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Hair Transplantation in Women

By HERWriter
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Skin, Hair & Nails related image Photo: Getty Images

Hair transplantation in men has been successfully performed for many years. However we don’t hear much about it being used in women. Women are equally as concerned with their diminishing manes as men so why isn’t more attention paid to hair transplantation as an alternative for women to consider?

The problem is that most women do not lose hair in a similar pattern as men, making the technique of adding hair plugs less satisfactory. Women typically have all-over thinning of their scalp, while men have areas where the hairline recedes, leaving bald spots on their crown or above the forehead.

One of the difficulties is that women can only transplant hair that comes from an area with thickened growth, which in men is usually the sides and back. In women, these areas are not stable due to their type of hair loss, so transplanting hair from these sites will likely not transplant well, leading to disappointing results.

Still, there are certain types of hair loss in women that can make them candidates for transplantation surgery. According to WebMD about 2 to 5 percent of women who have hair loss might benefit from the procedure:

• Women with non-hormonal hair loss such as traction alopecia

• Women who desire small amounts of hair transplanted to cover incisions from cosmetic surgery

• Women who have specific male pattern baldness such as receding hairline, loss at just the crown and stable donor hair sites elsewhere on their head

• Women who have had hair loss from a trauma such as from burns.

According to the New York Times in 2008, approximately 5,000 women did have hair transplantation surgeries -- a 21 percent increase from 2000. The cost for the surgeries ran about $3,000 to $15,000 depending on the number of hair grafts and the complexity of the surgery, the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery reported.

One alternative to hair transplantation surgery for certain women is a procedure called forehead shortening. This is a technique that can work for women who have very high foreheads as it brings their hairline down closer to their eyes so that their face is framed with a more balanced look. A consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon will determine if a woman is a candidate.

Otherwise, it is recommended that women use a variety of other techniques to camouflage their hair loss. Finding an experienced hair stylist can be invaluable. They can use of different coloring techniques as well as highlights to create the illusion of “movement, volume and thickness that’s not there naturally.”


Women’s Hair Loss and Hair Restoration. WebMD. Retrieved Oct 23, 2011 from

Tricks and Transplants for Women's Hair Loss. By CATHERINE SAINT LOUIS. April 29, 2009. New York Times. Retrieved Oct 23, 2011 from.

HAIRLINE LOWERING FOR A HIGH HAIRLINE OR FOREHEAD. Douglas Sidle M.D. Retrieved Oct 23, 2011 from

Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in woman’s healthcare and quality of care issues. Other articles by Michele are at www.helium.com/users/487540/show_articles

Edited by Jody Smith

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EmpowHER Guest

Hi, this info helps me a lot.There are various kinds of hair transplant procedures, and also the most typical are Scalp Reduction, Flap Surgery, and Hair Transplant Graft.

January 4, 2012 - 5:16am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.