• Female hair loss affects 1 in 5 women
  • We can help to find the cause of your hair loss and put together a bespoke treatment plan to suit your requirements

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Medically reviewed by Lorcan Sheppard BSc MBBS FRCA, Chief Medical Officer and the Medical Advisory Committee for The Private Clinic.
Last Reviewed September 7th 2022

Female Hair Loss & Thinning

A woman’s hair can feel like her crowning glory. If hair begins to fall out, it isn’t just the individual strands we lose. Some people can find it devastating causing low self-esteem.

What is female hair loss?

Hair shedding for females is very normal and overall, we shed between 50 and 100 single hairs each day. When you begin to experience more unexpected and excessive loss of hair this is different to normal hair shedding and you may begin to notice areas of thinning or loss.

With the average female spending up to £40,000 and over two years’ worth of maintenance on their hair in her lifetime, it’s an important part of a woman’s appearance, so parting with it is not an easy process, so what can be done?

What causes female hair loss?

There can be a number of reasons why a female is experiencing hair loss. These include:

  • Lack of adequate nutrition and vitamins
  • Stress
  • Traction alopecia
  • Immunological conditions (such as alopecia)
  • Hormonal imbalances (menstrual, peri menopause and menopause)
  • Overuse of hair dryers, hot irons and hair dye
  • Illness

What are the different types of female hair loss?

  • Anagen Effluvium – This is when hair loss is caused by medication, infection, toxin, radiation or an autoimmune disease which causes damage to the hair follicle. Anagen Effluvium hair loss can be caused by Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and medications such as Colchicine.
  • Telogen effluvium – This occurs when there is a larger number of hair follicles reaching the telogen phase at the same time. This can often be a result of stress, shock or a traumatic event. In most cases, once the event has passed then regrowth will occur but recurrent telogen effluvium can often turn into female pattern hair loss. Telogen Effluvium can be caused by childbirth, anaemia, mental illness, abnormal thyroid and menopause.
  • Female Androgenetic Alopecia/Female Pattern Hair Loss – This is a distinctive form of female hair loss and usually involves hair thinning across the top and sides of the head. The cause of female androgenetic alopecia is unclear although thoughts are it may be genetic or due to hormonal changes when ageing or menopause.
  • Alopecia Areata – This is an inflammatory reaction where your own immune system is attacking the roots of your hair follicles. This is usually a temporary condition and most cases of it will clear up on their own within two years. It is not known what causes alopecia areata but it is thought to be down to having a genetic predisposition to the disease. In extreme cases, alopecia areata can persist for many years and the hair may never grow back naturally.
  • Traction Alopecia – This is when localised trauma is inflicted on the hair follicles caused by the hair being repeatedly pulled tight, usually as a result of tight hairstyles, hair extensions and braiding. Early detection often means traction alopecia can be reversed and hair can regrow when the hair is no longer pulled back. In extreme cases, the hair follicles can become severely damaged and scarred and therefore unable to produce new hair naturally.

Can you treat Female Hair Loss?

Treatment for female hair loss needs to be targeted and completely individual to the specific diagnosis and any scalp issues that may be triggering the hair loss. Over-the-counter shampoos and products can promise to restore hair or add volume but if you do not know the underlying reasons for the hair loss then it is likely to occur again.

There are many ways to treat female hair loss. This can include the use of topical creams and shampoos such as minoxidil, hormonal treatment, light therapy, vitamins, and mineral replacement, changing diet and possibly a hair transplant. But finding the underlying issue is crucial.

It is important to meet with the correct experts in hair restoration for women before you decide to go ahead with any form of hair loss treatment.

Our expert team of Trichologists, hair transplant surgeons and hair loss experts are there to help you understand the cause of your hair loss and find the best way forward for you.

Start your journey to regain your hair with trichologist consultations available in Harley street, Northampton & Birmingham with Trichologist Jane Mayhead and in Leeds with Trichologist Denise Knight.

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What to Expect


Many women are able to disguise their hair loss by styling their hair differently but for widespread thinning this can become noticeable and harder to hide.

When you book a consultation to see one of our expert trichologists, you will have a full and detailed examination to allow them to assess what the cause of hair loss may be.

You may be required to do some tests to help further diagnose the source of hair loss which may include:

  • Hair Shedding Analysis – Your trichologist may gently pull on your hair to check how many hairs fall.
  • Scalp Evaluation – An examination of the scalp under a microscope and trichoscopy.
  • Blood Tests – to check your vitamin, mineral levels and hormone levels.
  • Scalp Biopsy – A small piece of scalp skin may be taken for testing of conditions such as alopecia.

You may then also be asked some lifestyle, medical and observational questions such as:

  • How do you style your hair?
  • What products are you using on your hair?
  • What types of food are you eating?
  • Has anyone in your family experienced hair loss?
  • Is there anything stressful going on in your life?
  • Are you taking any medication?
  • How long have you been experiencing hair loss?

Once the cause of hair loss has been established, you will be provided with a personalised treatment plan to firstly help reduce hair loss and thinning and then encourage regrowth.


Female Hair Loss Treatment Options


You may be recommended to try medication such as Minoxidil which is the only FDA-approved drug to treat female pattern baldness. Minoxidil works to reduce or stop hair loss by prolonging the growth phase of the hair follicles whilst also encouraging new hair to grow. It is a topical medication that needs to be applied directly to the head/scalp daily. Results are usually noticed after 1-2 months of usage but if you decide to stop using minoxidil then there is a risk of hair loss returning.


When hair loss is caused by an autoimmune disease like alopecia areata, you may be prescribed corticosteroid medications. The medications work by acting as immune system suppressors to counteract the effects of the autoimmune disease, this then allows the hair to grow. Corticosteroid treatment may be topical or injected.


In instances where nutritional deficiency is the likely cause of hair loss, you will be recommended to improve your diet or to take supplements such as vitamin D, vitamin B, zinc, iron, biotin, or a multivitamin to help improve hair loss.

Non-Surgical Hair Loss Treatment

Non-surgical hair loss treatment uses a substance found within your blood with high levels of proteins known as growth factors. These growth factors are typically associated with wound healing but it has been discovered that when the growth factors are administered in high concentrations, they can be really effective at encouraging the growth of dormant hair follicles.

The treatment is carried out in the clinic and involves taking a blood sample which is then placed in a centrifuge to spin the blood, separating the red blood cells and blood plasma.

The blood plasma is then injected into the scalp which causes platelet activation. The platelets release growth factors which then work to stimulate the hair follicles, improve blood circulation and improve the quality of hair follicles which all encourages hair growth.   

There no major downtime involved with non-surgical hair loss treatment. Some mild swelling, redness and bruising may be noticeable for 24-48 hours. Results are best seen after a course of 3-6 treatments which should be spread out over 3-6 months.

Find out more here.

Female Hair Transplant

A hair transplant is a permanent treatment that takes healthy hair from the back of your head and implants it into areas of hair loss or thinning to improve the thickness of the hair.

A hair transplant should only be carried out by a hair transplant surgeon who is experienced in female hair transplant. Female hair transplantation is a specialised procedure that requires a great amount of skill in order to get a natural result.

Find out more here.



Unfortunately, hair grows slowly, so it will take time to see results from any type of female hair loss treatment, lifestyle changes or medication.

If you are taking minoxidil, you may start to notice improvements to your hair quality after 1-2 months but overall it takes around a year before the best results are seen.

Non-Surgical Hair Loss treatment requires a course of 3-6 treatments and results are best seen after 3-6 months following your course of treatment. Click here to find out more about Non Surgical Hair Loss treatment and see before and after photos.

Our trichologists offer follow-up appointments to assess the results of your female hair loss treatment, medication or lifestyle changes and will continue to offer their support where required.

If you decide to undergo a female hair transplant procedure it can take 6-12 months before you are able to see the results. Click here to find out more about female hair transplants and see before and after results.



What can you do about female hair loss?

There are lots of ways to treat or at least reduce female hair loss.

Our team of expert Trichologists are very knowledgeable and will be able to firstly diagnose what may be causing your hair loss before then offering a range of different treatment options to help manage hair loss.

Our treatments include:

Book a consultation to find which treatment would be best suited to you.  

How fast does female hair loss progress?

The progression of hair loss in women will vary from person to person depending on the cause of the hair loss.

For female pattern baldness, the hair loss process is not constant and usually occurs in fits and bursts where you may notice severe loss for 3-6 months followed by 6 months of stability. If you are not treating the female pattern hair loss then it will progress in severity over the years.

Telogen effluvium hair loss usually occurs 3 months after a stressful event and can last for up to 6 months.

Anagen effluvium hair loss can take place within 14 days of administration of the offending drug. Hair loss will continue whilst the medication or treatments are being carried out. Hair may start growing back at any time, usually when the drugs or treatments causing the hair loss have been stopped.

What causes anagen effluvium hair loss?

Anagen effluvium hair loss is caused by medication, infection, toxin, radiation or an autoimmune disease damaging the hair follicles. This causes sudden hair loss which can happen anywhere on your body, not just your scalp. Sometimes, anagen effluvium hair loss can be permanent but usually hair growth is able to return once the source of the damage is stopped.

Causes include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Certain Medications
  • Alopecia Areata
  • Fungal hair infections
  • Heavy metal intoxication
  • Ingestion of toxins or exposure to toxins
  • Loose anagen syndrome
  • Trichotillomania
  • Discoid lupus erythematosus
  • Pemphigus Vulgaris
What causes telogen effluvium hair loss?

Telogen effluvium occurs when there are increased proportions of hairs shifting from the growing phase (anagen) to the shedding phase (telogen). This results in a distinct increase in the number of hairs shed each day. Telogen effluvium often resolves completely without any treatment over several months as long as the cause has been managed.

Causes include:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Post-Surgery
  • Anaemia
  • Severe trauma or illness
  • Childbirth
  • Mental Illness
  • Bereavement
  • Abnormal Thyroid
  • High doses of vitamin A
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Menopause
  • Birth Control Pills
What causes Female Pattern Hair Loss?

Female pattern hair loss is a progressive hair loss condition that is the most common form of hair loss in women. It is said to have a strong genetic predisposition which means it is likely to be passed down genetically from one or both parents. It is also known to be more common after menopause which suggests hormone levels such as oestrogen may impact the development of female pattern baldness.

What is the Ludwig scale?

The Ludwig scale is a classification system for determining the extent of female pattern baldness. There are three stages of the Ludwig scale:

  • Type 1 – Thinning at the top of the head, slight widening of the parting.
  • Type 2 – Significant hair loss on top of the head, noticeable widening of the parting, thinner hair and increased shedding.
  • Type 3 – Severe hair loss at top of the head and the scalp is visible as hair is thinner.
Can you recover from female hair loss?

Can female hair loss be reversed? / Is female hair loss permanent?

The cause of female hair loss will determine what the recovery or chance of reversal is likely to be.

Patients with Telogen effluvium hair loss can often reverse their hair loss once the trigger of their hair loss has been removed and hair loss is often temporary.

If you have Anagen effluvium hair loss then this can also be temporary and once the medication or treatment causing the hair loss has been stopped then hair growth is likely to continue. However, if too much damage has occurred to the hair follicles then additional treatment may be required to help restore hair loss.

Female pattern baldness is permanent and can’t be reversed however with constant treatment, hair loss can be restored, and further loss can be reduced.

What is a widow’s peak hairline?

A widow’s peak is a v-shaped hairline that is present from childhood. It is genetic and runs in families like having curly hair would. It is not a form of hair loss; widow’s peak hairlines can be very noticeable in some people or more subtle.

Male pattern hair loss or female hair loss to the hairline and front of the scalp can often look like a widow’s peak hairline but they are not related.

If you weren’t born with a widow’s peak and you begin to notice that this v-shaped hairline is starting to appear as your hairline recedes, it is usually a sign that you’re starting to go bald. Our team of hair loss experts will be able to offer advice on how to reduce hair loss.

Female hair loss treatment is Available in these Clinics

Why Choose The Private Clinic

  • Expert medical practitioners with years of experience.
  • State of the art medical facilities, all registered by the CQC (Care Quality Commission).
  • Our innovative treatment choice means you will be offered the most advanced minimally invasive treatment options.
  • When it comes to non-surgical treatments we always strive to give you little to no downtime, so you can get back to enjoying life.
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Meet our Medical Experts

We only work with highly recognised, Trichology professionals certified by the Institute of Trichologists to get the best results for your needs. Our elite team has advanced knowledge on female hair loss and are able to utilise years of experience to ensure they find the best female hair loss treatment plan for you. They work in collaboration with our industry-leading hair surgeons and renowned dermatologists, to ensure you recieve the best possible care.