Hair Loss In Women

At our Rochester clinic, we treat both male and female hair loss patients from Buffalo to Syracuse, NY, and while a desire for fuller hair is universal, the issue of hair loss is different for women. A woman’s hairstyle often expresses her individuality, her sense of fashion, independence, confidence, and overall wellbeing. While hair loss is rarely desirable in men, it is more socially acceptable. Moderate hair loss in men is commonly perceived as “distinguished.” However, for women the social standard remains the presence of a full head of hair. Hairstyles for women often change with evolving fashion trends, but one thing remains constant: abundant hair.

Learn why men and women seeking hair transplant surgery come to the Quatela Center for Hair Restoration to have Dr. Quatela, Dr. Lee, and their team perform the procedure. Request a consultation using our online form to meet him personally, or call our office at (585) 244-0323 to schedule an appointment.

Vito C. Quatela, M.D., FACS Vito C. Quatela, M.D., FACS

Vito C. Quatela, M.D., FACS

Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

Compassionate and dedicated to personalized patient care, Dr. Quatela is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon recognized worldwide for his expertise in facial rejuvenation. He established the Quatela Center for Plastic Surgery in Rochester, New York to provide excellence in aesthetic surgery.

Read On Dr. Quatela's Credentials for the ABFPRS, ABHRS, American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and ISHRS

Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL)

To the surprise of many people, a normal, healthy woman loses approximately 100-125 hairs per day. Fortunately, the follicles that produce these hairs remain behind and generate new hairs. Appreciable or noticeable hair loss occurs when the growth cycle of the hair follicle is disrupted or changed. The follicle no longer produces a hair.

womens hairlossThe most common treatable form of hair loss seen in women is androgenic alopecia, also known as female pattern hair loss/baldness. This is an inherited or genetic pattern of hair loss that can come from either parent. It presents as hair thinning over both the top and sides of the head. Rarely does it progress to a single bald spot. It affects approximately one-third of all susceptible women. Although it may begin as early as puberty it is most commonly seen after menopause.

Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) differs from male pattern hair loss (MPHL) in the following ways.

Dr. Heather Lee Dr. Heather Lee

Heather Lee, M.D.

Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

A board-certified facial plastic surgeon and a board-certified otolaryngologist–head and neck surgeon, Dr. Lee is dedicated to improving the lives of adults and children by using her surgical talents. She specializes in procedures of the face and head including facelift, functional and cosmetic nose surgery, blepharoplasty, and injectable treatments.

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  • Recession at the temples is less likely than in men.
  • Women tend to maintain the position of their hairlines.
  • The entire top of the scalp is the area of risk.
  • In women, there is generally a diffuse thinning.
  • It is more likely to be noticed later than in men, in the late twenties through early forties.
  • Socially, it is less acceptable.


Non-androgenic Alopecia/Hair Loss

Two other common types of hair loss, medically known as anagen effluvium and telogen effluvium, may create a very similar appearance as female pattern hair loss. The primary distinction is that these types of hair loss respond to medical treatments and do not benefit from hair replacement surgery.

Anagen effluvium is generally due to internally administered medications, such as chemotherapeutic agents which poison the growing hair follicle.

Telogen effluvium is due to an increased number of hair follicles entering the resting stage of hair cycle growth. The most common causes of telogen effluvium are:

  • Physical stress: surgery, illness, anemia, rapid weight change.
  • Emotional stress: mental illness, death of a family member.
  • Thyroid abnormalities.
  • Medications: High doses of vitamin A, blood pressure medications, Gout medications.
  • Hormonal causes: pregnancy, birth control pills, menopause, Polycystic Ovarian syndrome.

Diet Considerations

Hair loss may also occur due to dieting. Franchised diet programs which are designed or administered under the direction of a physician with prescribed meals, dietary supplements and vitamin ingestion have become popular. Sometimes the client is told the vitamins are a necessary part of the program to prevent hair loss associated with dieting. However, the vitamins cannot prevent hair loss associated with rapid, significant weight loss. Furthermore, many of these supplements are high in Vitamin A which can magnify hair loss.

Physical and Emotional Stress

Surgeries, severe illnesses, and emotional stress can cause hair loss. The body simply shuts down production of hair during periods of stress since it is not necessary for survival and instead devotes its energies toward repairing vital body structures. In many cases there is a three month delay between the actual event and the onset of hair loss. Furthermore, there may be another three month delay prior to the return of noticeable hair regrowth. This then means that the total hair loss and regrowth cycle can last 6 months or possibly longer when induced by physical or emotional stress. There are some health conditions which may go undetected that can contribute to hair loss as well. These include anemia or low blood count and thyroid abnormalities. Both of these conditions can be detected by a simple, inexpensive blood test.

Hormonal Consideration

Hormonal changes are a common cause of female hair loss. Many women do not realize that hair loss can occur after pregnancy or following discontinuation of birth control pills. It is important to remember that the hair loss may be delayed by three months following the hormonal change and another three months will be required for new growth to be fully achieved.

When the above causes of telogen effluvium are reversed or altered, you should see the return of normal hair growth. Minoxidil, a topical medication, can address some forms of telogen effluvium.


Eyebrow loss can occur for a variety of reasons such as genetics, excessive plucking, disease, and physical trauma.  Because it is part of your facial features, this can have a significant impact on appearance.  Whether for partial or complete loss of eyebrows, treatment options can be discussed at a consultation appointment with Dr. Quatela or Dr. Lee.