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Treatments For Hair Loss On One Side

    Quick Summary: Treatments for Hair Loss on One Side

    One-sided hair loss: Also known as unilateral alopecia, can be caused by various factors.

    Common causes: trichotillomania, age-related hair loss, scalp conditions, trauma, alopecia areata, telogen effluvium, scarring alopecia, and traction alopecia.

    Treatment options for hair loss on one side: medications such as minoxidil or finasteride, steroid injections, hair transplant surgery, and lifestyle changes can help halt hair loss. Consulting a dermatologist is crucial for diagnosis in order to create personalised treatment plans.

    Hair loss is a common concern for many individuals, and can affect any area of the scalp. But what if you notice you’re losing hair on just one side of your head? One-sided hair loss, medically known as unilateral alopecia, can be caused by various factors. While it may seem alarming, understanding the cause is the first step towards finding a solution.

    Understanding the Causes of One-Sided Hair Loss

    There are several reasons why you might experience hair loss on one side of your head. Here’s a breakdown of some common culprits:

    • Trichotillomania: This is a hair-pulling disorder characterised by the urge to pull out hair from the scalp, eyebrows, or eyelashes1. This can lead to patchy hair loss, often concentrated on one side.
    • Age: Just like general hair thinning, age-related hair loss can sometimes appear more prominent on one side than the other. This is because hair growth patterns can vary across the scalp.
    • Scalp Conditions: Certain scalp conditions like dandruff2, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis3, and fungal infections4  can cause inflammation and disrupt hair growth, leading to one-sided hair loss.
    • Trauma: Physical trauma to the scalp, such as a burn, scar, or surgical incision, can damage hair follicles and prevent hair growth in that specific area.
    • Alopecia Areata: This autoimmune disease causes the immune system to attack hair follicles, leading to patchy hair loss that can affect one side of the scalp more than the other5.
    • Telogen Effluvium: This is a temporary form of hair loss triggered by stress, illness, significant weight loss, or childbirth. It can sometimes manifest as one-sided thinning6.
    • Scarring Alopecia: This type of hair loss occurs when damaged hair follicles are permanently replaced by scar tissue, preventing hair growth in that area. Injury, infections, or certain medical procedures can cause scarring alopecia, often in a specific area7.
    • Traction Alopecia: This results from hairstyles that put excessive tension on the hair, such as tight braids, cornrows, or ponytails. Over time, this constant pulling can damage hair follicles and lead to hair loss, often in the areas with the most tension8.

    Diagnosing the Cause of Hair Loss

    Accurate diagnosis is essential for determining the appropriate treatment for hair loss. A dermatologist or trichologist will typically conduct a thorough examination of your scalp and hair, review your medical history, and possibly order blood tests or a scalp biopsies to help identify the underlying cause.

    Treatment Options for One-Sided Hair Loss

    The best course of treatment for one-sided hair loss depends on the underlying cause. Consulting with a GP, dermatologist, or our clinic is advisable in order to receive a tailored treatment plan. Here are some potential treatment approaches:

    • Treating the Underlying Condition: If your hair loss is caused by a specific condition like dandruff, a dermatologist can recommend medicated shampoos or other treatments to address the issue and promote hair regrowth2.
    • Medications: For certain types of hair loss, such as alopecia areata or male pattern baldness, medications like minoxidil or finasteride can stimulate hair growth9,10.
    • Steroids: Corticosteroid injections can be used to suppress the immune system’s attack on hair follicles in cases of alopecia areata. Corticosteroid creams or ointments can also be applied to the scalp to calm soreness and reduce inflammation quickly in certain conditions11.
    • Hair Transplant: Hair transplant surgery is a viable option for those with significant hair loss unresponsive to other treatments. An example of this is scarring alopecia. This option is preferable because the surgery can be targeted specifically to the areas of loss, unlike prescription medications. The procedure involves harvesting hair follicles from a donor area (usually the back of the scalp) and transplanting them to the thinning or bald areas. Two main techniques are used: Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). Both methods have high success rates and can produce natural-looking results12.
    • Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): A non-invasive treatment that uses red light wavelengths to stimulate hair growth. This therapy can enhance cell metabolism in the scalp, promoting the growth of thicker and healthier hair. LLLT can be administered through various devices, such as laser combs, helmets, or caps13.
    • Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: PRP therapy involves extracting a small amount of the patient’s blood, processing it to concentrate the platelets, and injecting the platelet-rich plasma into the scalp. Platelets contain growth factors that can help stimulate hair follicle activity and promote hair regrowth. PRP therapy has shown promising results in treating various types of hair loss, including androgenetic alopecia14.

    Additionally lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, ensuring a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, and avoiding hairstyles that put tension on hair can all contribute to healthier hair growth.


    One-sided hair loss can be a cause for concern, but it’s important to remember that there are often treatable causes. If you’re experiencing this type of hair loss, consulting a hair care professional is crucial to diagnosing the underlying cause and exploring the most suitable treatment options. With proper diagnosis and treatment, you can effectively address one-sided hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.


    1. França, K., Kumar, A., Castillo, D., Jafferany, M., Hyczy da Costa Neto, M., and Damevska, K. (2018) ‘Trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder): Clinical characteristics, psychosocial aspects, treatment approaches, and ethical considerations’, Dermatologic Therapy, 32(4). Available at:
    2. Ranganathan, S., and Mukhopadhyay, T. (2010) ‘Dandruff: The most commercially exploited skin disease’, Indian Journal of Dermatology, 55(2), pp.130. Available at:
    3. Borda, L. J. and Wikramanayake, T. C. (2015) ‘Seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff: A comprehensive review’, Journal of Clinical and Investigative Dermatology, 3(2). Available at:
    4. American Academy of Dermatology. Tinea versicolor: Available at:
    5. Gilhar, A., Etzioni, A. and Paus, R. (2012) ‘Alopecia areata’, New England Journal of Medicine, 366(16), pp, 1515–1525. Available at:
    6. Hughes, E. C. (2023) Telogen effluvium. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available at:
    7. Rigopoulos, D., Stamatios, G. and Ioannides, D. (2015) ‘Primary scarring alopecias’, In Alopecias – Practical Evaluation and Management (pp. 76–86). Available at:
    8. Pulickal, J. K., and Kaliyadan, F. (2024) Traction alopecia. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available at:
    9. Suchonwanit, P., Thammarucha, S., and Leerunyakul, K. (2019) ‘Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: A review’, Drug Design, Development and Therapy, 13, pp. 2777–2786. Available at:
    10. McClellan, K. J., & Markham, A. (1999) ‘Finasteride’, Drugs, 57(1), 111–126. Available at:
    11. Chanprapaph, K., Pomsoong, C., Kositkuljorn, C., and Suchonwanit, P. (2022) ‘Intramuscular corticosteroid therapy in the treatment of alopecia areata: A time-to-event analysis’, Drug Design, Development and Therapy, 16, pp. 107–116. Available at:
    12. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. Hair transplants. Available at:
    13. Avci, P., Gupta, G. K., Clark, J., Wikonkal, N. and Hamblin, M. R. (2014) ‘Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) for treatment of hair loss’, Lasers in surgery and medicine, 46(2), pp. 144–151. Available at:
    14. Paichitrojjana, A. and Paichitrojjana, A. (2022) ‘Platelet-rich plasma and its use in hair regrowth: A review’, Drug Design, Development and Therapy, 16, pp. 635–645. Available at:

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