My Hair Part is Getting Wider. Is it Hair Loss?


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Life moves pretty fast. One day you’re worried about landing that dream job fresh out of college. Then before you know it, you’re peering into the mirror, staring at your part and wondering if you’re seeing wayyy more scalp than usual. 

First, you should understand that you’re not alone, and a widening central part can be super common. In fact, female pattern hair loss (FPHL) affects approximately 40 percent of women by age 50.

In this article, we’ll dive into the root causes of why your part may be getting wider, along with tips on what you can do to fix it (both instantly and for the long-run).

Is a Widening Hair Part Female Hair Loss?

Just like there are signs before a relationship goes kaput (no, the ghosting isn’t just in your head), you can think of a widening part as one of those little signs that could be leading to something bigger, like hair loss.

With male pattern baldness, the telltale signs of hair loss are pretty common to spot — a receding hairline or obvious thinning over the crown of the head, resulting in a bald spot. 

Female hair loss (also known as androgenetic alopecia), on the other hand, usually involves diffuse hair loss that first appears around your part line, versus at the temples. 

This can gradually become more severe, resulting in noticeable hair loss and a wider (and sadly, even wider) part as a clear pattern of hair loss develops. 

Over time, as hair follicle damage intensifies, a widening part line can develop into a “Christmas tree” pattern, with a wide part line at the front that narrows as it moves towards the back of your scalp. 

Hair loss can present itself in different ways, and not everyone is equally at risk. Experts believe that genetics play a significant role in this type of hair loss, and cause some women to be more sensitive to the effects of androgen hormones like DHT than others.

Females with FPHL may have other symptoms or general signs of hyperandrogenism, such as hirsutism (a.k.a. facial hair), acne, irregular periods, infertility and insulin resistance. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a type of hormonal abnormality, is also associated with FPHL.

However, these symptoms aren’t very common, and the link between androgens and female pattern hair loss still isn’t entirely clear.

Other Causes of a Widening Hair Part

Just like a breakup, hair loss can be caused by various factors. If you think you’re not dealing with androgenetic alopecia, there could be other potential causes of hair loss. 

  • Severe or chronic stress: No, it’s not just in your head. Stress can actually lead to hair loss, called telogen effluvium. Our article on stress hair loss is an awesome resource if you want to dig a little deeper.

  • Infections and illnesses. Telogen effluvium doesn’t just come into play with a toxic boss. Even a sudden illness, like COVID-19, can cause telogen effluvium hair loss.

  • Trauma and shock. Just like a sudden illness, surgery can cause stress on your body, leading to telogen effluvium. If you’ve recently had surgery or undergone some other shock to your system, this can also be a factor.

  • Changes in hormone levels. Hormones can trigger many different effects, from acne to postpartum hair loss and post-menopausal hair loss. Postpartum hair loss is generally accepted to be telogen effluvium or telogen effluvium unmasking androgenetic alopecia. Post-menopausal hair loss is typically androgenetic alopecia. If you’re concerned, we recommend having your hormone levels checked by your healthcare provider. 

  • Dieting. Eating a well-balanced diet is key to healthy hair growth. If you’re a picky eater or know you’ve been reaching for more ice cream than spinach, you might want to read up on the best foods for healthy hair. Nutritional deficiencies can also affect your hair growth.  

  • Tension on your hair follicles. This form of hair loss, called traction alopecia, occurs with hairstyles that pull on the hair, causing targeted hair loss over time — think tight buns, slicked-back ponytails and braids. Learn more about ponytail hair loss in our article if you think this may be an issue for you. 

  • Styling and hair care techniques. As much as we love some golden highlights, regular chemical treatments or using a hot iron can damage hair. Over time, damaged hair can break and lead to hair loss. Ease up on these treatments if you think you’re dealing with breakage.

  • Medications. The side effects of certain prescription treatments can cause hair loss from medication. If you’ve experienced sudden hair loss and recently started taking a new medication, you may want to check with your healthcare provider. 

How to Fix a Wide Hair Part

We’re going to go back to relationships here. Just like therapy can save some couples,  there are different therapies you can also try to help fix a widening hairline. And hey, they don’t require you sitting around awkwardly on someone’s couch. 

Take Action Early with Minoxidil

One of the most popular treatments for hair loss is minoxidil, commonly sold under the brand name Rogaine. Available as a topical or oral medication, it stimulates hair growth.

Though its exact mechanism of action is still unknown, it’s believed to work by encouraging more oxygen, blood and nutrients to the hair follicle. 

Topical minoxidil is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for female pattern hair loss. Unlike a lot of other hair loss treatments, minoxidil also has the data to back it up. In a 2014 placebo-controlled trial, researchers found that both 2% and 5% versions of topical minoxidil improved hair thinning.

If you’re interested in minoxidil, Hers offers the following kinds:

  • Minoxidil drops. This 2% solution uses a dropper to be applied directly to the areas you’re experiencing thinning (like along your part).

  • Oral minoxidil. If you’d rather not change your styling routine, this once-a-day pill is also a great option. Plus, studies have shown that low-dose oral minoxidil can be an effective treatment of numerous hair disorders, including female-patterned hair loss (FPHL). 

  • Topical finasteride and minoxidil spray: This spray-on combination of hair loss treatments is primarily prescribed for postmenopausal women. 

(RelatedHow to Prevent Hair Thinning at Your Temples)

Try Spironolactone for Hormonal Changes

If you think your hair loss may be hormonal, spironolactone may be the right treatment for you. Spironolactone helps hair growth by decreasing the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  

Doctors may also prescribe spironolactone to help with androgenic alopecia, hirsutism, and acne, due to its effects on androgens. These issues can especially be common in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (also known as PCOS). 

If it seems like you’ve been dealing with blemishes along with a wider part, talk to your healthcare provider about spironolactone. They can determine the best dosage for you. 

Note that you should be on a reliable form of birth control if you opt for spironolactone. Antiandrogen drugs are potentially teratogenic, meaning they may cause fetal abnormalities. Animal studies have indicated fetal risk, so spironolactone comes with a Category C pregnancy rating from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If you’re planning to try for children soon or you’re already pregnant, you’ll need to consider another treatment option. 

Camouflage Your Hair Part

Back in the day, celebrity hairstylists would allegedly use eyeshadow to cover up their clients’ scalps so their hair looked thicker on the red carpet. Today, there are products made for exactly that. Hair powders usually contain pigment and fibers to help conceal scalp so thinning hair looks fuller. 

Hair Transplant Surgery for Advanced Hair Loss

While surgery might seem major, it can be helpful when other hair loss treatments just don’t do the trick. Hair transplant surgery involves transplanting individual follicles of hair from one location to another. If you’re interested in this option, our guide to hair transplants for women will give you more details on all you need to know. 

(RelatedFinasteride for Women: Can Women Use Finasteride For Hair Loss?)

Lifestyle Habits for Healthy Hair

Healthy hair is part genetics, part environmental and lifestyle factors. Using the right hair care products, giving those strands a little TLC and ensuring you eat a healthy diet are important for getting a lush head of hair. Some things you can do include: 

  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. If you think you may have a nutritional deficiency, try a supplement like our multivitamin gummies to help round things out.

  • Use a shampoo that will add volume and wash away excess sebum, which can lead to scalp issues. Healthy hair starts at the root (sorry, we had to!). If you want to learn more about proper scalp care, this guide will give you more tips. 

  • When you blow dry your hair, use the lowest heat setting and continuously move your hair dryer to avoid damaging your hair. Learn more about how to get stronger hair in our comprehensive guide. 

  • Detangle hair gently, and avoid yanking a brush aggressively through your strands. Instead, slowly brush through and avoid pulling on the hair roots. 

  • Stick to looser styles that put less pulling pressure on your hair follicles. 

  • Avoid using hair straighteners, curling irons, hot combs or other products that apply heat directly to your hair shaft.

  • If you smoke, try to stop. Smoking can damage your hair’s DNA and contribute to hair loss.

Treating Your Wide Hair Part: What to Expect

While a wider part can feel alarming, there are definite steps you can take to help narrow the gap. And TBH, treating hair loss is probably easier than dating for some. But here’s what you should take away from this:

  • Figure out the root cause. Whether it’s stress-related hair loss or androgenic alopecia, knowing what you’re dealing with will help you figure out the best hair loss treatment. Which brings us to…

  • Know your treatment options. Different types of hair loss call for different measures. Changing up your routine with hair-thickening shampoos, rounding out your diet with a vitamin like biotin, or even taking medications like minoxidil and spironolactone are all considered effective.

  • Practice patience. Hair loss can be complicated to treat, and hair growth can take time. Be consistent with your treatment and wait at least three to four months to determine if your regimen is working. 

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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The Do’s & Dont’s of Taking Metformin for Weight Loss

The Do’s & Dont’s of Taking Metformin for Weight Loss

We get it — no one enjoys taking medications. It’s just another thing to tackle on your neverending to-do list. 

If you’ve been prescribed metformin, it may be because you have prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, weight gain issues caused by antipsychotic medication or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Also sold under the brand names Glucophage®, Fortamet®, Riomet® and Glumetza®, it’s one of the most common drugs prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes. But metformin isn’t without its side effects.

Though the side effects can be a bummer, a key strategy for mitigating them is timing. In other words, taking metformin at the right time of day can help curb unwanted effects.

Wondering what the best time of day to take metformin is to reduce side effects? It really depends.

Kind of an annoying answer, right? Don’t worry — we’ll cover how to determine when to take metformin, the best way to avoid side effects and how to stick with a schedule. Let’s get into it.

Tatsiana Niamera/istockphoto

It’s super important to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions on how to take your version of metformin. The rule of thumb is to start low and adjust slowly.

Everyone’s reactions to the medication are different, so there’s no fixed dose for people with diabetes. 

How do you decide when to take metformin each day? First, you’ll need to know which type of metformin you’re prescribed and what your daily dosage is.

Dosages vary, as metformin treatment is based on the effectiveness of the medication and your tolerance — how much metformin your body can handle without side effects.

Metformin medication comes in immediate-release tablets, extended-release tablets and liquid form. Each has different requirements in terms of when and how to take it: 

  • Regular metformin tablets are taken with meals two or three times a day.

  • The extended-release metformin tablet is typically taken once a day with your evening meal.

  • Liquid metformin is typically taken with meals once or twice a day.

Here are the recommended methods for your starting dose:

  • Take 500 milligrams (mg) orally once a day or 850 milligrams once a day with meals. 

  • Increase the dose in increments of 500 milligrams weekly or 850 milligrams every one to two weeks, up to a maximum dose of 2,550 milligrams per day, taken in divided doses.

  • Doses above 2,000 milligrams may be better tolerated when given three times a day with meals.

The gist is always to take your metformin with food and aim to take your medications at the same time each day to keep yourself on a routine. Avoid taking it on an empty stomach, as you might end up with an upset stomach. 

As always, if you ever have questions about your prescription, please let your healthcare provider know. Never make assumptions about a medication, especially a new one. Remember, you didn’t go to that appointment and pay the copay for nothing.

(Related: Metformin for Weight Loss)


All medications come with an instruction manual and FDA disclaimers, but who’s reading those? If you accidentally tossed your information packet in the trash, it’s okay — we’ll guide you through taking metformin.

As mentioned above, you should always take your metformin medication with food. Doing this can help limit stomach or bowel problems, commonly occurring within the first few weeks of treatment.

Depending on your health, your healthcare provider may provide a personalized diet plan to help you manage diabetes.

Here are the dos and don’ts for taking metformin tablets:

  1. Don’t chew or crush the tablets. Unless instructed by a healthcare professional, don’t chew or crush your tablets, as this can release all the medicine at once, thus increasing your risk of gastrointestinal side effects.

  2. Don’t split the tablet. Unless your healthcare provider tells you to do so, don’t split the tablet.

  3. Do swallow the whole tablet. Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, to wash down the tablet.

  4. Do take your medication at the same time each day. Make it a habit to take your metformin medicine at the same time each day.

Here are the steps for taking the liquid form of metformin:

  1. Measure the liquid. You can use a marked measuring spoon, a medicine cup or an oral syringe. Avoid using a teaspoon from your kitchen, as it may not hold the proper amount of liquid.

  2. Use your dosing cup. You’ll need this to measure the mixed extended-release oral suspension.


As noted, timing your metformin dosage is crucial for mitigating the risk — and overall severity — of side effects. But what are those side effects, exactly?

For metformin, the most common side effects are diarrhea, nausea and upset stomach.

In rare instances, metformin may lead to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This may happen if you’re not eating enough food, are drinking alcohol or are taking other medications to lower blood sugar.

A more severe but uncommon side effect of taking metformin is lactic acidosis. The condition occurs when there’s a buildup of lactic acid in the bloodstream. Lactic acid is produced when your oxygen levels become low in areas of the body where metabolism occurs or in response to sympathetic overactivity.

Metformin is one of many medications that can cause lactic acidosis. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include nausea, vomiting and weakness. Fortunately, the risk of lactic acidosis is a rare side effect of metformin.

If you experience serious side effects, seek medical advice immediately. Things can worsen quickly if you don’t get medical help.

If you have any questions or concerns about taking metformin, reach out to your healthcare provider.

(Related: Weight Loss Medication: Are They Effective?)


Now that you know a bit more about metformin dosing, side effects and the recommendations for taking it, we’ve got a few tips for you.

As mentioned, the best time to take metformin really depends on your unique needs and how you react to the medication. The one constant here is that you should take it with food and water. So, working backward, the best time to take metformin is based on when you eat.

Here are some tips and considerations to keep in mind:

  • If you’re not a breakfast person, taking metformin in the morning might not be a great option. Think about what time you typically have your first meal and take your pill after that.

  • Alternatively, if you usually skip lunch or eat light dinners, taking metformin in the morning after breakfast could work best.

  • Stomach and bowel issues can be metformin side effects, especially when you’re first starting out. If you work from home and are close to a bathroom, you may be fine taking your meds at any time. However, if you have a long morning commute or work at an office, you might want to take metformin at night when you’re home, at least for the first month or so.

  • If you’re struggling to remember to take your meds, try stacking this habit onto another one. For example, leave your pills next to something you use or do each day, like your toothbrush or coffee maker. Do you feed your pet at the same time every day? Take your metformin at that time, too.


It’s not the end of the world if you forget to take your daily metformin dose. Just don’t make it a habit, okay?

If you miss one dose of metformin, try to take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s close to the time of your next dose, just skip the missed dose and continue taking it according to your normal schedule. You should never take two doses at the same time to make up for a forgotten dose.

Keep in mind, the purpose of taking metformin is to regulate your blood glucose levels. So if you miss too many doses, hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) may occur.

If it’s difficult to remember when to take metformin, set an alarm to remind yourself. You can also ask your healthcare provider for tips on remembering to take your medication. 

As easy as it can be to forget a dose of metformin here and there, there’s a maximum daily dose, so it’s possible to take too much metformin. 

Metformin overdose can include hypoglycemia and the following symptoms:

  • Abnormally fast or slow heartbeat

  • Decreased appetite

  • Deep, rapid breathing

  • Dizziness

  • General discomfort

  • Extreme tiredness

  • Feeling cold

  • Flushing of the skin

  • Vomiting

  • Nausea

  • Stomach pain

  • Lightheadedness

  • Muscle pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • Weakness

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, please contact the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222 or call emergency services. 


Life gets busy, and it can be easy to forget to take your prescription drugs. Remembering all the instructions on dosage and timing can be another hurdle.

Still, it’s crucial to understand what you’re taking so you don’t have to deal with those nasty side effects. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Metformin is a first-line medication for type 2 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes take metformin to help control high blood sugar levels. Diabetes can cause many health issues, including sexual health challenges like erectile dysfunction (ED). Besides type 2 diabetes management, metformin has been shown to help non-diabetic people lose weight. The medication isn’t prescribed for type 1 diabetes.

  • The best time to take metformin depends on the medication type and dosage. Some people take metformin once, twice or even three times a day, depending on the type of metformin (tablet or liquid) and how many milligrams they’re prescribed.

  • Always take metformin with food and water. It’s recommended to take metformin after eating food and wash it down with fluids, such as water. 

  • Don’t alter the tablets. Unless instructed by a healthcare professional, never crush, chew or split the tablets, as this can alter the effectiveness of the medicine in your body. You’ll want to store them at room temperature too.

  • Prepare for potential side effects. Taking metformin may cause unpleasant side effects like diarrhea, nausea, upset stomach and, in rare cases, lactic acidosis. 

  • Don’t double up on metformin if you miss a dose. Instead, just skip the missed dose and take the next dose at your regular time.

Interested in learning more about how certain medical conditions and medications cause weight loss? Here’s a look at the connection between weight loss and depression and whether antidepressants lead to weight loss

If you’re looking to learn more about weight loss treatments, our telehealth services can connect you with a licensed healthcare provider who can answer your questions and offer medical guidance.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

Iryna Semeniuk/istockphoto


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