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The Truth About Female Hair Loss

Unfortunately, 30% of all women will experience significant hair loss at some point in their life. In most cases, this hair loss is very upsetting, often much more so than for men, as hair plays a larger role in defining a woman’s self image. Dr. Shim Ching offers a variety of hair restoration options in Honolulu, Hawaii. He begins the treatment process by evaluating possible causes for the hair loss.

Treatments for female pattern hair loss

First step: Minoxidil 2% is applied preferably twice, or even once, a day to the areas of thinning. Assess response to this conservative treatment after 4 to 6 months.

Second step: For nearly all women, the gold standard for treatment is hair transplant surgery. This is the only intervention that can truly improve the density to areas experiencing hair loss.

The success of hair transplant surgery is most dependent upon:

Dr. Ching's Commitment to Helping Female Hair Loss

In every procedure he performs, Dr. Ching brings outstanding skill and detail. His priority is patient safety, and his goal for every procedure is to achieve natural looking results that improves and enhances the patient’s already-existing characteristics.

When you first meet with Dr. Ching, he will examine your areas of thinning hair, listen to your specific needs and aesthetic goals, and determine the right treatment strategy for you. If you’re interested in talking to Dr. Shim Ching about female hair loss and restoration, please call Hair Restoration Hawaii at (808) 585-8855 or contact us online.

Female pattern hair loss 

Female pattern hair loss is genetically determined. It affects more than 30% of all women and accounts for more than 95% of all cases of hair loss in women (and more than 99% in men). No specific genetic path has been proven, but in most cases, the individual has one or more female relatives with hair thinning as well. 

Several patterns have been described with female pattern hair loss, but is most commonly characterized by diffuse thinning concentrated along the top of the scalp, sometimes sparing the very frontal hairline. The sides and back of the scalp can also be affected. The process usually begins in the late 30s to early 40s, but can appear at any time.

Hormonal changes

For most women, menopause means physical and emotional changes. One area that can be affected is the scalp, where the change in the ratio of estrogen to testosterone can result in an onset of female pattern thinning. Pregnancy is another example of fluctuating hormones that can lead to hair loss, which mostly starts several weeks to months after delivery, and which is contributed to by the physical stress it takes on the body. 

During pregnancy, due to increased metabolism and the higher levels of hormones, the body holds onto more of its hairs. After delivery, once the pregnancy is over, the body then typically sheds all of the hair it would have shed during the pregnancy. This results in a mild to moderate thinning that many women notice. Many other hormonal imbalances can be associated with hair loss, including hypothyroidism and polycystic ovaries.

Things that can aid female hair loss


Most people consider stress to be psychological, but a variety of things can inflict physical stress on our bodies, including a very high fever, significant weight loss from dieting, pregnancy, and surgery. Emotional stress—such as grieving or depression—can also play a role in hair loss. When hair is lost due to stress, it is almost always temporary.


Hair can be damaged by hair weaves and hairstyles that pull on existing hairs. This type of hair loss is so common there’s even a name for it: traction alopecia. It one of the most common causes of hair thinning in African-American women, but traction alopecia can affect women of any ethnicity.

Medication and medical treatments

With chemotherapy being the obvious example, there are numerous medications reported to be associated with hair loss. Some anti-inflammatories, anti-hypertensives, and hormone replacement therapy have also been associated with hair loss. Radiation therapy administered to the head may result in hair loss as well.

When choosing an oral contraceptive or hormone replacement medication, it’s important to discuss your concerns and goals with your physician, as these medications can vary in the levels of different hormones they supply.

Local and systemic diseases 

This includes a wide variety of different medical conditions associated with hair loss: anemia (low levels of iron or ferritin), nutritional abnormalities, some autoimmune diseases (such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis infections), and hypothyroidism, to name the most common.

In many of these cases, the patient has an underlying genetic risk for hair loss, and the active process accelerates it. Attempts to determine the disease are undertaken to slow down or even stop the progression of the hair loss, but usually doesn’t result in any significant degree of hair regrowth.

Nutritional factors

Certain diets, especially when they involve crash dieting, or some chronic conditions like alcoholism may result in hair loss. For healthy hair growth, vitamins such as iron and zinc, and adequate levels of protein and amino acids are required. For women who maintain a complete diet, this shouldn’t be an issue; however, there is little harm in taking iron and zinc supplements or other nutritional items that promote healthy hair growth.

Surgical technique

The limited supply of donor hair is efficiently used while minimizing damage to already-existing hairs. Both are accomplished through microscopic dissection and hair planting techniques.

Patient expectations

It’s extremely important to have realistic expectations for a hair loss treatment.

The type of hair loss pattern

In general, better results can be achieved when the hair loss is due to actual loss of hairs (with spaces between existing hairs) rather than when the hair loss is due to thinning of the individual hairs in the area.

The donor density

Where there’s a higher concentration or density of hairs, or hairs that are individually thicker, in the back and/or sides of the scalp (donor area), the improvement in density will be greater.

Female Hair Loss FAQs:

Is hair loss in women different from hair loss in men?

While some causes of hair loss are common between genders, women tend to experience diffuse thinning rather than the distinct pattern of male pattern baldness.

Are there natural remedies for female hair loss?

Some individuals explore natural remedies like dietary changes, scalp massages, and essential oils. While these may have some benefits, scientific evidence supporting their efficacy is limited.

When should I see a doctor about hair loss?

It's advisable to see a healthcare professional if you notice a sudden or significant increase in hair shedding, changes in hair texture, or if you have concerns about your hair loss.

Can birth control pills affect hair loss in women?

Some birth control pills may influence hair growth. Changes in hormonal contraceptives can sometimes lead to hair loss, while others may have a positive impact.

Is female hair loss reversible?

The extent to which hair loss is reversible depends on the cause. Some forms of hair loss can be treated and reversed, while others may be more challenging to address.

Can nutritional deficiencies contribute to hair loss in women?

Yes, deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals, such as iron, vitamin D, and biotin, can contribute to hair loss. A balanced diet and, if necessary, supplements can help address these deficiencies.

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