Can Women Be Affected By Pattern Baldness Like Men?

Can Women Be Affected By Pattern Baldness Like Men?

The short answer is: yes, they can. In fact, in the U.S. alone approximately 30 million women experience female pattern baldness. For women, the causes of hair loss can range from hormonal changes from menopause, to stress, to birth control pills, to medication for ailments such as: high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, or depression. Nearly 30 distinct medical conditions can lead to female hair loss, such as hyper- or hypothyroidism and pregnancy. It can also be caused by lifestyle choices such as dieting and wearing the hair too tightly. Hair loss in women is not easily predictable and there are too many potential factors at play, so to get the most accurate assessment of a woman’s cause baldness or hair loss, a visit to a dermatologist is strongly recommended.

female hair loss

Female pattern baldness is linked to genetic propensity, aging, and the hormonal changes in the body. In fact, women who exhibit signs of female pattern baldness typically do so after the onset of menopause. This type of hair loss usually manifests as an all-around thinning of a woman’s hair, a widening of their center part, or pronounced thinning or baldness at the crown. Women rarely exhibit the receding hairline that is the typical first sign of the onset of male pattern baldness. (Sources:

Options for treating female pattern baldness include: the topical medication Minoxidil (Rogaine), which is the only hair loss drug approved by the FDA for women, laser therapy, and hair transplantation. Rogaine can slow or stop hair loss in some cases, but that loss will resume if treatment ceases. Laser therapy is another effective way to stimulate hair growth and help hair retention. For both Minoxidil and laser therapy, continued use is needed to retain the results. Of the options mentioned, hair transplantation is the only permanent solution to female (and male) pattern baldness. It is the only solution that actually restores one’s lost hair, and since it’s a surgical procedure, it’s typically a one-time event. Some patients choose to have more than one procedure and that is between the patient and his/ her physician to determine.

Female pattern baldness generally has three stages (on the Ludwig Scale):
• Type 1 – thinning on the top of the head
• Type 2 – the scalp is visible through thinning hair in areas
• Type 3 – loss of hair on the crown of the head

Consulting with a hair loss expert can help each woman determine the root cause of her hair loss and the best treatment for it. If you would like to learn more about hair transplantation and other hair restoration options, visit to schedule a free consultation or request an informative guide to hair restoration.

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Hair Loss Treatment for Men and Women

What Stage is Your Hair Loss?

Hair Loss In Men

The most common form of hair loss, Androgenetic Alopecia (also known as male pattern baldness) occurs in more than 90% of hair loss cases. Androgenetic Alopecia is most commonly linked to heredity and hormonal indicators. In this form of hair loss, the hair follicles are genetically oversensitive to dihydrotestosterone or DHT (which is produced by the male hormone testosterone), causing hair follicles to shrink over time, resulting in thinning and ultimately balding/ total loss. Unfortunately, this type of hair loss cannot be prevented. It can only be slowed down some.

Aside from hereditary hair loss, there are other non-genetic hair loss factors, including: medications, stress, and nutritional deficiencies.

The term “Male Pattern Baldness” is derived from the shape or pattern this baldness takes. Generally, it first appears as loss along the hairline, resulting in an “M” shape. Gradually, mid-crown hair becomes shorter and finer until a bald patch appears. The emergence of this pattern can help diagnose a patient’s type of hair loss, along with an assessment of the individual’s family medical history. In instances where hair loss does not conform to this pattern, for example, hair loss that occurs suddenly (either in patches or all at once), hair that is brittle, breaks easily, or hair loss that is coupled with scaling, pain, or redness, it may be caused by other conditions than male pattern baldness.


The Norwood Scale


Male Baldness: The Norwood Scale

  • Class 1 represents a normal head of hair with no visible hair loss.
  • Class 2 is characterized by the beginning of a receding hairline and a “widow’s peak” on the forehead.
  • Class 3 patients exhibit a more significant decline in hair above the temples as well as receding from the forehead. In Class 3, hair loss is starting to become significant on the crown.
  • Class 4 hair loss may become more noticeable on the crown or patients may have significant hair loss above the temples and/or front anterior areas.
  • Class 5 hair loss approaches significant levels with most hair loss occurring on the top of the vertex and crown.
  • Class 6 patients show major hair loss.
  • Class 7 patients show the most significant hair loss.

Hair Loss in Women

In women, the root causes of hair loss are more varied. To date, there are believed to be approximately 30 distinct medical conditions that can lead to female hair loss, such as: thyroid disorders, childbirth, and certain prescriptions (e.g., birth control pills, medications for high blood pressure, arthritis, heart disease, and depression). Lifestyle choices and changes, e.g., crash dieting, tight hairstyles, and stress, can also precipitate hair loss. Consequently, women are advised to consult a physician who can recommend appropriate testing for thyroid problems and hormone imbalances.

Women make up 40% of all hair loss instances. At present, female pattern baldness (which is different than those caused by temporary hormonal disrupters, such as those previously mentioned) affects roughly 30 million women in the U.S. Heredity, age, and hormones (specifically, the hormonal changes that occur at menopause) are believed to be the principal factors. While few will develop the M shape that accompanies a receding hairline, most will experience thinning all over, widening of their center part, and/or baldness at the crown. (Source:


The Ludwig Scale

Female Baldness: The Ludwig Scale

  • Type 1 female baldness is the least severe with thinning on the top of the head.
  • Type 2 hair losses in women are more significant with areas of the scalp showing through thinning hair.
  • Type 3 patients may completely lose hair on the crown of the head.

No matter what stage of hair loss you are in, Bosley has the surgical and non-surgical hair restoration solutions available for you. Bosley offers a free information kit that will provide you with the necessary information about what hair restoration solutions are available to you, and help you make an informed decision on the next step in treating your hair loss.

If you are ready to take the next step in discussing your hair loss, schedule a free private consultation at any of Bosley’s 70 convenient locations. During your consultation, learn why men and women lose hair, receive a free microscopic hair and scalp analysis, identify your hair loss classification, and most importantly, find out what your options are for getting your hair back.

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Why Hair Transplantation?

The Bosley Procedure

Is Hair Transplantation Painful?

To answer this question, it might be a good idea to review some of the basics of hair transplantation. The practice of hair transplantation has been around since the 1950s and has developed greatly over the years. Essentially, hair from a hair-growing region of one’s scalp is removed and then grafted (or inserted) into the desired (thinning) area. The technique has become extremely sophisticated over the past few decades and hair units of as little as a few hairs, or even one single hair, can be removed and grafted into a new area effectively.

The procedure is done on an outpatient basis and can typically take from four to eight hours. While the procedure is extremely convenient, it is a surgical procedure nevertheless and consequently some discomfort can be expected. Before the procedure takes place, the patient will receive a local anesthetic, and they may feel a slight pricking sensation (like the tip of a pen on the scalp). Soon afterwards the anesthetic numbs the skin, relieving any sensation throughout the procedure.

In terms of recovery, patients may experience tenderness, redness, and mild pain for a few days afterwards and may need to take pain (and possibly anti-inflammatory) medication to alleviate post-procedural symptoms. However, these are generally mild enough that patients are able to return to work within a day or two, at most. Following post-procedure instructions during the first few weeks of healing will help minimize any discomfort following the hair transplant procedure.

Two to three weeks after transplantation, the introduced hair falls out, but this will be replaced by new hair growth. Six to nine months after the procedure, most patients will have realized 60% of new hair growth. By a year, most patients will realize full hair re-growth.

Hair loss therapies have come a long way from the wreath that the Roman Emperor Cesar sported to hide his receding hair line, the bogus ointments and tinctures touting themselves as miracle cures, and the duct tape-inspired adhesives (which are actually detrimental to hair follicle health) used to bind hair pieces to the scalp. Hair transplantation provides a natural-looking and permanent solution to hair loss.

If you are considering a hair transplant procedure, we recommend that you set up a free consultation with a Bosley Professional. Meeting with a Bosley Counselor and/or Physician will help answer your questions and guide you to the best solutions for your hair loss.

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Choosing a Physician

What are the signs of male pattern baldness?

For many men the advent of hair loss, whatever the cause, can be more than a little unsettling and evoke a sense of isolation. However, The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery reported that 40% of men had noticeable hair loss by age 35, 65% by age 60, and 70% by 80 years of age. In fact, in the U.S. alone 35 million men are experiencing hair loss according to the July 2014 report. Worldwide, that number jumps to over 811 million. (Source: If these statistics do little to assuage one’s fears of follicular deficiency, consider that many Hollywood luminaries have not only faced hair loss, they have opted for hair restoration procedures. In this context, men experiencing hair loss are not only not alone, they are in celebrated company.


Surprisingly, given the prevalence of male pattern balding (2 out of 3 men experience it in the U.S.), archaic myths about it still abound. Some of the persistent myths about the cause of male pattern balding include: wearing a hat, using a blow dryer, and the mother’s genes. Ask any hair restoration doctor, and he/she would assert that these myths lack any credible scientific basis, and should be replaced by a careful consideration of the known facts.

Male pattern baldness (also known as androgenetic alopecia) is a permanent hair loss condition caused by genetics (from both sides of the family) and while it generally manifests later in life, it can be apparent as early as a man’s 20s. Typically this type of baldness starts at the hairline and causes the hairline to recede. The hairline first forms an “M” shape. Eventually the hair will become shorter and thinner and will create a horseshoe pattern of hair, leaving the top completely bald. This type of hair loss is typically diagnosed by the pattern itself.

There are many other factors that can contribute to hair loss including medical conditions or lifestyle changes. If you have experienced drastic hair loss or think you may have a medical condition, it is best to consult with your physician to determine the cause of your hair loss. After speaking to your physician you can make an appointment for a private and free consultation where a Bosley professional can help explain your hair loss and treatment options. Bosley has been the expert in hair restoration since 1974 treating permanent hair loss caused by male pattern baldness.

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Hair Loss in Men

Before and After Hair Transplantation Gallery

Why Hair Transplantation?



Bosley Patient Testimonial – Steven A (Video)

Steven, a business manager and triathlete, started to notice how much his thinning hair was bothering him during a triathlon, when he had to remove his swim cap and felt pangs of anxiety about how his hair looked to the crowd.

At this point, he’d been dealing with the hair loss by doing the minimal (trying out a topical here and there) but it got to the point that he could no longer ignore it.

The hair restoration results Steve got from his Bosley procedure give him a sense of pride and self-assurance, and he’s enjoyed his more youthful appearance since the procedure. Learn more about all available hair loss treatment options or request your free information kit & DVD packet on If you are ready to discuss your hair loss and restoration options with a Bosley counselor or physician, call 800-249-6946 to schedule your free, in-person consultation. You can also schedule your consultation on