I am a 42 y/o black female. My hair started thinning around the hairline about 2 years ago. At first I thought it was some of the chemicals being used by my hair stylist. I have changed to another stylist, but the problem persits. I recently went to a dermatologist who started me on Rogaine. However, the site for Rogaine states that it is for hairloss in the top of the scalp. Is there any treatments that will help thinning hair around the hairline? I understand that this is uncommon for women? Please help, this has effected me emotionally.

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There are a few important issues to address in your question. The first thing to note is that all salons use similar chemicals so you might want to stop chemically treating your hair altogether for several months to see if it recovers. The second issue is whether or not you have a tight braid/ponytail type of hairstyle or have had recent facial plastic surgery (like a brow or a face lift) since both of these can result in the hairline thinning you describe. You are correct in that women rarely lose their hairline with female pattern/genetic hair loss, but it can happen and that is why you should be examined by a doctor who specializes in hair with an indepth assessment for miniaturization.

Finally, Rogaine has been studied best at the top of the scalp, but I have seen some hairline results in women so it is worth a try. Unfortunately for women, there are no medical alternatives for thinning hair other than Rogaine. It is also noteworthy that hairloss can profoundly affect a woman’s emotional health, much more so than with men although men suffer hairloss more commonly. I would urge you not only to proactively address the hair loss, but to take steps to treat the emotional impact it is having on you as well.