How To Find a Dermatologist Specializing in Female Hair Loss | hers (2023)

How To Find a Dermatologist Specializing in Female Hair Loss | hers (1)

Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 10/5/2021

We typically think about our hair in cosmetic contexts. Your hair gets styled, cut, colored and otherwise cosmetically altered by professionals who are largely focused in their expertise on how hair looks.

So if you’ve got long hair and want to make it short, you go to someone who knows how to wield a pair of scissors with precision.

But what about the opposite situation? What happens when your hair isn’t growing at all, or is beginning to show signs of damage?

Hair specialists aren’t a common topic in the medical industry for a reason: hair doctors are typically specialists within another specialty field: dermatology.

So if you have hair problems, you go to a dermatologist. But will just any dermatologist do? Maybe not.

If you’re having serious hair issues (whether they be from a medical condition, a stressful or traumatic event or anything else), it’s important to find the right healthcare professional for your locks.

How to do that is actually quite simple, once you know what questions to ask, and where to look.

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Healthy Hair and Hair Loss: The Basics

Before we get into the details, let’s take a deep breath and remember that some hair loss is actually perfectly normal, every day.

The average person, for instance, has about 100,000 follicles of hair just on her head, and they will typically expect to lose 100 strands or more from “normal” hair loss every day.

This so-called normal hair loss is really just part of your hair’s three follicle life cycle phases, consisting of the anagen phase, catagen phase and the final telogen phase.

Hair growth as we know it happens in the first, anagen phase, during which time about 90 percent of your follicles are actively growing longer.

The catagen phase comes next; this signals the beginning of the end for those active follicles, which leads into that death-y telogen resting phase.

This is where the hair falls out and the follicle itself rests until such a time as it starts the cycle all over again.

So to sum it all up, “normal” hair is actually only about 90 percent of your total potential growing capacity, with about 10 percent of your living follicles resting at any one given time.

So hair loss, then, is simply what happens when this delicate balance becomes unbalanced.

What Is a Hair Loss Dermatologist?

Hair is technically part of your skin (which happens to be your body’s largest organ, by the way), and while we don’t normally think of hair as an element of skin, the two are crucially linked in function and health.

A hair loss dermatologist, then, is just a dermatologist who has specific experience or skill sets related to hair health within their dermal specializations.

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Typically, a hair loss dermatologist can help you figure out what’s going on with your hair in relation to your skin.

Did your hair fall out following some kind of rash? Are you noticing thinning after switching shampoos? What’s up with all that dandruff? Where did this noticeable hair loss come from?

If these are the types of questions you find yourself asking, consulting a dermatologist that specializes in hair loss could most definitely help provide some insight into what you’re dealing with.

Why Women Lose Their Hair

From what you read above, you’ve probably gathered that “hair loss” is actually “excessive” hair loss — specifically the shift from those normal percentages to a new, imbalanced ratio with more follicles remaining in the telogen phase.

Hair could end up stuck in telogen for many reasons, among them: autoimmune diseases, stress or even trauma to your scalp or body generally, like a major wound or surgery.

Hair loss may also happen due to your genetics or a hormonal imbalance.

There are a few common types of hair loss women experience that a hair loss dermatologist will likely look to diagnose, if need be:

  • Androgenetic Alopecia. Male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss is the most common name for androgenetic alopecia: a condition caused by fluctuations in the levels of your hormones (specifically androgens). It typically manifests as women age, and especially as we approach menopause. This is the most common form of hair loss.

  • Telogen Effluvium. Telogen effluvium typically appears as a pattern of even thinning across your scalp and is typically caused by a stressor like a major surgery, some bodily trauma, serious illness, and sometimes by giving birth or having radiation. Luckily, telogen effluvium will resolve itself eventually — especially after the stressor is addressed.

  • Traction Alopecia. Traction alopecia, simply enough, is hair loss due to traction on the follicle, which can result in scalp injuries — it’s sometimes called traumatic alopecia. This includes tight ponytails or buns, braids, cornrows, etc.

  • Alopecia Areata. Hair loss under the umbrella of alopecia areata is actually a symptom of an autoimmune disease. Alopecia areata is what happens when your immune system attacks your scalp or your follicles, mistaking them for foreign bodies. There’s no cure, but there are effective treatment strategies.

The lesson here is that not all hair loss is created equal, folks. And different types of hair loss require different treatment strategies.

And guess who happens to specialize in recognizing, diagnosing and treating different hair loss types. That’s right — a hair loss dermatologist. Bam!

Treatment for Hair Loss: What Would A Hair Loss Dermatologist Recommend?

When you start seeing signs of hair loss, it’s important to act. When you meet with a hair loss dermatologist, their first job is helping you figure out what type of hair loss you’re suffering from. Their second job is helping you determine the best course of hair loss treatment.

While each professional is going to recommend a different course of treatment, and the forms of hair loss themselves are different, here are a few of the treatments for hair loss your hair loss dermatology professional may speak to you about.

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  • Minoxidil. FDA-approved to help treat the effects of hair loss in women, minoxidil is a topical medication for hair loss that’s believed to work by stimulating blood flow to the affected area, bringing nutrients to the hair follicles and ultimately promoting growth.

  • Saw Palmetto. Another popular hair care ingredient in shampoos, conditioners and other products, saw palmetto works to stop the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body, which is a contributing factor in some common types of hair loss.

  • Spironolactone. This medication, an antiandrogen, is prescribed to help stop the production of testosterone in the body. And because DHT is a derivative of testosterone, lower levels of testosterone mean lower levels of DHT on your scalp.

A hair loss dermatologist may also suggest things like changes in your lifestyle and diet, different vitamins and supplements, removing certain stressors from your life, etc., depending on what type of hair loss you’re dealing with.

Where to Find a Hair Dermatologist

One of the best places to search for a dermatologist is actually through the American Academy of Dermatology Association website.

They allow you to search by zip code and name, as well as to filter for things like conditions to be treated (hair loss), the focus of their practice (cosmetic, medical, etc.), and procedure — including hair transplants.

There are some things you may want to try and decipher about your hair issues beforehand, like what kind of hair loss you’re dealing with.

While it’s a healthcare professional’s job to diagnose your issues, knowing more about the kind of hair loss you may be experiencing can help you find the right professional, so let’s look at a few common hair loss types.

If you need some help, you can always reach out to your primary healthcare provider and tell them what’s going on.

They should be able to recommend a specialist that makes sense with your location, your insurance, who they’ve worked with and can vet, etc.

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The Final Word on Finding a Hair Loss Dermatologist

Dermatology professionals help with everything skin. If you have a rash that won’t go away, if you’ve noticed a new growth or a suspicious mole on your skin or even if you’re having hair issues, a dermatology professional is likely going to be one of the first calls you make.

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A hair loss dermatologist is a dermatology professional that specializes specifically in the relationship between your hair, your skin, and the way the two intertwine.

If you’re having skin-hair issues, a hair loss dermatologist will help you get to the root of the issue, while also helping you learn how to properly treat it.

They’ll help you figure out which medications may be most effective, which lifestyle changes you should be looking to change, etc.

The most important first step, however, is finding one that makes sense for you.

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. Rafi, A. W., & Katz, R. M. (2011). Pilot Study of 15 Patients Receiving a New Treatment Regimen for Androgenic Alopecia: The Effects of Atopy on AGA. ISRN dermatology, 2011, 241953.
  2. Ho CH, Sood T, Zito PM. Androgenetic Alopecia. Updated 2020 Sep 29. In: StatPearls Internet. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from:
  3. Suchonwanit, P., Thammarucha, S., & Leerunyakul, K. (2019). Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review. Drug design, development and therapy, 13, 2777–2786. Retrieved from
  4. Androgenetic alopecia: MedlinePlus Genetics. (2020, August 18). Retrieved April 19, 2021, from
  5. Burg, D., Yamamoto, M., Namekata, M., Haklani, J., Koike, K., & Halasz, M. (2017). Promotion of anagen, increased hair density and reduction of hair fall in a clinical setting following identification of FGF5-inhibiting compounds via a novel 2-stage process. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 10, 71–85. Retrieved from
  6. Martel JL, Miao JH, Badri T. Anatomy, Hair Follicle. Updated 2020 Aug 15. In: StatPearls Internet. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from:
  7. Malkud S. (2015). Telogen Effluvium: A Review. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research : JCDR, 9(9), WE01–WE3.
  8. Do you have hair loss or hair shedding? (n.d.). Retrieved January 11, 2021, from
  9. Hair loss types: Alopecia areata overview. (n.d.). Retrieved January 11, 2021, from
  10. Androgenetic alopecia: MedlinePlus Genetics. (2020, August 18). Retrieved April 19, 2021, from
  11. Publishing, H. (n.d.). Hair Loss. Retrieved January 11, 2021, from
  12. Piérard-Franchimont, C., & Piérard, G. E. (2013). Alterations in hair follicle dynamics in women. BioMed research international, 2013, 957432.
  13. Marks, L. S., Hess, D. L., Dorey, F. J., Luz Macairan, M., Cruz Santos, P. B., & Tyler, V. E. (2001). Tissue effects of saw palmetto and finasteride: use of biopsy cores for in situ quantification of prostatic androgens. Urology, 57(5), 999–1005. Retrieved from
  14. Piérard-Franchimont, C., & Piérard, G. E. (2013). Alterations in hair follicle dynamics in women. BioMed research international, 2013, 957432.
  15. Pulickal JK, Kaliyadan F. Traction Alopecia. Updated 2021 Aug 12. In: StatPearls Internet. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from:
(Video) Female Pattern Hair Loss & Restoration Tips from A Dermatologist

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.


Can a dermatologist do anything for a female hair loss? ›

Injections of corticosteroids: To help your hair regrow, your dermatologist injects this medication into the bald (or thinning) areas. These injections are usually given every 4 to 8 weeks as needed, so you will need to return to your dermatologist's office for treatment.

What is the most effective treatment for women's hair loss? ›

The only medicine approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat female pattern baldness is minoxidil: It is applied to the scalp. For women, the 2% solution or 5% foam is recommended. Minoxidil may help hair grow in about 1 in 4 or 5 of women.

What can doctors prescribe for female hair loss? ›

Hair Loss in Women: Treatments
  • Minoxidil (Rogaine)
  • Androgen Receptor Inhibitors.
  • Estrogen and Progesterone.
  • Oral Contraceptives.
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar)
  • Dutasteride (Avodart)
  • Cyproterone Acetate with Ethinyloestradiol (Diane 35, Diane 50)

How do dermatologists determine what type of hair loss you have? ›

Pull Test and Tug Test. This simple test measures the severity of hair loss. During a pull test, a dermatologist grasps small sections of hair, about 40 strands, from different parts of the scalp and gently tugs. If six or more strands fall out, you have what's known as active hair loss.

What illnesses cause hair loss in females? ›

There are a wide range of conditions that can bring on hair loss, with some of the most common being pregnancy, thyroid disorders, and anemia. Others include autoimmune diseases, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and skin conditions such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis, Rogers says.

Is there any way to stop female hair loss? ›

Avoiding smoking. Keeping vitamin A intake low. Limiting sun exposure. Eating a healthy diet or taking supplements that are high in biotin, a B-vitamin that helps stimulate hair growth.

What is the best vitamin for female hair loss? ›

“The best vitamins for hair growth include B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, biotin and iron.
  • Vitamin B. Complex B vitamins play a role in hair growth, and are “essential for metabolism and nervous system function,” says Dr. ...
  • Biotin. ...
  • Vitamin C. ...
  • Iron. ...
  • Keratin. ...
  • Vitamin D. ...
  • Zinc. ...
  • Vitamin A.
Jan 13, 2023

What lack of vitamin causes hair loss? ›

Only riboflavin, biotin, folate, and vitamin B12 deficiencies have been associated with hair loss.

What blood test shows hair loss? ›

CRP Test. The C-reactive protein (CRP) blood test is another way to determine inflammation levels associated with alopecia. CRP is an established marker for autoimmune inflammation. So, you can expect to take this test if you are suspected of having alopecia areata.

Does insurance cover dermatology for hair loss? ›

According to Mayo Clinic, if your hair loss is caused by a medical condition, the cost of some treatments might be covered by insurance but in most cases, insurance will not cover hair loss treatment because hair loss is not a medical condition itself.

What blood tests for female hair loss? ›

Tests for Hair Loss in Women
  • Hormone levels (DHEA, testosterone, androstenedione, prolactin, follicular stimulating hormone, and leutinizing hormone)
  • Serum iron, serum ferritin, and total iron binding capacity (TIBC)
  • Thyroid levels (T3, T4, TSH)
  • VDRL (a screening test for syphilis)
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
Sep 28, 2021

What are the three most common types of abnormal hair loss? ›

Types of Hair Loss
  • Androgenetic Alopecia. Androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of hair loss, affecting more than 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States. ...
  • Telogen Effluvium. ...
  • Anagen Effluvium. ...
  • Alopecia Areata. ...
  • Tinea Capitis. ...
  • Cicatricial Alopecia. ...
  • Hair Shaft Abnormalities. ...
  • Hypotrichosis.

What drug is FDA approved for hair loss? ›

In June 2022 , a medication called baricitinib (Olumiant) received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat severe cases of alopecia areata. It's the first FDA-approved systemic treatment for alopecia. This type of systemic treatment helps treat hair loss all over the body.

What organ can cause hair loss? ›

Either an underactive thyroid (a medical condition called hypothyroidism), or an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), can result in hair loss because each condition causes a hormonal imbalance.

Why is my hair thinning and falling out female? ›

What causes FPHL (Female Pattern Hair Loss)? Genes: Your family's genes can cause thinning of hair along the top of your head. Aging: Hormone changes as you age can cause balding. Menopause: This type of hair loss often gets worse when estrogen is lost during menopause.

What underlying condition can cause hair loss? ›

Symptom of a medical illness — Hair loss can be one of the symptoms of a medical illness, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), syphilis, a thyroid disorder (such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism), a sex-hormone imbalance or a serious nutritional problem, especially a deficiency of protein, iron, zinc or ...

Can hair grow back after thinning female? ›

Sometimes simply addressing a medical condition prompting hair loss will be enough for the hair to regrow. In other instances, a woman might consider a medication like minoxidil (Rogaine), which helps with certain types of hair loss, or another treatment to replace or regrow lost hair.

How can a woman stop hair loss at 60? ›

Bergfeld offers these tips to love your hair at any age:
  1. Wash less frequently. How frequently you wash your hair really depends on the type of hair you have. ...
  2. Don't forget conditioners and volumizers. ...
  3. Choose the right products. ...
  4. Eat a complete, protein-rich diet. ...
  5. Check medications with your doctor.
Jun 30, 2020

How much vitamin D should a woman take for hair loss? ›

That is why we recommend supplementing with between 5,000-10,000 IU per day in order to achieve healthy vitamin D levels (40-80 ng/ml).” The key to resilient, strong hair less prone to falling out lies in the follicles.

What vitamin tablet should I take for hair loss? ›

Biotin and Hair Vitamins capsules are rich in antioxidants. Formulated with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B5, the capsules help to boost hair growth and also keep the skin free from aging. These capsules are RDA certified, sugar-free, gluten-free, and soy-free.

How much vitamin B12 should I take daily for hair growth? ›

How much B12 should I take daily for hair growth? The lowest amount recommended that should be traceable in your body is 2.4 mcg. While you are looking for a difference in your hair growth you can increase this dosage to 3 mcg and beyond.

Does vitamin B12 deficiency cause hair loss? ›

Vitamin B12 helps in making red blood cells that carry oxygen to your hair follicles. As a result, when vitamin B12 levels are low, your hair follicles may not be able to grow new hair efficiently. This will result in hair loss.

What is the main cause of sudden hair loss? ›

Sudden hair loss is typically a sign of two conditions: telogen effluvium or alopecia areata. Telogen effluvium is commonly caused by stress, which increases the natural rate of hair loss. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes your body to attack its hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.

What is vitamin B12 good for hair? ›

However, vitamin B12 may give you the appearance of fuller and thicker hair because the increase in oxygen to hair follicles can help stimulate the replacement of lost strands. Vitamin B12 may also help give your hair an overall healthier appearance since intake of enough B12 is responsible for stronger hair shafts.

How do you know if your hair loss is hormonal? ›

Hormonal Hair Loss: Gradual Thinning Of Hair

In women, androgenic alopecia begins with a gradual widening of the part line, followed by increased thinning starting at the top of the head. “A patient may begin to notice a thinner ponytail or may say 'I see more of my scalp,'” St. Surin-Lord says.

What autoimmune diseases cause hair loss? ›

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system mistakenly attacks a part of your body. When you have alopecia areata, cells in your immune system surround and attack your hair follicles (the part of your body that makes hair).

How do I know if my hair loss is serious? ›

When to see a doctor. See your doctor if you're concerned about how much hair you are losing every day. A gradual thinning on the top of your head, the appearance of patchy or bald spots on your scalp, and full-body hair loss are signs that there may be an underlying health condition.

What is the new hair loss treatment? ›

In June 2022, the FDA approved the first treatment for a type of hair loss in which the immune system attacks hair follicles, known as alopecia areata. The drug, called baricitinib, was already approved for the treatment of another autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis.

Can the doctor give you anything for hair loss? ›

Finasteride and minoxidil are the main treatments for male pattern baldness. Minoxidil can also be used to treat female pattern baldness.

How long iron tablets take to stop hair loss? ›

Wait at least three months to give supplements and dietary changes a chance to work. If you don't see any improvements in hair loss after this time, ask your doctor if you should get your ferritin and iron levels retested.

What is the name of the hormone that causes hair loss? ›

DHT: The hormone behind hair loss

DHT is found in skin, hair follicles, and the prostate. The actions of DHT and the sensitivity of hair follicles to DHT is what causes hair loss. DHT also acts in the prostate. Without DHT, the prostate doesn't develop normally.

What is female hair loss called? ›

The main type of hair loss in women is the same as it is men. It's called androgenetic alopecia, or female (or male) pattern hair loss.

What old medicine grows new hair? ›

It is minoxidil, an old and well-known hair-loss treatment drug used in a very different way. Rather than being applied directly to the scalp, it is being prescribed in very low-dose pills.

What is the safest hair loss treatment? ›

Minoxidil is safe and effective when people use it properly. It is more effective in individuals who are under 40 years of age. A 2019 review notes that topical minoxidil is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in males and females.

What is the only FDA approved ingredient that can help regrow hair? ›

There are only two products that currently are approved by the FDA to increase hair growth and treat different types of hair loss: finasteride and minoxidil.

What is the hair breakthrough 2022? ›

Irvine, Calif., June 30, 2022 — University of California, Irvine-led researchers have discovered that a signaling molecule called SCUBE3 potently stimulates hair growth and may offer a therapeutic treatment for androgenetic alopecia, a common form of hair loss in both women and men.

What medication does a dermatologist prescribe for hair loss? ›

The most common options include:
  • Minoxidil (Rogaine). Over-the-counter (nonprescription) minoxidil comes in liquid, foam and shampoo forms. ...
  • Finasteride (Propecia). This is a prescription drug for men. ...
  • Other medications. Other oral options include spironolactone (Carospir, Aldactone) and oral dutasteride (Avodart).
Mar 26, 2022

What is the highest rated hair loss treatment? ›

What's the most effective hair loss treatment? Minoxidil (Rogaine) is regarded as one of the most effective hair loss treatments. Topical minoxidil can be an effective treatment for androgenic hair loss,. Some studies demonstrate improvement in up to 70 percent of users.


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