Hair Loss Causes In Women

  • Female pattern hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia (a genetic condition)
  • Heredity/family history of hair loss
  • Extreme stress
  • Side effects from medications
  • Medical illnesses (thyroid conditions or systemic diseases such as lupus)
  • Traction hair loss, also known as traction alopecia (from excessive pulling and braiding)
  • Burn or major surgery scars
  • Nutritional deficiencies (poor diet, iron deficiency, etc.)
  • Hormonal imbalances (pregnancy, menopause, birth control pills)

The Ludwig Hair Scale

The most commonly used classification for female-pattern hair loss is the Ludwig classification (Type 1 to 3). Alternatively, for women who suffer from male-pattern baldness, the Norwood-Hamilton classification can be used. The Ludwig classification emphasizes the diffuse nature of much female-pattern hair loss with a frequently preserved hairline and thinning affecting the central top portion of the scalp, while the Norwood-Hamilton classification describes patterns of loss that are similar to mae hair-loss patterns with affected hairline and/or thinning in the vertex area.


Hair loss in women differs from hair loss in men due to the nature of how the hair changes. For women, the affected areas can thin significantly but rarely become totally bare of hair. The following are the most common types of hair loss patterns for women:

  • A “Christmas tree” pattern of diffuse hair loss, with the “base” of the “tree” at the hairline and the “tip” of the “tree” at the center of the scalp. Difficulty parting their hair may be experienced here and may result in a type of comb-over to hide the area that is thinning. This type of pattern is the most common type of female hair loss pattern and is easy to fix with hair transplantation because their donor area is usually unaffected.
  • A “diffuse” pattern of hair loss that spreads throughout the top scalp. There is a visible pattern of thinning that affects the top scalp and often the temporal areas as well making these women less favorable candidates for a hair transplant.
  • A type of “Male-pattern baldness” with preserved central (mid-frontal forelock) density. The regular female-shaped hairline is impacted by a loss of hair in both corners.
  • A hair loss found in women (and rarely in men) called diffuse unpatterned alopecia exhibits hair thinning throughout the entire scalp, usually combined with global miniaturization. Due to this, these individuals are not applicable candidates for a hair transplant.
  • Traction alopecia is a hair loss caused by repeated pulling out of the hair from a specific area of the scalp. This can occur in African-American women who wear their hair braided. The result can be hair loss in the hairline and/or in the front and above their ears. A hair transplant is still possible in this case as long as there is a good amount of donor density.
  • Being born with a high hairline. Classified more as an aesthetic condition rather than medical, it is still seen in female hair transplantation.

As said before, it is best to have your doctor or a hair loss specialist determine what is causing any hair loss you may be experiencing. From there, they could help you choose your next route. If you would like to learn about the hair loss solutions we offer, feel free to contact us!

NEXT step

A consultation with our Patient Care Coordinator is complementary and private.

This is a great opportunity for you to learn more about the various male hair loss treatment options available at Hair By Dr. Max, Restoration Center and have all your questions thoroughly answered.