Hair Transplantation for Women
At first glance, it may seem that hair loss is mostly the men’s problem, yet statistics show that 40% of women experience hair thinning and they are “suffering” from this condition much more than men. Why? Because, no matter what age a woman is, hair is the crowning glory of her appearance. According to statistics, every woman spends 2.5 years on hair maintenance in her lifetime.
The consequences of hair loss in women are numerous such as depression and self-consciousness and sometimes more devastating conditions may happen.
There are some differences in hair loss problems between men and women such as the causes of hair loss, the features of the hair, the social and psychological problems, the biological and physiological conditions, etc. Some aspects of the issue are as follows:
Causes of hair loss in women
Hair loss in women is due to the causes that some of them may differ from that of men. There is a strong genetic pattern for hair loss in men, whereas, in women, other underlying conditions may cause thinning hair. For women, a complete disease specific medical assessment is required in treating hair disorders. Some of the factors that contribute to hair loss in women include:
- Traction alopecia: Due to the trauma from tight hairstyles
- Hormonal imbalances: e.g. during the menopausal period or pregnancy
- Androgenetic alopecia: (DHT), a derivative of the male hormone testosterone destroys hair follicles.
- Womb or ovary cysts
- Telogen effluvium: In conditions such as an infection, childbirth, malnutrition, major surgery, or extreme stress
- Anagen effluvium: In situations such as chemotherapy
- Oral contraceptives
- Sudden weight loss
- Low blood count
- Vitamin deficiency
The features of hair loss in women
Hair loss in women is “diffuse” and differs from that of men. All areas of the scalp in women are affected and there are rare perfect donor areas for hair transplantation surgery. This is because the donor sites are affected by DHT, a substance that destroys hair follicles.
Moreover, unlike men, the frontal hairline in women is typically kept and does not seriously interfere with the appearance.
The best candidates for hair transplantation in women
- Women who suffer from traction alopecia
- Women with scarring and burns
- Women who want to thicken or restore eyebrows
- Women with previous plastic surgery who are worried about hair loss around the healed incisions
- Women with male pattern-like hair loss with a donor area free from DHT
- Women with alopecia marginalis
Women use lots of medications and cosmetic products in order to resolve their hair loss problems. Unfortunately, none of these ways leads to a permanent solution for their hair thinning.
In order to treat hair loss in women, a complete medical assessment is needed to resolve the underlying conditions that contribute to the problem. For instance, in nutritional deficiencies, the doctor will recommend a dietary restoration plan. At the end of the day, if appropriate, it’s time for the surgical procedure to compensate the lost hair.
Follicular unit extraction
The state-of–the-art hair transplantation surgery, FUE, has revolutionized the field of hair loss treatments. Similar to the method utilized in male cases, the donor area at the back or sides of the scalp should be shaved (2-3 mm). A micro motor will extract the hair follicles that are then transplanted to the recipient areas.
The benefits of the FUE method are as follows:
- Minimally invasive, painless procedure
- No linear scarring and stitches: However, shaving hair is somehow troublesome particularly in women who have to conceal the shaved areas with long hairs of the adjacent areas, scarfs, etc.
- Using suitable hair follicles
- Natural appearance
- Completely safe with very rare complications
Patients should bear in mind that no treatment other than hair transplant surgery has the capability to restore hair in follicle-free areas. The FUE method can do this, provided that the donor areas are adequate which increases the chance of reaching a successful result that is natural-looking hair transplants which meet the female patients’ high expectations.
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