Hair loss

Losing your hair is not usually anything to be worried about, but it can be upsetting. Treatment may help with some types of hair loss.

Causes of hair loss

It's normal to lose hair. We can lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day, often without noticing.

Hair loss is not usually anything to be worried about, but occasionally it can be a sign of a medical condition.

Some types of hair loss are permanent, like male and female pattern baldness. This type of hair loss usually runs in the family.

Other types of hair loss may be temporary. They can be caused by:

Find out more about cancer and hair loss

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  • you're worried about your hair loss

What happens at your appointment

The GP may be able to tell you what's causing your hair loss by looking at your hair.

Tell them if your hair loss is affecting your wellbeing, and ask what treatments are available.


See a GP to get an idea about what's causing your hair loss before thinking about going to a commercial hair clinic.

Treatment for hair loss

Most hair loss does not need treatment and is either:

Hair loss caused by a medical condition usually stops or grows back once you've recovered.

There are things you can try if your hair loss is causing you distress. But most treatments are not available on the NHS, so you'll have to pay for them.

No treatment is 100% effective.

Finasteride and minoxidil

Finasteride and minoxidil are the main treatments for male pattern baldness.

Minoxidil can also be used to treat female pattern baldness. Women should not use finasteride.

These treatments:


Some wigs are available on the NHS, but you may have to pay unless you qualify for financial help.

Synthetic wigs:

Real-hair wigs:

Find out more about NHS wigs and costs

Other hair loss treatments

Other possible treatments for hair loss
Treatment Description

Steroid injection

Injections given into bald patches

Steroid creams

Cream applied to bald patches


Chemical applied to bald patches

Light treatment

Shining ultraviolet light on bald patches

Permanent make-up (micropigmentation)

Tattoo used to look like short hair and eyebrows

Hair transplant

Hair is removed from the back of the head and moved to thinning patches

Scalp reduction surgery

Sections of scalp with hair are stretched and stitched together

Artificial hair transplant

Surgery to implant artificial hairs

Some of these treatments may not be available on the NHS.

Emotional help

Losing hair can be upsetting. For many people, their hair is an important part of who they are.

If your hair loss is causing you distress, your GP may be able to help you get some counselling.

You may also benefit from joining a support group, or speaking to other people in the same situation on online forums.

Find a support group near you on the Alopecia UK website


Further information and support

Page last reviewed: 24 January 2024
Next review due: 24 January 2027