Middle aged white man checking his balding hair in the mirror

What can I do about my bald hair spot?

By Anna H. Chacon, MD, FAAD Oct 16, 2022 • 5 min

A bald spot on your head can be a distressing problem. Fortunately, self-care and at-home interventions can often address or hide bald head spots, and medical treatments may also improve the appearance of your hair.

What to do if you have a bald spot

There are many potential causes for bald spots. You could have a nutritional deficiency, a problem with your immune system, be in the first stages of hereditary hair loss or have another condition or concern. Specific treatments may be available, depending on the cause. For example, if a vitamin deficiency is responsible for your symptoms, your healthcare provider may recommend a supplement, or they may prescribe a corticosteroid for autoimmune hair loss.

Topical over-the-counter medication 

For many causes of bald spots, a topical treatment called minoxidil may reduce progressive hair loss and promote regrowth in the affected area. You can purchase minoxidil over the counter in liquid solution and foam forms, which are available for men and women in different concentrations. Most people need to apply minoxidil two to three times daily for three to six months before seeing regrowth. If the medication does cause hair to regrow on a bald spot, you will likely need to continue to apply it daily to maintain the growth.

Adopt a healthy hair care routine

Taking good care of the hair in the area surrounding your bald spot may help reduce further loss if the problem is due to scalp irritation or your styling routine. Follow these tips for a healthy hair care regimen:

  • Use a mild shampoo and follow every wash with a moisturizing conditioner
  • Apply leave-in conditioners to keep hair hydrated and flexible
  • Discontinue chemical treatments like hair color, perms and relaxers
  • Avoid thermal styling tools like curling irons and flat irons as much as possible
  • Allow your hair to air dry rather than blow-drying it
  • If you do use a hair dryer, select the lowest heat setting
  • Don't wear your hair in tight ponytails, braids, buns or similar styles
  • Comb and brush with a gentle touch and only when you need to style
  • Spritz or rub in a detangler to help hair strands separate after washing

Examine your diet

Nutritional deficiencies and severe calorie restriction can contribute to hair loss. If you're trying to lose weight, make sure you maintain a sufficient daily calorie intake. Consuming a variety of whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables can ensure your body has access to the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are necessary for hair growth.

Conceal the area during regrowth

Hiding a bald spot on your head with a wig or hairpiece can boost your confidence while you use other treatments. If you have thinning in one particular area, you can apply powder or spray hair fibers that cling to your existing hair and create the appearance of thicker, fuller hair. These fibers come in a variety of colors and typically remain in place for one day.

Consider a new hairstyle

Depending on the location and size of the bald spot, you may be able to conceal it with a new hairstyle. Find a hairstylist in your area who has experience working with people who suffer from hair loss.

When to see your healthcare provider about hair loss

Your healthcare provider can run tests and review your symptoms with you to determine what might be causing your hair loss. Scheduling an appointment when you begin to notice thinning or discover a new bald spot on your head can help to ensure that you choose the right self-care and at-home treatments and receive the right clinical interventions for your specific type of hair loss.

Published October 2022.

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