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Female Temple Hair Loss: Causes, Prevention, Treatment
Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Updated on June 9, 2024

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 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

What causes female hair loss at the temples?

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 distinguish between them correctly:

Woman with traction alopecia

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 [5]. 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. 

How to treat traction alopecia: This condition does not usually require any treatment. It simply resolves once you stop wearing tight hairstyles and your hair follicles have had a chance to heal. However, if you are experiencing a persistent form, you can try stimulating your follicles for hair growth with medication such as topical Minoxidil. Dermarolling for hair growth and low-level laser therapy for hair growth might help as well, as could PRP hair treatments.

Woman with telogen effluvium

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) [7]. 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 [8].  

Normally, telogen effluvium causes diffuse hair thinning all over your scalp, but your temples and 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 [9].

How to treat telogen effluvium: Minoxidil may help improve your hair density if you have developed chronic telogen effluvium. Therapies such as derma-rolling, PRP or low-level light therapy may also help stimulate your hair growth. If you are looking for a natural treatment, black seed oil for hair has been proven to yield good results in regulating your natural hair growth cycle and curbing this condition.

Woman with androgenetic alopecia

3. Androgenetic alopecia

Female pattern baldness occurs in approximately 42% of women by age 50 [10]. 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 the 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, frontal balding and, in rare cases, even a bald spot on the crown [13].

How to treat androgenetic alopecia: Female pattern hair loss is usually treated with Minoxidil for women. If you have already reached menopause, you may also be prescribed Finasteride, but it is not recommended for premenopausal women, as it can produce birth defects. If you would like to try therapy, PRP, red light therapy, and derma rolling have all been found effective in improving the symptoms of androgenetic alopecia.

As for natural alternatives, you can try evidence-based remedies, such as rosemary oil for hair growth and pumpkin seed oil for hair. However, if none of the above treatments yield satisfying results, you may want to get a female hair transplant.

Woman with frontal fibrosing 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 experience significant hairline recession, hair loss at the temples, and eyebrow loss [15].  

How to treat frontal fibrosing alopecia: This condition cannot be cured and there is little evidence of treatment effectiveness in managing its symptoms. However, some women experience some relief when treated with Minoxidil combined with Finasteride, topical or injectable corticosteroids, or anti-inflammatory medication such as calcineurin inhibitors [15].  

Woman with diffuse alopecia areata
Diffuse alopecia areata [16]

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 recognise 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 [17].

How to treat diffuse alopecia areata: This rare type of alopecia areata has a good prognosis, meaning that in many women, it is likely to go into remission within 6 months of onset regardless of treatment [18].

However, if it persists, it is generally treated with topical Minoxidil, topical or injectable corticosteroids and/or immunotherapy. In some cases, red light therapy may also help hair regrowth. Some people with stable alopecia areata also make good candidates for a natural-looking hair transplant.  

Woman with a thyroid hormonal imbalance
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 [19], 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.

How to treat hormonal imbalance-induced hair loss: The best way to improve hair loss due to hormonal imbalances is to rebalance your hormones. This is often achieved by treating the underlying cause with specific systemic medication.

If your hair loss is caused by  PCOS, you can also try female pattern hair loss treatments, such as Minoxidil or natural remedies, such as rosemary oil. If your temple hair loss is produced by your birth control medication, you may want to consult your gynaecologist about alternative contraceptive options.

Diet that causes nutritional deficiencies

7. Nutritional deficiencies 

Being on a very restrictive diet, experiencing an eating disorder or simply having vitamin deficiency can cause hair loss. This hair shedding may be more visible around the temples since hair is already growing thinner there. It is important to maintain a well-balanced diet and get all the necessary nutrients for your hair to grow thick, shiny and healthy.

How to treat nutritional deficiencies: If your nutritional deficiency is caused by severe dieting or inadequate intake of certain food groups, improving your dietary habits may result in hair regrowth. However, if it is caused by nutrient absorption problems, your healthcare provider might need to help you treat the underlying cause.

While supplementing the vitamins and minerals you are missing may lead to hair regrowth in some cases, it is unnecessary to happen in all cases (or it may happen partially). If you still don’t see satisfactory regrowth once you have resolved your nutritional deficit, you may need to use hair growth medication, such as Minoxidil.  

Does everyone have thinner temple hair?

Yes, studies show that everyone has a lower hair density at their temples than at the crown or at the back of their head [4]. 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.  

Stressed woman

Can stress cause female hair loss at the temples?

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 [20]. 

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. 

Woman wondering if her temple hair loss will grow back

Can female 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 is 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. 
Woman preventing temple hair loss by untying her hair

How do you prevent female 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 or quit smoking – nicotine causes vasoconstriction, which reduces blood supply to your hair follicles. It can also cause inflammation throughout your body.
  • Reduce the levels of stress in your life – meditating, exercising or engaging in relaxing social activities can keep you healthier and help improve your hair density.
  • Avoid excessive heat styling on your temples. It dries out your hair, making it brittle and easy to break off. 
  • Limit the use of harsh chemicals on your temple hair, as bleach and hair dye can cause hair loss. Try choosing a gentle shampoo or conditioner without lauryl/laureth sulphate, silicones or parabens. 
  • 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. 
  • See a trichologist if you notice any signs of a scalp condition, such as excessive hair shedding, redness or inflammation on your scalp, tenderness, itching, pustules, etc.
Woman getting treatment for hair loss at the temples

How can you treat female hair loss at the temples?

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 women.

  • Minoxidil – This is one of the most versatile hair loss medications. It works by dilating the small vessels in your scalp so more blood-carrying oxygen and nutrients can reach your hair follicles. Minoxidil can be used to treat androgenetic alopecia, chronic telogen effluvium, alopecia areata and other types of hair loss.   
  • Finasteride – This medication is very effective against androgenetic alopecia, as it can reduce the dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in your blood. This male hormone binds to the androgen receptors in your hair follicles, making them smaller and unable to produce hair. However, only postmenopausal women can safely use Finasteride, as it can cause birth defects and hormonal imbalances. 
  • CorticosteroidsSteroid creams are often used to reduce inflammation in autoimmune conditions that cause hair loss, such as alopecia areata, frontal fibrosing alopecia or scalp psoriasis. However, if the condition is too advanced, intralesional steroid injections can be more effective.   
  • Derma rolling for hair growth – Also known as microneedling, this therapy involves using a small tool to create micropunctures in your scalp. These microscopic wounds are painless, but they trigger your body’s natural healing response. This can help repair your hair follicles and improve hair growth. Moreover, using a derma roller on your scalp can improve the absorption of topical medication. 
  • Red light therapy for hair growth – This type of therapy uses focused beams of red or near-infrared light. They are absorbed by your scalp and activate your cell mitochondria, allowing more energy to reach your hair follicles. It can be used to improve symptoms in a number of hair loss conditions, from androgenetic alopecia to chronic telogen effluvium or alopecia areata. 
  • Hair transplant – 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%.

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

Frequently asked questions:

If you are experiencing hair loss at the temples and would like to know more about this subject, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:

That depends on the cause of your temple hair loss. For example, traction alopecia is not likely to spread unless you continue applying tension to your hair. However, female pattern baldness can indeed progress. It is a good idea to see a hair doctor for an accurate, personalised answer to this question.

There are some natural remedies which have scientifically documented hair growth properties, such as rosemary oil for hair growth or blackseed oil for hair. However, while they can increase hair density in certain conditions, such as androgenetic alopecia, traction alopecia or telogen effluvium, they cannot treat all types of hair loss.

Moreover, it can take months to see results and not all women respond the same to them. Normally, there is no harm in trying these natural products. However, if your temple hair loss seems to be progressing, it is best to get it diagnosed and treated by a hair specialist.

You can cover up thinning temples by using hair-thickening spray. It contains microfibres that cling to your existing strands, making your hair look fuller. You can also adopt one of the best female hairstyles for a receding hairline.

Accessorising with a headband or a fascinator is also an option. Just avoid wearing anything heavy in your hair to prevent traction alopecia.  

If your hair is thinning at the temples and treatment has not proven successful, you may experience frustration and distress. Joining a hair loss support group or getting individual therapy can help you manage your emotions and improve your overall self-confidence.

If possible, opening up to your loved ones about your feelings regarding your hair thinning can allow them to provide support and encouragement.

Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ismail Ughratdar (FRCS)Updated on June 9, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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