Female-pattern hair loss: a common problem for women

Written by: Dr Aleksandar Godic
Published: | Updated: 03/12/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Although not as prevalent as male-pattern hair loss, female-pattern hair loss will affect a large portion of women as they get older, causing hair to thin. The good news is that treatments are available. Dr Aleksandar Godic, a leading dermatologist at the London Dermatology Centre, offers a guide to hair loss in women.




What causes female-pattern hair loss?



Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) also called androgenic alopecia is a common condition among women in Britain. It is caused by a by-product of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and another hormone called dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which is produced in the adrenal gland. Both DHT and DHEA bind to genetically-susceptible hair follicles, causing them to shrink and consequently produce thinner and shorter hair until hair thinning becomes apparent.


Female-pattern hair loss usually begins at around the age of 30 (sometimes as early as in the 20s or earlier) and becomes noticeable around the age of 40. After the menopause, it may become more pronounced due to a decrease in progesterone, which helps to protect the hair.


What are the signs of female-pattern hair loss?



By the age of 50, 50% of women will experience some degree of thinning - women may typically notice their parting becoming wider or their ponytail becoming less dense. Although women sometimes notice a receding hairline too, they will generally experience thinning at the top of the head or crown. Certain factors can cause generalised hair thinning all over the scalp, such as pregnancy, which resolves spontaneously within six months. If it does not change after six months, a woman may be experiencing female-pattern hair loss which was masked by childbirth.


Can female-pattern hair loss be treated?



Treatment options available for FPHL include clinically proven medications, off-label medications and hair restoration surgery. The aim of treatment is to slow the rate of progression of hair loss, rather than promote hair regrowth, which can, none-the-less, still be achieved in the early stages of hair loss.


Treatments available include;


  • Spironolactone tablets  



  • Latanoprost solution - an off-label but efficient option


  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)



Other treatments, such as Flutamide and cyproterone acetate (alone or with ethinylestradiol), are not frequently used in the UK as there isn’t much data available and the dosing regimens are not standardised. Finasteride, a popular treatment in men, is not recommended for women as there is currently little evidence to support its effectiveness.


Among the latest promising treatment options is platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Platelets can be obtained from a patient’s blood sample and subsequently injected into the scalp, where they release growth factors, which are anti-inflammatory, prolong the anagen phase of the hair cycle, and promote the survival of hair follicles, which in turn leads to increased hair density, diameter, and quality. It has been established that PRP is superior to minoxidil. It is safe (there is no rejection reaction), efficient and cost-effective.

By Dr Aleksandar Godic

Dr Aleksandar Godic is a leading consultant dermatologist based in London. Dr Godic graduated in 1996 from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He finished his Master of Science in 1997 (Thesis: Analysis of Hair Surface in Patients with Ichthyosis Vulgaris, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), and training in dermatovenereology in 2001. In 2004 he finished his PhD (Thesis: Molecular and Genetic Analysis of Darier Disease in Slovenian Population, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia).  He spent a year of postdoctoral fellowship in dermatopathology at the University of California, San Francisco, USA (UCSF), had additional training in dermatology at the Department of Dermatology, Yale University, USA (in 2005 and 2006), and was awarded the European Board Certificate in Dermatopathology (2006).

In 2005, Dr Godic was appointed as an Assistant Professor for Dermatovenereology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is a regular invited lecturer at the European and world anti-aging congresses in Paris, and in Monte Carlo, respectively. In 2014 he became a board member of the World Council for Preventive Regenerative and Anti-Ageing Medicine (WOCPM). Recently he became a Scientific Board Member of BHI Therapeutic Sciences and will start seeing patients in Slovakia who are interested in autologous (self) fat transfer supplemented with stem cells into the face, V neck, hands, scalp and earlobes. He has numerous publications in high impact factor journals and has written a chapter on hair and scalp diseases in a textbook for medical and dental students. He contributed to the monographs on psoriasis and on skin aging and skin disorders.

With more than 20 years of experience, he is a at the cutting-edge of dermatology, constantly looking for new and innovative treatments. His special interests include general dermatology, hair and scalp disorders, skin cancer, pigmented lesions, inflammatory dermatoses (acne, psoriasis, rosacea, vitiligo, etc.), skin surgery, dermatopathology, anti-aging, and cosmetic dermatology.

Further to this, Dr Godic offers a revolutionary fat transfer treatment that uses patients' own stem cells to achieve lasting, transformational results.

View Profile

Overall assessment of their patients

  • Related procedures
  • Laser
    Treatment pigmented lesions
    Platelet-rich plasma
    Dark circles
    Radiofrequency Facelift
    Lifting by radiofrequency
    Hands rejuvenation
    This website uses our own and third-party Cookies to compile information with the aim of improving our services, to show you advertising related to your preferences as well analysing your browsing habits. You can change your settings HERE.