While hair transplants are usually associated with male balding and alopecia and nearly 90% of male patients experience quick and natural growth after the procedure, women make up a third of all hair transplant patients, and there has been a high increase in the need for women’s hair loss transplants.
The number of women experiencing hair loss has steadily increased in the last few years and if you couple that with the publicity successful hair transplants enjoy, the figures start to make sense.
What Causes Hair Loss in Women Resolvable with Hair Transplants?
Androgenetic alopecia is a frequent cause of hair loss in both men and women. This type of hair loss affects an estimated 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States. Androgenetic alopecia can start in young ages and risk increases with age. Hair loss can affect a young woman, but it is mostly seen after menopause.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a derivative of the male hormone testosterone, is the enemy of hair follicles on the head. In fact, DHT wants those follicles dead under certain conditions. This unfortunate truth is the root reason for many kinds of hair loss.
Androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as male or female pattern baldness, could be defined partially until the recent years. For many years, scientists assumed that the reason of androgenetic alopecia was the predominance of the male sex hormone, testosterone, which women also have in trace amounts. While testosterone is accepted as the main reason for the balding process, it was started to be thought that DHT could be more important.
Some medical conditions cause directly to hair loss through disruption to hormones. These conditions include thyroid issues, scarring from skin conditions, like ringworm or autoimmune disorders, like celiac disease where the body attacks itself.
These are the most common conditions that may lead to hair loss in women:
• Hodgkin’s disease
• Hashimoto disease
• Systemic lupus erythematosus
• Addison’s disease
These can be listed as reasons other than hormonal conditions:
• High-stress levels
• Extreme diets
• Anemia – iron deficiency
• Immunological conditions
• Hair damage from dyes, straighteners and hair extensions
• Imbalanced hormone levels
• Vitamin B12 deficiency
Am I a Good Candidate for Hair Transplant?
Hair transplants nowadays are a safe and quick procedure for hair loss treatment that can restore hair regrowth into just about any area. Unfortunately, not every woman is a good candidate for a hair transplant. If the hair on your scalp is sparse all over, it means that you may not have enough healthy hair to transplant. A hair transplant surgeon, many of whom are dermatologists, can tell you whether a hair transplant may help restore your hair or not.
Most women suffer from diffuse balding, which is an overall thinning hair in all areas of the head, including the donor areas – this makes it practically impossible to perform hair transplants.
• Women who lost some of their hair through scalp injuries, trauma, chemical burns, scarring from accidents and burn victims.
• Women who had suffered from hair loss due to traction or mechanical alopecia.
• Women who suffer from alopecia marginalis
• Women who suffer from any type of baldness that does not affect the donor area
• Women who previously had another plastic surgery procedure and are worried about the lack of hair growth in that specific area
• Women who experienced hair loss after a facelift procedure
How Is the Hair Transplant Performed?
Considering that all pre-requirements are fulfilled and the clinic is decided after a process of comparison standards, quality and hair transplant cost, women can proceed to a hair transplant process using the most appropriate technique that their surgeons decide.
To give an idea from one of the most preferred hair transplant technique, FUE, which is more advanced than the traditional FUT hair transplant procedure.
One of the most significant advantages of this technique that it doesn’t leave a scar, only small scabs which will heal in a couple of weeks.
Let’s look at a few advantages that FUE has over its more traditional counterpart, FUT:
• No visible scars after surgery
• The donor area remains unchanged
• It offers a more natural look
• The recovery period is much shorter, as no stitches are needed or used
• Little pain during the treatment
• The procedure takes much less time to complete
The procedure uses a micromotor fitted with a micro-punch to harvest hair grafts from the donor area. Each graft contains around 3-4 hair follicles, which will later be transplanted into the new area. Holes are then created in the receiving area, and the grafts are placed in them. Once the procedure is over, the area is wrapped in elastic bandages, and the recovery process begins. Depending on the size of the transplant you’re getting, the process will take about 4 to 8 hours. You may be in need of another procedure later if you continue to lose hair or decide you want thicker hair.
Are Female Hair Transplants a Taboo?
Hair loss can have a traumatic effect on any individual, even more so on women. While some men can simply “shrug it off” and continue with their lives, women are bound to take action by an image-based society. The only question is, why do some plastic surgery procedures gain so much publicity and some don’t get any at all? We don’t have an answer, but we have the peace of mind provided by the fact that these solutions exist and are readily available to anyone who needs them. Beyond everything, among all hair loss cures and treatments, hair transplant procedures can be a good and long-lasting solution for women looking to regain their natural looks and femininity.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in January 2019.