What is Female Pattern Baldness?

Approximately one in three women will experience hair loss at some point within their lifetime, with about 55% losing some amount of hair by the age of 70.

The most common cause of hair loss in women is female pattern baldness. There’s no specific known cause for female pattern baldness, but several factors have been identified that may be linked to it. These include aging, changes in androgen levels, a family history of male or female pattern baldness, significant blood loss during menstrual periods, and certain medications, such as birth control pills.

In most cases, female pattern baldness begins in the crown of the scalp and the top of the head, becoming thinner in these areas over time. While the hairline does not recede beyond average levels, the center part of the hair that runs across the top of the head may become wider. Unlike male pattern baldness, however, female pattern baldness does not typically result in an eventual total loss of hair.

Hair loss may also be an indicator of other, potentially more serious conditions. Alternative causes such as alopecia areata, which causes your immune system to attack your hair follicles, are not particularly dangerous to your health. However, causes of hair loss such as thyroid disease or anemia are potentially life-threatening illnesses if they are not adequately managed.

If you begin to experience symptoms of female pattern baldness, you should speak with a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis. Certain signs, such as new hair growth on your face or in other abnormal parts of your body, may indicate heightened levels of androgen and support female pattern baldness as the most likely cause of your hair loss. A dermatologist can also perform a skin biopsy or blood test to diagnose you.

To schedule an appointment with a dermatologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call our Ambulatory Care Center at (718) 206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.