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Female Temple Hair Loss: Causes, Prevention, Treatment
Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Updated on December 8, 2023

If you are wondering about the causes of female hair loss at the temples, you might be one of the 55% of women who are experiencing hair loss during their lifetime [1]. While temporal hair loss is more common for men than for women, some studies have found that as many as 15-30% of women over the age of 30 with female pattern baldness experience some temporal recession [2].

There can be multiple causes for female hair loss at the temples , ranging from traction alopecia, to telogen effluvium, androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness) or hypothyroidism. And seeing a trichologist is often necessary to identify the reason your hair is falling out at the temples and to obtain the right treatment.

Keep reading this article to find out all you need to know about:

  • The main causes of female hair loss at the temples
  • Ways to prevent female hair loss at the temples
  • Whether female hair loss at the temples is permanent
  • The best ways to treat temple hair loss in women
Table of Contents

Does everyone have thinner hair at temples?

Yes, studies show that everyone has a lower hair density at their temples than at the crown or the back of their head [3]. That means the hair in this area will normally appear thinner than the rest. 

However, if you notice that you are shedding more than 50-100 hairs a day, experience more hair loss than usual at the sides of your head or are starting to develop an M-shaped hairline, you might be experiencing the first signs of hair thinning and balding.

It is a good idea to see a trichologist if you suspect excessive hair loss at the temples because if detected early, the thinning can be stopped and often reversed. But waiting too long can lead to a worsening of your condition, which may become irreversible and require a hair transplant.  

What causes female hair loss on the sides of the head?

There are several conditions which can cause hair loss in women, especially at the temples, though it usually takes a hair specialist to be able to correctly distinguish between them:

1. Traction alopecia

This condition affects 31.7% of women with Afro hair. However, it seems that it is not the hair type itself, but the hair styling choices that lead to its occurrence [4].

Traction alopecia develops from the overuse of tight hairdos. Braids, tight buns and even ponytails can cause hair loss if worn too frequently, as they put continuous stress on your hair follicles, to the point where they are permanently damaged. Wearing heavy hair extensions can cause hair loss as well if worn for long periods of time. 

The temples and hairline are the most common areas to develop traction alopecia, as those regions are often under the most stress from tight hairdos.

Depending on the way you style your hair, you may experience even hair loss on both sides of your head or you may show more hair thinning on one side of the head if more pressure has been put on it. 

Example of traction alopecia at the temples

2. Telogen effluvium

Telogen effluvium is a temporary condition where you experience excessive hair shedding and in some cases, trichodynia (a burning sensation on the scalp) [5]. This usually happens 2-3 months after a physically or psychologically traumatic event, such as injury, illness, high amounts of stress and anxiety, childbirth, etc [6].

Normally, telogen effluvium causes diffuse hair thinning all over your scalp, but your temples and your crown can sometimes show the most hair loss. It should not, however, affect your normal hair parting width.

In most cases, telogen effluvium resolves itself in about 6 months, with no treatment necessary, provided that the event which caused it has ended. However, in rare situations, this condition can become chronic and last for years. This chronic version is more likely to cause temporal recession [7].

example of temple hair loss due to telogen effluvium

3. Androgenetic alopecia

Female pattern baldness occurs in approximately 42% of women by the time they are 50 [8]. It develops as the levels of oestrogens decrease with age, enhancing the effects of an androgen hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This hormone binds to the hair follicles, making them shrink and stop producing hair. 

While male pattern baldness usually causes a receding hairline and progressive hair loss at the temples and the crown, female pattern hair loss manifests differently. It usually creates diffuse hair thinning and a widening of the midline parting, but hairline recession in women is rare and the temples are often spared [9][10].

However, there are some situations where it can also lead to temporal recession and frontal balding and in rare cases, even a bald spot on the crown [11].

frontal balding due to androgenetic alopecia

4. Frontal fibrosing alopecia

Frontal fibrosing alopecia is a rare condition and 85-93% of cases occur in postmenopausal women.  Its causes are still not well understood – they are likely to be a combination of genetic, hormonal and environmental factors.

Women who experience this type of alopecia normally face significant hairline recession, as well as hair loss at the temples and the eyebrows [12].

frontal balding due to frontal fibrosing alopecia

5. Diffuse alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition which causes round bald spots anywhere on your scalp. However, there is a specific kind of alopecia areata which causes diffuse rather than patchy hair loss and predominantly affects the hairline and temples.

It is called diffuse alopecia areata and you can recognize it by the tell-tale empty yellow and black dots on your scalp and by the small, fine hair that can develop at the front and sides of your head [13].

Diffuse alopecia areata
Diffuse alopecia areata [14]

6. Hormonal imbalances

Hormones play a significant part in hair growth and when they are imbalanced, they can lead to hair loss. 


When well balanced, thyroid hormones are responsible for extending the growth phase of the hair growth cycle and for delaying the transition to the shedding phase.

Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland, can lead to telogen effluvium [15], which, in turn, can make your hair thin out at the temples. 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Women with PCOS may experience hair loss at the temples because they produce an abnormally high amount of androgen hormones, including testosterone.

If this high amount of testosterone is processed by the body into excessive amounts of dihydrotestosterone, it can lead to androgenetic alopecia.  

Side effects of hormonal medication

Hormone-based medication, such as birth control pills, can cause hair loss, as they decrease your level of oestrogens, disrupting the balance between your oestrogen and androgen hormones. An excess of androgen hormones can lead to female pattern hair loss.  

hair loss at the temples

7. Nutritional deficiencies 

Being on a very restrictive diet, experiencing an eating disorder or simply having a diet that does not cover the minerals and fatty acids and vitamins you need for hair growth can lead to dry, brittle hair which breaks off easily and hair loss.

This thinning may be more visible around the temples, since hair is already growing thinner there.

broccoli on plate

Can stress cause temple hair loss?

Yes, significant amounts of stress and anxiety can cause hair loss, among other ways they can negatively impact your body. It is one of the most common triggers of conditions which cause excessive hair shedding, such as telogen effluvium. 

Moreover, stress causes a vicious cycle when it comes to female hair loss. On one hand, it can cause your hair to fall out. On the other hand, experiencing hair loss can lead to even more stress and anxiety, which, in turn, can intensify the shedding [16]. 

That is why it is a good idea to take some time to relax during busy times, to engage in stress-reduction practices such as breathing exercises or meditation or to enlist the assistance of a psychotherapist for managing your anxiety. 

Can hair loss at the temples grow back?

In order to be able to tell if your hair loss at the temples will grow back without medication, it is important to know what is causing it and how advanced the condition is:

  • Telogen effluvium can usually be expected to resolve itself without intervention.
  • Traction alopecia may or may not be reversible if you stop wearing tight hairdos (depending on the extent of the damage to the hair follicles). 
  • With alopecia areata, it is common to see spontaneous hair regrowth after some time, even in the absence of treatment. 
  • Androgenetic alopecia requires medication to be stopped and possibly reversed. 
  • Frontal fibrosing alopecia can be stopped from progressing with medication, but a hair transplant is usually the only way to regain good hair density around the temples and hairline.   
  • PCOS and hypothyroidism-induced hair loss are likely to be reversed once these endocrine conditions are treated and kept under control
  • Temple hair loss due to nutritional deficiencies is usually reversible once your diet becomes more balanced. 

How do you prevent temple hair loss?

Some forms of temple hair loss, such as female pattern baldness, cannot be prevented by lifestyle choices alone. But there are also preventable forms of hair thinning at the temples and the best things you can do are the following:

  • Avoid wearing tight hairdos or heavy extensions too frequently. If you must wear them, make sure you massage your scalp gently for a few minutes after taking them down, especially around your temples.  
  • Reduce the levels of stress in your life.
  • Avoid excessive heat styling on your temples. If you must heat style, use heat protection beforehand. 
  • Limit the use of harsh chemicals on your temple hair, as bleach and dye can cause hair loss.
  • Get regular checkups from your gynaecologist or endocrinologist, to make sure your hormones are well-balanced.
  • Eat a healthy diet, rich in vitamins and nutrients, such as Vitamin C for hair growth, Vitamin E for hair growth, biotin for hair loss, iron, zinc, selenium, and Omega 3 for hair

How can you treat temple hair loss?

As there is no universal cure for hair thinning, how you treat temple hair loss depends on the condition which caused it. If you are concerned about your thinning at the temples, book a consultation now with one of our top trichologists. 

They will perform a thorough examination and if necessary, perform a dermoscopy or order blood tests for hair loss to give you a precise diagnosis. Once they have established the cause of your temple hair loss, they can recommend one of the best hair loss treatments for womens

Should you find out that your hair loss at the temples cannot be treated with medication alone, don’t be discouraged. You might still be a good candidate to get a temple hair transplant for temple hair loss.

A significant number of women have hair transplants, as the procedure is fast, safe and has excellent results, as you can see for yourself in our before and after hair transplant gallery.

Regardless of whether you opt for a FUE or FUT type surgery, the best hair transplant clinics in the UK have a success rate of 97-100%. And even though the hair transplant cost may be higher than that of medication, a hair transplant is permanent, so you can undergo surgery once and enjoy luxurious locks for many years to come.

Female Temple Hair Loss: Causes, Prevention, Treatment, Wimpole Clinic

Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)Updated on December 8, 2023
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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