Women Athlete’s Hair Loss

Do female athletes experience male pattern hairline recession?


Dear Dr. Mohebi,

Recently, when watching the Olympics I noticed that the female swimmers seemed to have very recessive hairlines even at very youthful ages. This was highlighted by the US Olympic Women’s Swim Teams Medal Platform Pictures. In this image all but one of the medalists has exceptionally receding hairlines for women. Is this just coincidence or could it be from the use of male hormone performance enhancing drugs.

Or is it that, women with this high athletic capacity have a higher level of male hormones adversely affecting their hair. This struck me very hard and considering commercial endorsements that Olympians often receive it seems that something could be done to help them if they should choose.  I am looking forward to your response.


You present a very curious observation and pose some interesting questions. Thanks for asking.  Many women naturally  have a  receded hairline or higher than normal foreheads.  That is not necessarily related  any medical conditions. Likewise it is not necessarily related to the use of steroids or other performance enhancing drugs.  Over time women who have elevated androgen or male hormones for any reason can develop a recessive hairline similar to adult men. This is called a male patterned maturation of  hairline.  Some patients that we have seen progress to a full blown hair loss if the gene of male patterned hair loss has been passed on to them from their previous generation. This can be either from their mother or father.

It is important to note that there is no evidence to show an increase in male hormones in female athletes due to strenuous physical activities. I developed a 5 Step Management system for women’s hair loss. Usually I order a complete set of lab tests that includes levels of total and free testosterone and DHEA in women who have a male patterned hairline. This is also true for female hair loss patients  who lose their hair in a male pattern. Any woman who is suffering from a recessive hairline that effects their well being and quality of life can greatly benefit from a hair transplant procedure.

One of the most effective ways of doing this is  lowering the hairline with a follicular unit hair transplantation.  In this procedure we alter a perceived masculine hairline in a woman to a natural feminine hairline.  In such cases these women often do not have any sign of hair loss in other scalp areas. This means that they have  plenty of donor hair  that could be transplanted.  These women can generally achieve the reasonable level of density in one or two procedures. Our staffs in our Los Angeles  hair transplant clinics are inspired by the positive effects we have on our female patients live in providing a natural, proven, permanent solution to hair loss or recessive hairlines.

I hope this answers your question. Let me close by saying on behalf of myself and the entire Parsa Mohebi Hair Restoration staff; that we are extremely proud of the individual and collective effort of our US Olympic Women’s Swim Team. We extend our warm and heartfelt congratulations with sincerity to these strong, dynamic and beautiful ladies.