Hair Transplant For Women
A hair transplant is one of the most common cosmetic procedures undergone by male patients and it continues to grow in popularity with female patients. Take a look below to learn why hair transplant for women is an ideal option for many women suffering from hair loss.
Ideal Candidates for Female Hair Transplant
Many women with typical diffuse female patterned hair loss are not good candidates for a hair transplant due to not having an adequate donor supply on the back and sides of their scalp or elsewhere on their body. However, there are times when a hair transplant for women can make a significant improvement in the appearance of a patient:
- Female Version of Male Patterned Hair Loss – A common cause of female hair loss in which females lose hair on the front, top and crown with preserved hair on the back and sides.
- Congenital Elevated Hairline – This hairline condition makes the face of a woman less feminine so hair transplant is a great option for these patients.
- Transgender Feminine Hairline Creation– Hair transplant is considered the most important procedure for many Male to Female (MTF) transgender people in order to frame the face of a person with female characteristics.
- Scarring Alopecia – When scarring alopecia is due to trauma, a surgical hair transplant procedure can fill the area containing the scar and eliminate its visibility to others.
- Hair Loss after Facelift – It is not uncommon for women to lose hair in their temporal points due to a facelift procedure. In addition, the scar resulting from a facelift can make hair loss more visible to the naked eye.
- Traction Alopecia – This condition is hair loss due to traction or a pulling of the hair that is secondary to styling and instrumentation like braiding, tight ponytails and dreads. Hair transplant can restore the lost hair in the impacted area as long as the patient can stop wearing a hairstyle that can cause this condition.
- Trichotillomania – A condition where the patient has an urge to pull out hair from the scalp, eyebrows or other areas of the body. Symptoms include compulsive hair pulling and hair loss such as bald patches on the scalp. These conditions should be treated with psychological treatments but any hair loss that persists can be treated with a hair transplant.
Hair Restoration Options for Women
Before considering a hair transplant, female patients should be examined by an experienced and board-certified hair transplant surgeon in order to rule out treatable medical conditions contributing to the hair loss. The doctor will also conduct a microscopic evaluation of the hairline to determine the location and percentage of hair miniaturization. Female patients with a high percentage of diffuse/generalized miniaturization are not good candidates for a hair transplant.
Female hair transplant options are the same as their male counterparts. The surgeon will use Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) to achieve the desired results. Also, the doctor may decide to utilize medical treatments during, or prior to, the surgical hair restoration.
When to Consider Female Hair Transplantation?
Woman can utilize a hair transplant procedure for two main purposes:
- To lower a hairline that is high
- To treat patterned baldness
Lowering hairline with hair transplant is a procedure in which healthy hair is removed from the donor area through a FUE method and the hair grafts are implanted in the balding area to create a more feminine hairline.
Women may have either female patterned or male patterned baldness. The pattern of baldness in women should be carefully determined in order to find out whether they are good candidates for a hair transplant procedure.
It should be noted that female hair loss can differ from male pattern balding. Women sometimes do not have stable donor hair on the sides and back of the head. In fact, women are equally prone to hair loss throughout the scalp. This fact makes women less likely candidates for a hair transplant procedure as the non-permanent transplanted hair will fall out at some point.
Taking all of this into account, not every woman living with hair loss will benefit from a hair restoration procedure. Before proceeding with a hair transplant, the doctor needs to take into account the extent of the areas with active balding and estimate the number of permanent hairs that the patient currently has on the scalp that could be used in the hair restoration process.
Differences Between Male and Female Hair Transplant
- Women have Higher Scalp Donor Availability – Women who don’t have male patterned hair loss have a larger donor area since the hair on the top and crown is prone to hair loss. On the other hand, men with advanced stages of hair loss are limited to the hair on the back and sides of the head.
- Women and the Use of Body Hair – Many men can use hair from other parts of the body, such as the beard or body hair, which is not available to most women.
Setting Realistic Expectations
Women have different expectations than men when it comes to hair restoration. It is very important for the surgeon to set realistic expectations for female patients.
Although it is possible to make a solid hairline with only one hair transplant, the new hairline might not be as dense as it was when the women were children. Some women may need more than one hair transplant to increase the density of hair and to achieve their desired final results.
Women who have thinning on a large area of the front, top and crown area should pick the most important areas that need to be restored. Increasing the density of hair evenly is often not the best option to create the optimum results. Some women with extended hair loss should focus on restoring their hairline on the areas where they usually part their hair. The appearance of fullness can be achieved by changing their hair color as well as the use of cosmetics. The surgeon should discuss all cosmetic and styling options that can help patients achieve the best cosmetic results.
Additional Hair Restoration Options for Women:
- Rogaine – Also known as Minoxidil, this is the number one over the counter medication currently available to slow hair loss in patients. Minoxidil is recommended for females with hair loss at a suggested concentration of 2% as opposed to the 5% that is recommended for male patients. Rogaine can also be used in women after hair transplant to reduce the risk of shock loss after hair restoration.
- Laser Hair Restoration – Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) for hair loss is an option for patients who have not seen much progress in fighting hair loss using other treatments. Laser hair loss treatment is an option for patients who are not good candidates for a hair transplant. LLLT can also be considered as an additional therapy option after a hair transplant. LLLT is a noninvasive procedure that stimulates the growth of hair by exposing the hair follicles to low level light during the early stages of hair loss. In general, patients with active hair loss greater than 20% miniaturization of their hair are good candidates for laser hair restoration.
- SMP – Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is a surgical treatment that places pigment into the dermal layer of the scalp skin in order to replicate the appearance of hair follicles. SMP darkens the thinning areas of the scalp and helps create the appearance of hair by minimizing the contrast between the hair color and skin tone.
- Cosmetics – Cosmetics such as Toppik and DerMatch can temporarily reduce the color contrast between the hair and scalp as well as minimize the appearance of balding. Coloring the hair of patients so it is closer to their skin tone can achieve the same goal through the same mechanism.