Hair transplantation has been around since the 1950’s and typically is performed on men who have developed male pattern baldness called androgenic hairloss. Women may be candidates for hair transplantation if they develop similar male pattern hair loss or if for other reasons have developed hair loss in those areas of their scalp.
Hair loss in both men and women is related to excessive levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which causes hair follicles to shrink. In men, hair loss usually occurs at the temples, the front hairline and the crown where sweat glands secrete more DHT. Women typically develop hair loss in the form of thinning all over their head. Women often develop their hair loss as they enter menopause due to dropping levels of estrogen. Estrogen acts to counter the effect of DHT preventing shrinkage of hair follicles.
Hair follicles for hair transplantation are selected from the sides and back of men’s heads because they tend to be spared from the strong effects of DHT. If women seeking hair transplant surgery have thinning in those areas, the donor follicles taken will not be strong enough to support new hair growth and the transplanted hairs will fall out. Additionally, hair transplantation is not an effective way to increase hair volume which is what women typically tend to need. Hair transplantation works best to replace areas that have entirely lost hair since the hair is simply moved from one location to another.
According to webmd, only about 2 percent to 5 percent of women are truly candidates for hair transplantation.
● Women who have some type of tractional alopecia may benefit from transplant surgery. This type of hair loss commonly appears in African American women who frequently wore tight corn rows or women who regularly have pulled their hair tightly back in pony tails.
● Women who have had face lifts and want to make sure their incision sites are concealed might benefit from hair transplantation.
● Women who have had some type of burn or trauma to a specific section of their scalp can have hair transplanted to replenish the area.
● Women who develop typical male pattern baldness with a regressing hair line or loss of noticeable area on their crown might also benefit.
“Each hair transplant costs an estimated $3,000 to $15,000 depending on the complexity and according to the number of hair grafts, according to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery” reported to the NYTs.
It is also important that women rule out any other underlying causes of their hair loss before they rush to consider hair transplantation. A thorough physical exam with blood work will not only rule out diseases that can contribute to hair loss but then treat those health problems such as anemia or thyroid disease.
Luckily, the majority of women with hair loss do have options that do not work as well for men since women typically do not lose hair from their front hairline. Some beauticians are specialists on how to camouflage a thinning crown using hair dye, highlights and styling tricks buying women a little more time before considering a wig or hairpiece to hide their losses.
Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in woman’s healthcare and quality of care issues. Other articles by Michele can be read at http://www.helium.com/users/487540/show_articles