Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 6/7/2021
For some women it begins with having to wrap a hair-tie once more around a ponytail. For others it’s noticeably more strands clinging to the shower drain.
There’s a name for it – Female Pattern Hair Loss – and it begins for most women in midlife, although it can affect some earlier than that, and others in their 50s and sixties.
A hereditary condition, it’s also more common after menopause, which means hormones may be a contributing factor.
Some women may notice their part getting wider, while others may see the hair around their temples receding.
For others, it may present as overall thinning.
If you suspect you may be suffering from female pattern hair loss, you may want to talk to a dermatology practitioner or healthcare professional who can diagnose your symptoms as hair loss or something else.
There are treatments available, including hair loss medications, and other therapies like at-home lasers to help stimulate new hair growth and supplements.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy is also sometimes used on the scalp to promote new hair growth and hair-loss shampoos may make hair look thicker and fuller and prevent breakage.
While suffering from female pattern hair loss can be distressing, it doesn’t have to be. That’s thanks to an array of hairstyles you can use to mask thin spots and make your hair look thicker.
Some women with thinning hair may think the longer the hair, the lusher it looks. Not so.
A blunt cut, or one that lays at the shoulder-area, makes hair look fuller by design. This style is cut without layers in a straight line around the head.
You may be used to wearing your hair the same way year after year.
For some women, this can contribute to hair loss with repetitive blow-drying that causes breakage and thinning in certain areas.
Those with thinning at the top of the scalp may consider a deep side part to the left or right. This helps conceal thinning and can make the hair around the face look fuller.
Wispy bangs can help women suffering from hair loss around their temples.
This look involves not only bangs covering the forehead, but longer layers framing the face, creating density on the side of the face.
This look also allows women on the go to pull their hair into a ponytail without revealing their hair loss.
By taking a comb and back brushing the top layer of dry hair, those with short cuts and longer styles can create volume at the crown or back of the head. How?
Grab your top layer with one hand then hold the comb with the other. Place it under your hair and brush toward your scalp, creating volume.
Those with shorter hair may spray this section in place while women with longer styles may use a ponytail to help the teased strands stay put.
Some women may look to glue-in or clip-in extensions to create volume and mask thinning.
This can actually cause more breakage and damage by stressing the sections you’re attaching the extensions to.
Instead, choose a halo.
This is a hair fall that wraps around your head. They’re more gentle since they don’t pull at the roots.
Attach the halo underneath a layer of your own hair, then brush that layer over the halo so it blends in. Then style.
For women with traction alopecia, which is hair loss that’s caused by repeated pulling of sections of hair or by chemical relaxation, tricks used to disguise bald spots can be helpful.
This can be achieved with a loose, high bun at the top of the head, which hides alopecia at the crown or a middle part.
Other women may choose a side braid to disguise bald spots along the side of the head, or a low ponytail to cover bald spots near the nape of the neck.
There are a wealth of temporary products that can mask bald spots and make strands appear fuller.
They include thickening fibers, which are sprinkled onto the hair to make strands appear thicker, and concealers, which are brushed onto bald spots and root touch-up sprays that both conceal and create fullness.
Hair loss can be a troubling and stressful experience. Hell, it can be downright devastating. It can rob you of your confidence and keep you feeling like you’re not your best.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are a host of hair loss medications (like minoxidil), tricks and styles at your disposal to help you keep the hair you have, regrow a little of what you’ve lost and work with your hair in ways that keep you looking and feeling like yourself.