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Does Hair Transplant Work In Women

May 30, 2018


Does Hair Transplant Work In Women?

Hair transplant is a surgery that moves hair that you already have from an area (donor area) to fill another area with thin or no hair (recipient area). While hair transplant surgery is a great option for a majority of the balding men, it isn’t the same when it comes to women.

Why are most women not good candidates for hair transplant?

Very few women make good candidates for hair transplant. Here’s why:

  • Donor area:

While in men the donor sites are stable sites, meaning that the hair follicles in those areas are not affected by the androgen hormone called DHT(dihydrotestosterone) that is responsible for shrinking hair follicles elsewhere in the head, the donor areas in females are usually unstable.

The hair on donor areas is affected by follicle-killing DHT and is thinning as well, just like on rest of the head. So if you transplant these dying follicles to another area, the hair is just going to fall out.

The reason for this is, that in males, the pattern of baldness involves thinning of hair on the top and crown of the head and receding hairline, but the back and sides of the head are normal and can act as stable donor sites. Female pattern baldness, on the other hand, involves diffuse thinning of hair all over the scalp, rendering all areas unstable and unsuitable for transplant.

  • A pattern of baldness and volume of hair:

Receding frontal hairline is a feature only in male pattern baldness, which can easily be rectified by transplanting hair from one area to another. This isn’t a problem for women; they are more concerned about the overall thinning and loss of volume, especially from the top and back, and hair transplant surgery cannot do much to increase volume.

  • Recipient area:

Because the hair loss in women is more spread out, the recipient area is larger. The greater the recipient area, the larger the donor area needs to be; the operation will take longer and the treatment will cost more. Besides, longer hair can also be harder to work with.

  • Effective non-surgical treatments:

Men experience severe balding, indicating that the follicles are dead and thus any form of treatment except for hair transplant wouldn’t work. But balding rarely occurs in women, indicating that non-surgical hair loss treatments can inhibit hair loss and stimulate regrowth.

What should consider before undergoing Hair Transplant?

When are women good candidates for hair transplant?

Only about 2-5% of women with hair loss will benefit from hair restoration surgery. They are:

  • Women suffering from hair loss due to mechanical or traction alopecia (non-hormonal).
  • Women with alopecia marginalis, a condition that looks very similar to traction alopecia.
  • Women who have had previous cosmetic or plastic surgery and are concerned about hair loss around incision sites.
  • Women who have a distinct pattern of baldness, similar to male pattern baldness, involving a receding hairline, vertex thinning, and a stable donor area.
  • Women with hair loss due to trauma, including burn victims, chemical burns, scarring from accidents, etc.

In addition to this, other significant factors in general for undergoing hair transplant surgery are:

  • Age: Any age is eligible, but patients over 30 years are preferred since the hair loss pattern has been well established in them.
  • Health conditions: You must be medically fit with a healthy immune system in order to undergo any surgery. If you are on any long-term medication, discuss it with your doctor.
  • Lifestyle: Living a healthy lifestyle, that incorporates a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress relaxation therapy, will allow for better recovery, less swelling, lower risk of infection, and optimal results after the procedure.
  • Hair loss classification: The severity of hair loss and the amount of donor hair available will also determine the outcome. Hair loss can be classified using Ludwig Scale for women and Norwood Scale for men.
  • Practicing aftercare: Following the instructions for aftercare correctly will prevent infection and hasten your recovery period.

Hair transplant surgery

Hair transplant surgery can be carried out through either of the two procedures:

  • Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) in which a 6-10 inch strip of skin is removed from the back of your head, and then divided into 500-2000 tiny grafts, each with an individual hair or few hairs; OR
  • Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) in which individual hair follicles are extracted one by one using small straight punches.

FUE vs FUT hair transplant: Which one is the better?

The grafts are then transplanted into the balding area of the scalp. It’s important to place the grafts in a zigzag manner for the regrowth of hair in the balding area to appear like natural growth.

This area is then bandaged and may remain tender for some time; you may be prescribed pain medication and antibiotics for a few days.

Within 2-3 weeks after surgery, the transplanted hair will fall out, and you will begin noticing new growth within a few months. Most people observe 60% of new hair growth after 6-9 months.

Risks of hair transplant surgery include infection, scarring, excessive bleeding, an unnatural hair pattern, and death of hair follicles after being transplanted allowing no new growth.

The most crucial part of a hair transplant surgery in order to ensure its success is the hair transplant surgeon. The expertise, ability, skill, and experience of your doctor is most significant in determining the end result. He must also possess the aesthetic skills to place the grafts according to the patient’s facial profile, age, and sex, restoring to you your hair and self-esteem.

What factors make hair transplant a success?

HairMD Clinic boasts of such qualified hair transplant surgeons equipped to perform a hair transplant procedure flawlessly.

For more queries regarding hair transplant or consultation, contact us at HairMD Clinic.


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-Dr. Dhananjay Chavan

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