Female Pattern Baldness

Hair Treatments
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What is female pattern baldness?

female pattern baldness (FTB) is the most common type of hair loss in women usually occurring in the 40-60s years of age.

What are the causes of female pattern baldness?

  • Both genetic and hormonal factors are responsible.
  • There is gradual thinning of scalp hair at the centre and increased shedding.
  • Bald patches are uncommon in women.
  • May be associated with conditions in which androgen level are elevated such as polycystic ovarian disease(PCOD), acne, increased facial hair, irregular periodsand infertility are all signs of PCOD.

Is female pattern baldness hereditary?

Yes. It can be inherited from either or both parents.

How does FTB manifest? When does FTB manifest?

  • There is wide spread thinning of the hair, mainly on the crown of the scalp. It may initially start as widening of the hair parting areas.
  • In females, the hairline at the front of the scalp often remains normal unlike in men where receding of frontal hairline is observed.
  • Hairs in the affected areas are initially thinner and shorter compared to hairs in unaffected areas, before they become absent.
  • FTB usually manifest after 40 years of age. Earlier onset may be seen in PCOD patient.

FAQ on Female Pattern Baldness

  • A dermatologist diagnoses FTB chiefly on history and clinical examination; a simple test such as dermatoscopy aids in the clinical diagnosis.
  • The diagnosis is usually based on the clinical examination and history of hair loss on the front/top of the head or receding hairline, the pattern of hair loss and a family history of similar hair loss.
  • The skin on the scalp looks normal on the examination.
  • Most FTB patients do not have any underlying hormonal abnormalities except few cases where excess androgen levels are found.
  • Sometimes test are done to rule out PCOD.
  • There is no cure but medical and surgical treatment which are available may improve the condition. However, it tend to progress very slowly, from several year to decades.
  • An earlier age of onset may lead to quicker progression.
  • Female pattern baldness is progressive and it does not improve or reverse without treatment.
  • Minoxidil and various hormonal tretment are commonly prescribed medication which may restore the hair to some extent.


  • Minoxidil applied to the scalp may slow down the progression of hair loss and partially restore hair.
  • It applied to the affected scalp( not the hair) using a dropper or spray and should be spread over the affected area lightly.
  • Minoxidil can cause reaction such as dryness, redness,scaling and/or itchiness at the site of application and should not be applied if there are cuts or open wounds.
  • At least 6 months of application is required to notice any benefit.
  • Minoxidil solution may cause an initial hair fall in the first 2-8 weeks of treatment, and this usually subsides when the new hairs start to grow.

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy:

  • PRP have shown promising results in FTB.
  • Platelet contains growth factor, which stimulate stem cells and help in hair growth.