Causes & Help for One-Sided Hair Loss

Hair loss generally occurs all over the head but sometimes it can occur on just one side.
Hair loss generally occurs all over the head but sometimes it can occur on just one side. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

When an individual is stricken with alopecia areata he may experience hair loss on just one side of the head. This condition is considered an immune system abnormality which causes the immune system to attack its own hair follicles. This interrupts hair formation and results in hair loss.

Alopecia Areata

Normally alopecia areata manifests in spots of hair loss on the scalp or thinning of hair, which is called diffuse alopecia areata. All of the hair can be lost, which is called alopecia totalis. If all of the hair on the body vanishes this is alopecia universalis. When a man loses the hair in his beard this is alopecia areata barbe. When the hair loss is one-sided this is a variation of alopecia areata. One-sided hair loss can be a symptom of a medical problem other than alopecia.

The Right Side is More Susceptible

You can tell if you’ve lost hair more on one side than the other by putting your fingers above your ear and pushing your fingers to the front. You should be able to determine if the volume of your hair is more or less on one side or the other. When this occurs, it generally happens on the right side rather than on the left side of head, according to

Body Hair

When you lose hair on one side of your head you may also lose body hair on the same side of your body. Sometimes the body hair loss precedes the one-sided hair loss on your head.

Texture of Hair is Different

When hair is lost on one side it is connected to the change in the texture of the hair. You may still grow equal amounts of hair on both sides of your head but one side sheds the hair sooner or the hair breaks easier and earlier and isn’t capable of growing as long as the locks on the other side of the head. The hairs on the side where hair loss is occurring may feel wiry and flat or fine like baby hair and they may be pale in color.

Nutrition to the Follicles

When the hair follicles don’t get necessary nutrition this can cause hair loss, but the fact that it is occurring only on one side of the head is curious. It could be that the individual is suffering from a circulatory disorder which prevents blood from circulating evenly throughout the body. When this happens it is often the outcome of a blood clot.


When a person has a tumor in the brain this can prevent normal blood flow as well as put pressure on the scalp and this may result in one-sided hair loss. If a person has suffered a stroke this can disrupt the function of hormones that are required to make healthy hair follicles and this can cause one-sided hair loss. A head injury can result in scar tissue that develops in the scalp and impedes the blood flow to the follicles. These are all reasons why one sided hair loss may occur.

Treatment Options

Medications such as minoxidil can be given as can topical immuno-therapy and irritants such as topical coal tar or anthralin. Steroid creams, shampoos and injections can be used to treat one-sided hair loss. Some patients find success by using aromatherapy and essential oils that are applied to the scalp. Learning how to handle your stress can help with your hair loss if it’s alopecia. If the hair loss is due to other medical conditions, those conditions must be treated.

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