Female Pattern Hair Loss

Pattern hair loss (Androgenetic Alopecia) is the most common type of hair loss and can arise in Men and Women. The cause of male pattern hair loss is likely to the hair follicle being more sensitive to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone. Most men do not have an excess of male hormones (androgens) but these hormones are responsible for male pattern hair loss. This then causes hair follicles to shrink and eventually stop producing hair.

The cause of female pattern hair loss is not well understood. Most women do not have an excess of male hormones (androgens) but the hair follicle may be more sensitive to normal levels of hormone. This increased sensitivity may be inherited. Decreasing oestrogen levels may also play a role.

Treatments for Female Pattern Hair Loss

Minoxidil Solution

Minoxidil solution is available at 2% and 5% strength. The lotion should be applied once daily to the scalp to treat Female pattern hair loss. Treatment should be continued long term if benefit is seen.

Minoxidil Tablets

Unlike topical minoxidil, which is applied directly to the scalp, oral minoxidil is taken in tablet form. As oral minoxidil is taken systemically, it can have more widespread effects on the body than topical minoxidil. This means that it may be more effective for hair growth, but it may also have more side effects, such as low blood pressure, fluid retention, and hair growth in other areas of the body. The dose used for hair loss is low and much lower than that used for treating high blood pressure.


High dose spironolactone can be useful in female pattern hair loss. It is used off licence and requires regular blood tests.

5α Reductase Inhibitors (Finasteride, Dutasteride)

Used off licence these anti-androgens are used by hair experts to treat pattern hair loss.

Stem Cell Therapy

Kerastem Advance Hair Therapy is used for early to moderate pattern hair loss.

Hair Transplantation

Hair follicles can be harvested from the non-hormone dependent hair at the back of the head and transplanted to areas of hair loss in the frontal area.

Combined oral contraceptive pills.

Combined contraceptive pills containing oestrogens and non-harmful progesterones can be useful in female pattern hair loss. Ensure you discuss your hair loss concerns with your general practitioner so that the appropriate pill is chosen. Progesterone only pills, implants, depot injections and progesterone containing intra-uterine devices should be avoided unless no other contraceptive is available.

Cyproterone Acetate

This can be combined with a contraceptive pill for additional benefit.

We recommend seeing a medical professional to accurately diagnose and manage your hair loss. Active treatment should be trialled for a minimum of 12 months before deciding on whether it has been beneficial or not.

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