Female pattern baldness

Alternative Names

Alopecia in women; Baldness – female; Hair loss in women; Androgenetic alopecia in women

Definition of Female pattern baldness

Female pattern baldness involves a typical pattern of in women, due to hormones, aging, and genes.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

A hair grows from its follicle at an average rate of about 1/2 inch per month. Each hair grows for 2 to 6 years, then rests, and then falls out. A new hair soon begins growing in its place. At any time, about 85% of the hair is growing and 15% is resting.


Hair thinning is different from that of male pattern baldness. In female pattern baldness:

Signs and tests

Female pattern baldness is usually diagnosed based on:


The in female pattern baldness is permanent, if not treated. In most cases, hair loss is mild to moderate. You do not need treatment if you are comfortable with your appearance.

Expectations (prognosis)

Female pattern usually does not mean that a woman has a medical disorder. However, for many women, it may affect self-esteem or cause . The is usually permanent.


Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and Roy Colven, MD, Dermatologist, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/10/2010

Female-pattern baldness

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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