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Normal Hair Part vs Thinning: 6 Signs

Sara Perkins

Reviewed by Sara Harcharik Perkins, MD

Written by Sheryl George

Published 12/06/2021

Updated 11/15/2023

A hair part is one of those inconspicuous things that you never even think about if it doesn’t bother you. But if you feel like your part is thinning and getting wider, it’s one of those things you basically can’t stop thinking about. Ugh.

Whether you like to rock a side part or want to go with the Gen Z-preferred middle part, a normal hair part width is essential for the look of healthy full hair. 

If you’re worried you may be dealing with overall thinning, our guide to hair loss in women may be a helpful resource. But if you’re really just wondering what a normal hair part is, keep on reading. 

We’ll dive into what a thinning hair part looks like, potential causes of a thinning part and most importantly, how to treat a thinning hair part if that’s an issue. Let’s get into it!

If you notice that you have a wide hair part, it’s best to trust your gut. No one knows the hairs on your head better than you. If you feel like you no longer have a normal hair part width, here are the signs you can look out for to really get to the bottom of things: 

  1. Your hair part looks wider and you’re seeing more scalp. 
    A great way to gauge if changes in your part are just in your head or actually on your head is to look at pictures. Compare snaps from a few years ago to more recent shots and see if there is a difference. If there is, you can learn more about a wide hair part, along with causes and treatments, in our comprehensive guide. 

  2. Your hair part is forming a Christmas tree pattern. 
    Sure, Christmas trees are cute, but not on our scalp. With men, the signs of hair loss can be obvious — a receding hairline or a bald spot over the crown of the head. Female hair loss can be harder to spot at first, and usually involves diffuse hair loss that first appears around your part line rather than the temples. This type of hair loss is often seen in androgenetic alopecia. Over time, as hair follicle damage increases, a widening part line can develop into a “Christmas tree” pattern, with a wide front part that narrows as it moves towards the back of your scalp, creating a triangular shape of hair loss. Check in the mirror to see if you have more thinning towards the back of your head as well. 

  3. You’re losing more hair than normal.
    Yes, shedding some hair every day is normal, but sometimes it can get to be too much. How much is too much? The American Academy of Dermatology reports that losing 50 to 100 hairs a day is normal. If you’re losing more than that, you may be dealing with hair loss, so if you think you’re seeing more hair in the shower drain or on your pillow, our guide on hair shedding vs hair loss may be a helpful read. 

  4. You notice patches of hair that are thinning or missing.
    If you’re seeing spots or patches of hair loss, like crown thinning, your hairstyles could be playing a role. For example, tight braids or pulled back buns can trigger a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Alopecia areata — a condition that can be tied to genetic patterns where the body attacks its own hair follicle — is another condition that causes baldness in patches around the scalp. 

  5. Your ponytail is smaller.
    A thinner ponytail can be another sign of traction alopecia, especially if you tend to wear them really tight. If you think this sounds like you, learn more about ponytail hair loss in our guide.

  6. You can see your hair is breaking off.
    If you've subjected your hair to highlights, bleaching or other coloring, you may be dealing with chemically damaged hair. And damaged hair is more prone to breakage, which can lead to thinner hair over time.

So now you know some of the signs of a thinning hair part, but you still may be wondering about some of the common causes of that hair loss. Knowing the root cause of your hair loss will help you find the best treatment, so it’s important to dig into what’s really behind your hair issues. Below, we’ll dive into the common causes for hair loss in women that can lead to a thinning part: 

  • Female pattern baldness: Balding may seem like something only guys go through, but it’s actually pretty common for women too — up to 50 percent of males and females may experience it at some point. Female pattern baldness is also referred to as androgenetic alopecia (or androgenic alopecia). This type of hair thinning is likely due to an excessive response to androgens and may be genetic, although the exact underlying mechanism isn’t clearly understood yet.

  • Sudden hair loss: If it feels like more of your hair has been falling out and you’re finding hair clumps in the drain or pillow, you may be dealing with telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium is triggered by a stressful event (which can be anything from a toxic boss to an illness or drastic weight loss) and characterized by a large number of hairs in the growing (anagen) phase of the hair growth cycle abruptly entering the resting (telogen) phase. If you want to dig a little deeper, our guide to hair loss in women goes more in-depth on reasons for thinning hair.

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Hopefully, you’ve now figured out whether you have a normal part vs. a thinning hair part, along with what may be causing a thinning part. But the great news is that, no matter what the cause is, there are many treatment options to help you regrow your hair and give you a fuller part again. 


Think of minoxidil as the queen bee of hair loss treatments. Topical minoxidil (commonly sold under the brand name Rogaine®) is FDA-approved for the treatment of hair loss in women and she’s got some great science to back her up. 

While its mechanism of action isn’t fully understood, minoxidil helps extend the duration of the anagen phase (the stage where your hair grows) so new hair can develop. 

Minoxidil can be used to treat a variety of hair loss types, including female pattern hair loss and telogen effluvium. And you can take minoxidil in a couple of different ways (because who doesn’t like options?):

  • Minoxidil drops: These easy-to-apply 2% drops can target your part line or any other areas you face thinning. 

  • Oral minoxidil: This once-daily pill is an excellent option if you don’t want to deal with applying a topical — but it’s important to note that this minoxidil formulation is only used off-label for women, meaning it’s not FDA-approved.

  • Topical finasteride and minoxidil spray: This powerhouse combo is best for women dealing with postmenopausal hair loss. 

Spironolactone for Hormonal Changes

This one daily pill is commonly prescribed off-label for its antiandrogenic effects — especially for hair loss.​​ Spironolactone helps decrease testosterone levels in the blood and lessens this hormone’s effect in certain areas of the body, so it can be helpful for women dealing with hormonal hair loss. 

Note that antiandrogen drugs like spironolactone are potentially teratogenic, meaning they may cause fetal abnormalities. In fact, Food and Drug Administration, recommends that you avoid use during pregnancy. It’s critical to have a reliable form of birth control if you choose this option. 

Cover Your Hair Part

A common celebrity hairstylist trick is to apply a hair powder on a wide part to fake fullness. These formulas usually contain pigment and fibers to help fill in the visible scalp and help disguise thinning hair. Additionally, try a zigzagged or soft part instead of a straight part, which may make thinning hair more obvious. 

Healthy Hair Habits

While genetics and hormones play a big role in your hair, your habits matter, too. Whether it’s not paying attention to your diet or maybe being on day eight of not washing, your lifestyle choices can also impact your hair health. You can read our guide on how to get thick hair, for the full scoop, but even implementing some of the below may be helpful.

  • Support your scalp. Great hair starts at the root, so proper scalp care is key to having your healthiest and thickest hair. Make sure to wash your hair when it gets oily instead of applying layer upon layer of dry shampoo. High levels of sebum can create scalp-related issues like dermatitis, which can interfere with healthy hair follicles. Use a volumizing shampoo and conditioner to wash away oil and grime while giving fine hair some extra body. 

  • Eat the rainbow. A healthy diet filled with lots of whole foods will help provide the essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals your body and hair need. Micronutrients play an important role in normal hair follicle development and immune cell function, even though the connection isn’t fully understood yet. 

Studies show that certain nutritional deficiencies are associated with hair loss. Talk to your dermatologist to see if you need to add in a supplement like biotin gummies into your regimen for healthy hair. 

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fuller, thicker hair in 3-6 months? yes please

We know that a hair part may be a minuscule portion of you, but it can play a huge part (sorry, sorry — we just can’t help ourselves) in your self-confidence. There are several ways to stop hair shedding if you think you have a thinning part vs a normal part. Remember to consider the following cause of hair loss: 

  • Genetics 

  • Tight hairstyles

  • Poor diet

  • Stress or sudden illness 

Once you find the cause of your thinning hair, finding the right hair loss treatment, whether it be minoxidil or biotin, will get your hair growth where you want it to be. Talk to your healthcare provider and schedule a consultation today if you’d like a personalized plan.

9 Sources

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

  1. Ho, C., & Zito, S. T. (2016, October 16). Androgenetic Alopecia - StatPearls. NCBI. Retrieved from
  2. Tosti, A., & Herskovitz, I. (2013, October 21). Female Pattern Hair Loss - PMC. NCBI. Retrieved from
  3. Pulickal, J. K., & Kaliyadan, F. (2022, August 8). Traction Alopecia - StatPearls. NCBI. Retrieved from
  4. Hair loss types: Alopecia areata overview. (n.d.). American Academy of Dermatology. Retrieved from
  5. Hughes, EC & Saleh, D. (2022) Telogen Effluvium. StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf Retrieved from
  6. Badri, T., Nessel, T. A., & Kumar, D. D. (2023, February 21). Minoxidil - StatPearls. NCBI. Retrieved from
  7. Levy, L., & Emer, J. J. (2013, August 29). Female pattern alopecia: current perspectives - PMC. NCBI. Retrieved April 25, 2023, from
  8. Punyani, S., Tosti, A., Hordinsky, M., Yeomans, D., & Shwartz, J. (2021, February 15). The Impact of Shampoo Wash Frequency on Scalp and Hair Conditions. NCBI. Retrieved from
  9. Almohanna, H., Ahmed, A., Tsatalis, J., & Tosti, A. (2018, December 13). The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. NCBI. Retrieved from

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Sara Harcharik Perkins, MD

Sara Harcharik Perkins, MD, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. She is the director of the Teledermatology Program, as well as the Associate Program Director of the Yale Dermatology Residency Training Program. Her research focuses on telemedicine and medical education. Her practice includes general medical dermatology, high-risk skin cancer, and procedural dermatology.

Dr. Perkins completed her undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania and obtained her medical degree at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She completed her medical internship at the Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by residency training in dermatology at Yale University, after which she joined the faculty.

Dr. Perkins has been a member of the Hims & Hers Medical Advisory Board since 2018. Her commentary has been featured in NBC News, Real Simple, The Cut, and Yahoo, among others.


  • Ahmad, M., Christensen, S. R., & Perkins, S. H. (2023). The impact of COVID-19 on the dermatologic care of nonmelanoma skin cancers among solid organ transplant recipients. JAAD international, 13, 98–99.

  • Ahmad, M., & Perkins, S. H. (2023). Learning dermatology in medical school: analysis of dermatology topics tested in popular question banks. Clinical and experimental dermatology, 48(4), 361–363.

  • Belzer, A., Leasure, A. C., Cohen, J. M., & Perkins, S. H. (2023). The association of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma with solid organ transplantation: a cross-sectional study of the All Of Us Research Program. International journal of dermatology, 62(10), e564–e566.

  • Ahmad, M., Marson, J. W., Litchman, G. H., Perkins, S. H., & Rigel, D. S. (2022). Usage and perceptions of teledermatology in 2021: a survey of dermatologists. International journal of dermatology, 61(7), e235–e237.

  • Asabor, E. N., Bunick, C. G., Cohen, J. M., & Perkins, S. H. (2021). Patient and physician perspectives on teledermatology at an academic dermatology department amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 84(1), 158–161.

  • Belzer, A., Olamiju, B., Antaya, R. J., Odell, I. D., Bia, M., Perkins, S. H., & Cohen, J. M. (2021). A novel medical student initiative to enhance provision of teledermatology in a resident continuity clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic: a pilot study. International journal of dermatology, 60(1), 128–129.

  • Cohen, J. M., Bunick, C. G., & Perkins, S. H. (2020). The new normal: An approach to optimizing and combining in-person and telemedicine visits to maximize patient care. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 83(5), e361–e362.

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