shampoo. Nizoral is the best known brand and is available to purchase over the counter. However, because Nizoral contains a low concentration of ketoconazole, stronger concentrations will require a prescription from a doctor.


PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy is a three-step medical treatment for hair loss. It is a process in which a person’s blood is drawn, processed, and then injected into the scalp.

Parts of the medical community think that PRP injections trigger natural hair growth and maintain it by increasing blood supply to the hair follicle and increasing the thickness of the hair shaft. This procedure can be done alongside other treatments.

Research to prove if PRP is an effective hair loss treatment is still sparse, but results have been promising, so far. PRP therapy has been in use since the 1980s. It’s been used for healing ligaments and muscles injuries.

Hormone Therapy

If hormone imbalances due to menopause, for example, cause thinning hair, then doctors may recommend some form of hormone therapy to treat it. The most common hormone treatment is antiandrogen medications or supplements. 

Androgens are hormones that can speed up baldness in women, particularly those with polycystic ovary syndrome, who typically produce more androgens. Antiandrogens can stop the production of androgens and prevent baldness. Antiandrogens can be in the form of harsh medications, or even naturally formulated supplements, such as Saw Palmetto, for example. 

Talk to the doctor about what to expect and whether antiandrogens are suitable.

Surgical Procedure

In some cases, surgical procedures, like a hair transplant, will be recommended, usually in the case of patients not reacting well to treatments.  Hair transplants can be effective, but they are the most costly treatment for baldness. 

Multi-Vitamin Hair Supplements

Although there is no evidence to suggest that individual vitamins can encourage the hair to grow faster, deficiencies in specific vitamins can lead to hair loss or thin, brittle hair. Consuming enough of each vitamin in the diet may help keep the hair healthy.

Combining various hair beneficiary vitamins into one 'multi-tasking' supplement, can be an effective way to help slow down the rate of hair fall, and increase stronger, healthier hair growth. 

Multi-vitamin supplements, like HR23+ and Viviscal, can act as safe and natural alternatives to harsh chemical treatments and prescription drugs. They are also ideal for women who are treating early stages of baldness and thinning hair. 


Unlike male baldness, hair loss in females has a range of causes, though the most common is androgenetic alopecia (female pattern baldness).

There are various treatments for hair loss in women, including the ones mentioned in this article, which range in effectiveness, depending on the individual.

Results vary from person-to-person, so it is a case of finding a treatment plan that works best for you individually. 
HR23+ hair growth supplement for women

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