Female Hair Transplant FAQ
Although hair loss is often perceived as being a “male problem”, there are many women who also suffer the same fate of hair loss. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive concerning the subject of female hair loss.
Can women get a hair transplant?
Many women undergo hair transplantation in order to improve their hair as well as boost their self-confidence. Much the same as men, women need to be evaluated by an experienced hair transplant surgeon in order to determine if they are good hair transplant candidates.
What is the cost of a hair transplant and how is the cost determined?
Hair transplant cost in women is generally calculated in the same manner as their male counterparts. The cost of a hair restoration has to do with the number of grafts and whether the surgeon performs the transplant using the FUE or FUT
Can hair transplant be used to treat postmenopausal hair loss?
The effects of postmenopausal hair loss could be improved by a hair transplant as long as the person has enough healthy hair on the donor area. A thorough evaluation by a hair transplant specialist can give you a more precise answer.
How soon after a hair transplant can I color my hair?
After a hair transplant procedure, a patient may return to normal activities after the 5th day and this includes normal hair washing. As for any coloring of the hair, it would be preferable to wait a full 2 weeks especially if FUT is performed. Staples should be removed, or sutures should show satisfactory wound closure, before proceeding with hair coloring.
When will I see my full results?
Full results after a female hair transplant can be seen at 12 months. For female patients who keep their hair long, it might be 18 months to 2 years before you can see your fully grown hair with matching lengths.
Can I grow my hair as long as I used to after my hair transplant?
Transplanted hair behaves just as your normal hair. You can grow, cut, color and style your transplanted hair as you please.
Can I get hair from someone else?
A hair transplant involves implanting live tissue into a patient’s scalp. Much the same as other organ transplants, your body can reject transplanted grafts if they are from another person who is not genetically compatible with you. In theory, a person can get a hair transplant from an identical twin since they are genetically the same. If you are lucky enough to have an identical twin sister, she most likely has the same pattern of baldness and does not have any extra hair to donate to you.
How soon after hair transplant can I go back to work?
Depending on your type of employment, you can return to work within days. Most patients take at least 4 days off due to the demands of twice a day hair washing. Others return to work the next day as long as they are out of the public eye. A hair transplant is an investment in your appearance and most patients decide rushing back to work is not worth it and elect to wait a few days until the scabs have healed and fallen off. Some patients may have swelling or redness on and around their transplanted areas for several days making them less than presentable at work. Patients are encouraged to wear a hat after a transplant to minimize the visibility of their post-op changes. The majority of the post-op swelling, bruising and redness will resolve within the first week. Patients are encouraged to avoid continuous direct sun exposure to the scalp after their transplant.
What is shock loss after hair transplant?
Shock loss after a hair transplant is a well-documented occurrence. A hair transplant is considered a stressful event for the scalp hair follicles and it may accelerate the loss of native scalp hair in the immediate transplant area. Simply stated, if you have active hair loss in or around the transplanted area, you may increase the speed of your native hair loss because of the perceived shock to the scalp during your surgery. In women, shock loss could be reduced with the use of minoxidil started 7 days after the transplant.
Is there a home diagnostic test to know if I am a good candidate for a hair transplant?
Women with diffuse or generalized hair loss are not ideal candidates to have a hair transplant since there is no preserved donor area of scalp from which to draw from. However, many women have male patterned baldness in which hair is lost in certain areas (front, top and crown) with preserved hair within the donor areas (back and sides). A good method to check if you are a candidate for a hair transplant is to open your hand and slide your fingers through your hair in the thinning area as well as through the back and sides of your scalp. If you notice a significant difference in thickness of hair between the front and back, and if the hair on the back or sides is significantly fuller, you are likely a good candidate for a hair transplant.
I lost my hair due to obsessive pulling. Can I restore my hair with a hair transplant?
Pulling your own hair due to a psychological condition is called trichotillomania. This condition involves recurrent irresistible urges of pulling your own hair out particularly on the scalp. However, eyelashes and eyebrows may be involved in the condition. It is considered an impulse control disorder and, if this behavior continues unchanged for months, it may lead to irreversible hair loss. Patients should seek psychological counseling to aid in resolving their hair pulling behavior. After the treatment of their psychological condition, a waiting period of 6 months should be observed to evaluate how much of hair has grown back and how much of it has been permanently lost. Once the six months have passed, any areas that show suboptimal growth could be improved with a hair transplant. In cases such as this, candidates for a hair transplant are conditional and treatment is dependent upon continued treatment of their underlying condition. These patients should be observed for signs of relapse of their hair pulling behavior.
I am losing my hair in the front and temples due to wearing tight ponytails or braids. Can a hair transplant help?
This condition is known as Traction Alopecia and is the result of near continuous traction, or pulling of the hair, due to hairstyles such as tight braids or ponytails. The amount of hair loss varies and might be a minimal recession similar to what is experienced in men as they mature. However, if significant, traction alopecia can include the entire front and top of the scalp. This type of hair loss can be prevented simply by changing your hairstyle. In some patients, hair loss is permanent and cannot be reversed by removing the trigger mechanism. These patients may undergo a hair transplant which will restore the receding hairline and temples.
I naturally have a very high forehead. Can I lower it with a hair transplant?
A hair transplant is a great solution for a woman with a high forehead as it allows for a newly created feminine hairline to frame the face while removing any hint of a genetically masculine hairline.
How soon after a hair transplant can I use Toppik?
Toppik, or similar products that are used to conceal hair loss and minimize the showing of the scalp, can safely be started a week after the hair transplant.
I lost my hair after a facelift. Can a hair transplant help?
Hair loss is a possible complication after a facelift procedure. Due to the facelift incisions being strategically placed within the scalp hair, surgical scars may be evident if trichophytic wound closure is not done. A facelift surgical scar among your scalp hair can easily be concealed with a minimally invasive hair transplant as follicular units are placed directly into the scar. Consult with a hair restoration specialist to determine if a hair transplant will help camouflage your surgical scar and replace the hair that you lost after your facelift.
How to find a good doctor with experience in female hair transplantation?
There are multiple ways to find the right doctor to meet your needs:
- Do online research in order to find a hair transplant doctor who specializes in female hair transplant surgery. The American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery (ABHRS) is a good place to start your search.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the doctor about his or her experience with female hair loss and hair restoration.
- You can also ask your surgeon for before and after photos of his or her actual female hair transplant patients.
- Ask friends and family members with hair loss who are willing to share their hair transplant experience.
Will my hair transplant results look natural?
If the procedure is done correctly, the results should not be detectable from your natural hair. The final results from modern hair transplant techniques look so natural that it is virtually undetectable to others including a hair stylist who works closely with your hair.
I lost my hair due to Scarring Alopecia. Can a hair transplant help?
Scarring Alopecia, also known as cicatricial alopecia, results in hair loss most notably on the scalp. Hair follicles are irreversibly destroyed by the scarring process particularly after burns, trauma or medical conditions such as lupus or scleroderma. A scalp biopsy is essential in making the diagnosis with pathology results consistent with active inflammation. Typical symptoms are itching, burning, redness and pain. Early diagnosis and aggressive medical treatment is usually necessary to control the inflammation because, once the hair follicle is destroyed, hair will not regrow. Treatment during the acute phase may include antibiotics, steroids or immunomodulators. Scarring alopecia almost always burns itself out over time but not without leaving its mark of replacing hair with scar tissue. Once the disease is considered inactive for 1 to 2 years, surgical hair restoration or scar excision of the bald area can be considered in some cases.
I lost my hair after my pregnancy. Can I get a hair transplant?
Hair loss following pregnancy occurs when the hair suddenly begins to fall out within 3 to 6 months after giving birth. This postpartum hair loss is one of the many stressors that cause Telogen Effluvium. Instead of continuing in their normal growth phase, the hair follicles start to shift into a resting phase shortly after delivery. In most cases, hair loss is usually temporary. However, patients who are prone to male or female patterned hair loss may never completely recover from this type of hair loss. If the hair does not grow back, an experienced hair restoration physician should examine you to determine if there is a secondary medical condition such as anemia, thyroid problems or a hormonal imbalance preventing the return of your hair.
How soon can I get my second hair transplant?
You should wait until the hair from the first transplant grows out before having another surgery. In most cases, the shortest interval between surgeries is about 6 months. You should check with your doctor during your 6-month follow-up appointment to see if a second hair transplant can further help you achieve your goals.
Why do females lose their hair?
While the majority of men suffering from hair loss do so because of genetic factors, women can also succumb to genetic related hair loss. For those women that do not fall in this category, hair loss may be attributed to a variety of conditions:
- Thyroid disease
- Hormone imbalance
- Microelements dietary insufficiency (vitamins and some minerals)
- Auto-immune related disorders
- Medications (prescription and over the counter)
Which medications can cause female hair loss?
There are a number of medications that can result in the loss of hair in female patients and they include
- Blood pressure medicine (Beta Blockers and ACE inhibitors)
- Diet pills
- Cholesterol medicine
- Female hormones (Birth control, Estrogen, Progesterone)
- Male hormones (Testosterone, Anabolic steroids)
- Seizure medications
- Gout medication
- Anticoagulants (Coumadin, Heparin)
You can read more about medication induced hair loss on our website. Patients who are not sure if their medicine is contributing to their hair loss should consult with a board-certified physician.
Can too many hair treatments result in hair loss?
Over processing of the hair by coloring, bleaching, straightening, curling, blow drying and brushing can damage hair. These treatments can make the hair weaker and lead to breakage, brittleness and dryness. Hair treatments that are performed haphazardly using harsh chemicals applied for too long of a period, or administered incorrectly to the scalp, can burn or injure the hair follicles.
Can too much shampooing cause the hair to fall out?
On average people lose approximately 50-100 hairs a day. Therefore, it is to be expected to see hair in the shower drain or on your brush daily. The act of shampooing itself does not cause hair loss. However, if a patient has an allergy to a specific ingredient in the shampoo, this may trigger symptoms of burning, itching and scalp irritation. If the allergy is severe enough, it can result in hair loss.
Can clogged pores cause hair loss?
The gland that lubricates the hair and skin by producing sebum is called the sebaceous gland. Patients often feel that an excessive amount of sebum production will cause the pores to become clogged and prevent hair growth. Please note that this is a misconception. If sebaceous glands overproduce, patients often note greasy hair and oily skin. While acne can be the result of clogged pores, the loss of hair is not caused by clogged pores.