What Type of Doctor Should I See for Thinning Hair?

I am a 53 year old woman and my hair has lost its body and is thinning. Who should I see? Can a dermatologist help me?

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Hair Restoration is a Surgical Specialty; Therefore See a Specialist

I agree with Dr. Franks in his opinion that not all board certified dermatologists are experts in the most recent advances in diagnosis and treatment of hair loss, and that a good place to look is the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery.  It's the most academically-oriented of the many groups and alliances and coalitions of hair restoration doctors, and the one that does not require 5 figure payments annually to stay on their "preferred doctor's list," as so many of these groups operate in this fashion.

Moreover, there are so many subtleties in hair restoration surgery that it's important to choose a physician who specializes in the field, not one who has added "hair restoration" to their menu of services along with other cosmetic surgical procedures, and performs a limited number of the procedures per week.  Experience counts, just like anything in life, and there are many of us in the USA who specialize exclusively in hair restoration, and treat only patients with thinning hair.  It's important to meet personally with your surgeon, and have an in-person evaluation, and a micro-analysis of your scalp to receive the highest level of care possible.  

A hair restoration is a surgical procedure, but per government regulations, any physician of any background with a valid medical license, regardless of training, presence or lack of any board certificate in anything at all, is permitted to call themselves a "hair restoration surgeon."  For instance, a psychiatrist, who has not even seen a surgical instrument in 20 years, can tomorrow decide that he would like to be a hair restoration surgeon, and offer the surgery to the public.  Therefore it is important to make sure your surgeon has actual surgery training, which is usually a 5 to 7 year course of intense training in the years immediately following medical school, and upon successful completion, surgeons receive a board certificate in their chosen specialty.

See primary doctor first for hair loss

There are many common causes for the hair loss. Among them are changes in hormone levels, increased stress, or illness, scalp and dermatological issues, various medications, and certainly heredity.

Even a poor diet could lead to increased hair loss over the time. Anytime the hair loss is experienced, it should be consulted with your primary physician, first who should be able to refer you to dermatologist-scalp and skin specialist or endocrinologist.

There are many specialists that deal with the problem of thinning hair. Most important there are many treatments available and often the hair loss can be reversible.

Consult a dermatologist specializing in hair loss

Consider consultation with a dermatologist who has an interest in hair loss disorders. They can, admittedly, be difficult to find. Looks like you are about 3 hours away from a noted hair loss expert, Dr. Elise Olsen at Duke University. If it is very important to you, it may be worthwhile for you to travel. Hair loss cannot be appropriately diagnosed without a face-to-face consultation.

Good Luck.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

See a dermatologist or plastic surgeon hair replacement specialist

You should probably see either a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon that specializes in hair replacement procedures. Thinnning hair can be treated medically or surgically depending upon the cause.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

See a dermatologist or hair restoration plastic surgeon

A dermatologist or a plastic surgeon with interest in hair restoration would be the ideal start. They will be able to start you on some hair preservation products or diagnose the cause of the thining and treat it.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Hair loss doctor

A board certified Dermatologist is best trained to diagnose and manage diseases of the hair. It would be best to select such a doctor who has a special interest in hair loss. If you are considering a surgical treatment, I would recommend selecting a physician who only does hair transplant and nothing else. This type of physician has the most experience to give you the best possible results. 

Hair Thinning should be evaluated by Board-Certified Dermatologist

Before men or women invest in hair restoration, consultation and workup by a board-certified dermatologist experienced should be performed first to rule out other medical conditions that may trigger hair thinning and second to maximize medical therapy. Full medical therapy as prescribed and outlined by a board-certified dermatologist must continue in order to protect one's investment in hair transplant such as NeoGraft hair restoration.

William Ting, MD
Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews


The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery is a good first option. Not every dermatologist is knowledgable about the nuances of hair loss and the most up to date options dealing with the diagnoses and treatment.

John E. Frank, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Board-certified dermatologists are the experts for hair loss

A board-certified dermatologist has specialty training in the diagnosis and treatment of skin, hair and nail disorders and would best to diagnose hair loss.  Evaluation should include a history, examination and perhaps blood work and a biopsy.  It is important to get a diagnosis before treating your hair loss especially as some types of hair loss are permanent if diagnosis is delayed.

Dina D. Strachan, MD
New York Dermatologist
3.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.