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My Hair Part is Getting Wider, Is it Hair Loss?

Katelyn Hagerty

Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 6/06/2023

Although hair loss is usually associated with men, as a woman, it’s common to experience some degree of hair thinning throughout your life.

In fact, research suggests that around 40 percent of women develop signs of female pattern hair loss (FPHL) by the age of 50. But what causes hair loss in older women?

One of the most common signs of hair loss in women is thinning that develops around your part line. Over time, this can cause your hair’s natural parting to appear wider than normal and give your hair a less dense appearance with reduced coverage.

If you’ve noticed your part line widening in the mirror, there’s no need to panic. Like other forms of hair loss, the pattern hair loss that causes a widening part is treatable. 

Below, we’ve covered the basics of hair loss in women, as well as how female pattern hair loss can affect your part line. We’ve also discussed several other forms of hair loss that may reduce your hair’s density and affect its appearance.

Finally, we’ve explained what you can do to treat a widening hair part, stop further hair loss and potentially regrow any hair that you’ve already lost.

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Is a Widening Hair Part Female Hair Loss?

Just like there are signs before a relationship goes kaput (no, the ghosting isn’t just in your head), you can think of a widening part as one of those little signs that could be leading to something bigger, like hair loss.

With male pattern baldness, the telltale signs of hair loss are pretty common to spot — a receding hairline or obvious thinning over the crown of the head, resulting in a bald spot. 

Female hair loss (also known as androgenetic alopecia), on the other hand, usually involves diffuse hair loss that first appears around your part line, versus at the temples. 

This can gradually become more severe, resulting in noticeable hair loss and a wider (and sadly, even wider) part as a clear pattern of hair loss develops. 

Over time, as hair follicle damage intensifies, a widening part line can develop into a “Christmas tree” pattern, with a wide part line at the front that narrows as it moves towards the back of your scalp. 

Hair loss can present itself in different ways, and not everyone is equally at risk. Experts believe that genetics play a significant role in this type of hair loss, and cause some women to be more sensitive to the effects of androgen hormones like DHT than others.

Females with FPHL may have other symptoms or general signs of hyperandrogenism, such as hirsutism (a.k.a. facial hair), acne, irregular periods, infertility and insulin resistance. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a type of hormonal abnormality, is also associated with FPHL.

However, these symptoms aren’t very common, and the link between androgens and female pattern hair loss still isn’t entirely clear.

If you feel like this sounds a whole lot like what you’re going through, you can learn more about female hair loss in this guide. 

Other Causes of a Widening Hair Part

Just like a breakup, hair loss can be caused by various factors. If you think you’re not dealing with androgenetic alopecia, there could be other potential causes of hair loss. 

  • Severe or chronic stress: No, it’s not just in your head. Stress can actually lead to hair loss, called telogen effluvium. Our article on is an awesome resource if you want to dig a little deeper.

  • Infections and illnesses. Telogen effluvium doesn’t just come into play with a toxic boss. Even a sudden illness, like COVID-19, can cause telogen effluvium hair loss.

  • Trauma and shock. Just like a sudden illness, surgery can cause stress on your body. If you’ve recently had surgery or undergone some other shock to your system, this can also be a factor.

  • Changes in hormone levels. Hormones can trigger many different effects, from acne to postpartum hair loss and post-menopausal hair loss. If you’re concerned, we recommend having your hormone levels checked by your healthcare provider. 

  • Dieting. Eating a well-balanced diet is key to healthy hair growth. If you’re a picky eater or know you’ve been reaching for more ice cream than spinach, you might want to read up on the best foods for healthy hair. Nutritional deficiencies can also affect your hair growth.  

  • Tension on your hair follicles. This form of hair loss, called traction alopecia, occurs with hairstyles that pull on the hair, causing targeted hair loss over time — think tight buns, slicked-back ponytails and braids. Learn more about ponytail hair loss in our article if you think this may be an issue for you. 

  • Styling and hair care techniques. As much as we love some golden highlights, regular chemical treatments or using a hot iron can damage hair. Over time, damaged hair can break and lead to hair loss. Ease up on these treatments if you think you’re dealing with breakage.

  • Medications. The side effects of certain prescription treatments can cause hair loss from medication. If you’ve experienced sudden hair loss and recently started taking a new medication, you may want to check with your healthcare provider. 

How to Fix a Wide Hair Part

We’re going to go back to relationships here. Just like therapy can save some couples,  there are different therapies you can also try to help fix a widening hairline. And hey, they don’t require you sitting around awkwardly on someone’s couch. 

Take Action Early with Minoxidil

One of the most popular treatments for hair loss is minoxidil, commonly sold under the brand name Rogaine®. Available as a topical or oral medication, it stimulates hair growth.

Though its exact mechanism of action is still unknown, it’s believed to work by encouraging more oxygen, blood and nutrients to the hair follicle. 

Topical minoxidil is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for female pattern hair loss. Unlike a lot of other hair loss treatments, minoxidil also has the data to back it up. In a 2014 placebo-controlled trial, researchers found that both 2% and 5% versions of topical minoxidil improved hair thinning.

If you’re interested in minoxidil, Hers offers the following kinds:

  • Minoxidil drops. This 2% solution uses a dropper to be applied directly to the areas you’re experiencing thinning (like along your part).

  • Oral minoxidil. If you’d rather not change your styling routine, this once-a-day pill is also a great option. Plus, studies have shown that low-dose oral minoxidil can be an effective treatment of numerous hair disorders, including female-patterned hair loss (FPHL). 

  • Topical finasteride and minoxidil spray: This spray-on combination of hair loss treatments is primarily prescribed for postmenopausal women. 

Try Spironolactone for Hormonal Changes

If you think your hair loss may be hormonal, spironolactone may be the right treatment for you. Spironolactone helps hair growth by decreasing the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  

Doctors may also prescribe spironolactone to help with androgenic alopecia, hirsutism, and acne, due to its effects on androgens. These issues can especially be common in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (also known as PCOS). 

If it seems like you’ve been dealing with blemishes along with a wider part, talk to your healthcare provider about spironolactone. They can determine the best dosage for you. 

Note that you should be on a reliable form of birth control if you opt for spironolactone. Antiandrogen drugs are potentially teratogenic, meaning they may cause fetal abnormalities. Animal studies have indicated fetal risk, so spironolactone comes with a Category C pregnancy rating from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If you’re planning to try for children soon or you’re already pregnant, you’ll need to consider another treatment option. 

Camouflage Your Hair Part

Back in the day, celebrity hairstylists would allegedly use eyeshadow to cover up their clients’ scalps so their hair looked thicker on the red carpet. Today, there are products made for exactly that. Hair powders usually contain pigment and fibers to help conceal scalp so thinning hair looks fuller. 

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Hair Transplant Surgery for Advanced Hair Loss

While surgery might seem major, it can be helpful when other hair loss treatments just don’t do the trick. Hair transplant surgery involves transplanting individual follicles of hair from one location to another. If you’re interested in this option, our guide to hair transplants for women will give you more details on all you need to know. 

Lifestyle Habits for Healthy Hair

Healthy hair is part genetics, part environmental and lifestyle factors. Using the right hair care products, giving those strands a little TLC and ensuring you eat a healthy diet are important for getting a lush head of hair. Some things you can do include: 

  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. If you think you may have a nutritional deficiency, try a supplement like our multivitamin gummies to help round things out.

  • Use a shampoo that will add volume and wash away excess sebum, which can lead to scalp issues. Healthy hair starts at the root (sorry, we had to!). If you want to learn more about proper scalp care, this guide will give you more tips. 

  • When you blow dry your hair, use the lowest heat setting and continuously move your hair dryer to avoid damaging your hair. Learn more about how to get stronger hair in our comprehensive guide. 

  • Detangle hair gently, and avoid yanking a brush aggressively through your strands. Instead, slowly brush through and avoid pulling on the hair roots. 

  • Stick to looser styles that put less pulling pressure on your hair follicles. 

  • Avoid using hair straighteners, curling irons, hot combs or other products that apply heat directly to your hair shaft.

  • If you smoke, try to stop. Smoking can damage your hair’s DNA and contribute to hair loss.

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Treating Your Wide Hair Part: What to Expect

While a wider part can feel alarming, there are definite steps you can take to help narrow the gap. And TBH, treating hair loss is probably easier than dating for some. But here’s what you should take away from this:

  • Figure out the root cause. Whether it’s stress-related hair loss or androgenic alopecia, knowing what you’re dealing with will help you figure out the best hair loss treatment. Which brings us to…

  • Know your treatment options. Different types of hair loss call for different measures. Changing up your routine with hair-thickening shampoos, rounding out your diet with a vitamin like biotin, or even taking medications like minoxidil and spironolactone are all considered effective.

  • Practice patience. Hair loss can be complicated to treat, and hair growth can take time. Be consistent with your treatment and wait at least three to four months to determine if your regimen is working. 

If you want to learn more about your options to treat hair loss, our guide to female pattern baldness is a great way to dig deeper. 

If you’ve already made the decision that you’re ready to dive in and get a healthcare provider-recommended hair loss treatment today, meet with one of our medical providers online from the comfort of your home, easy peasy.

15 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. Shannon, F., Christa, S., Lewei, D. & Carolyn, G. (2015, October). Demographics of women with female pattern hair loss and the effectiveness of spironolactone therapy. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 73 (4), 705–706. Retrieved from
  2. Ho, C.H., Sood, T. & Zito, P.M. (2021, November 15). Androgenetic Alopecia. StatPearls. Retrieved from
  3. Handelsman, D.J. (2020, October 5). Androgen Physiology, Pharmacology, Use and Misuse. Endotext. Retrieved from
  4. Testosterone. (2020, January 26). Retrieved from
  5. Davis, S. (2001, March). Testosterone deficiency in women. The Journal of Reproductive Medicine. 46 (3 Suppl), 291-6. Retrieved from
  6. Kinter, K.J. & Anekar, A.A. (2021, March 13). Biochemistry, Dihydrotestosterone. StatPearls. Retrieved from
  7. Herskovitz, I. & Tosti, A. (2013, October). Female Pattern Hair Loss. International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 11 (4), e9860. Retrieved from
  8. Hughes, E.C. & Saleh, D. (2021, June 8). Telogen Effluvium. StatPearls. Retrieved from
  9. Can COVID-19 Cause Hair Loss? (n.d.). Retrieved from
  10. How to Stop Damaging Your Hair. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  11. Hair Loss (Alopecia) and Cancer Treatment. (2020, January 15). Retrieved from
  12. Female pattern baldness. (2020, January 21). Retrieved from
  13. Badri, T., Nessel, T.A. & Kumar, D.D. (2021, December 19). Minoxidil. StatPearls. Retrieved from
  14. Trüeb, R.M. (2003). Association between smoking and hair loss: another opportunity for health education against smoking? Dermatology. 206 (3), 189-91. Retrieved from
  15. Hair Loss: Tips for Managing. (n.d.). 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.

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