Female hair transplants can be a great solution for many women who experience hair loss. Female hair loss is usually caused by hormonal changes or aggressive treatments of other medical conditions. Therefore, it’s important to consult a physician before you make your decision. While there was once a stigma associated with the treatment, this is no longer the case as a result of new techniques to improve the treatment and therefore natural-looking results. Furthermore, the recent stabilisation of female hair transplant costs has opened up the treatment to a number of new patients.
In order to better understand the female hair transplant, we must first point out the differences and the similarities it has with the male hair transplant.
There are some similarities between a male patient and a female hair loss patient. However, there are significant differences in the causes of the two. Because of these differences, while male pattern baldness accounts for more than 95 percent of hair loss in men, making a hair transplant a viable option for the majority, only 2–5% of females who experience hair loss are suitable candidates for the treatment.
Some of the most common causes of female hair loss are hormonal changes, postpartum hair loss, oral contraceptives, lupus, thyroid problems, scarring alopecia, and other autoimmune disorders. That’s why Global Medical Care’s trusted doctors always advise our female hair transplant patients to do several tests to ensure hair transplant is the best solution for their individual hair loss.
Let’s take a closer look at the contrasts.
Both men and women can suffer from hair loss, which is known medically as androgenic alopecia (relating to the androgen hormone), but it is also known colloquially as male (in this case female) pattern baldness. This type of hair loss is caused by a combination of genetics, age, and hormones in both men and women. However, the production of a few extra hormones and enzymes in women makes determining the exact cause of hair loss more difficult, as well as causing it to manifest differently.
Male pattern baldness usually manifests clinically. This essentially means that a specialist can usually figure out what’s causing the hair loss just by looking at it and asking a few basic questions about family and medical history. Most men experience hair loss in the form of thinning or baldness on the frontal area and top of their heads. The hair on the back and sides, on the other hand, frequently remains stable. While the phase, level and severity of hair loss can vary — as demonstrated by the Norwood Scale — this is the most common pattern in male pattern baldness on a male patient.
In comparison, when a woman begins to lose hair, it is usually diffuse, meaning that the hair thins all over the head rather than just on top.
This is significant because the hair follicle that remain on the back and sides of the head in men are resistant to the dihydrotestosterone hormone (DHT), which is thought to be the cause of hair loss. As a result, when DHT-resistant hair follicles are transplanted from the back and sides of the head to the top and front of the head during a male hair transplant, it is their resistance to DHT that keeps them from falling out in the future.
In the case of female hair transplants, diffuse hair loss means that there is frequently insufficient hair on the back of the head to transplant to the front without leaving the hair on the back with significantly less density. Furthermore, diffuse hair loss may indicate that the hair on the back of the head is not resistant to DHT, implying that any transplanted hair will most likely fall out again in the future.
Let’s take a closer look at the types of hair loss in women. It is important to understand that there are three main types of female hair loss: genetic, hormonal, and scalp damage over time. Within these categories there are diffuse hair loss, patterned, and localised hair loss. Within the category of localised hair loss, there are two sub-categories: scarring and non-scarring. Genetic pattern is another type of female pattern baldness that can be treated with a surgical procedure known as follicular unit extraction (FUE).
Women with patterned hair loss tend to keep more of their front hairline, with thinning occurring further back or in sections along the hairlines.
These patients are often the best candidates for a female hair transplant, because hair retention on the backs and sides of the head usually indicates a resistance to DHT. The Ludwig Classification divides this type of hair loss in females into stages:
Hair loss that appears in specific areas is referred to as localised hair loss (also called Alopecia areata). Localised hair loss, as opposed to diffuse or patterned hair loss, frequently results in bald spots appearing in distinct areas of the head where the hair loss is occurring and sometimes could lead to total baldness if left untreated.
Factors that contribute to hair loss in women;
Women’s hair can be vulnerable to underlying, systemic health conditions. Hair loss is frequently seen as a result or side effect of these conditions. Certain medications, such as birth control pills, nutritional deficiencies such as iron deficiency, gynecologic conditions, chemotherapy/radiotherapy for cancer patients, and stress are common causes of diffuse hair loss.
Localised hair loss is more commonly caused by alopecia or as a result of an accident or injury.
It should be noted that when diffuse hair loss is caused by a specific medication, it is frequently misdiagnosed as a genetic hair loss condition. However, if you stop taking the medication, the hair loss should stop. The same is often true for chemotherapy or radiotherapy, though the hair may no longer be as thick as it once was.
Women who have taken medications that have caused hair loss or who have undergone therapies such as chemotherapy may be candidates for a female hair transplant. However, eligibility is frequently determined by where the hair has been lost and whether the remaining hair is strong and DHT-resistant.
How to know if you are eligible for a Female Hair Transplant;
Hair transplants for women are typically only viable for those with dense, strong, and DHT-resistant hair on the top of their head. As a result, it’s best to get a consultation from Global Medical Care’s certified doctors and do the necessary blood tests to know for sure. In most cases however it’s also best to have a dermatological consultation to ensure that this type of treatment is a viable option. Sometimes topical treatments can be enough.
With these considerations in mind, we’ve provided a brief overview of the types of hair loss that generally respond favourably to a woman hair transplant.
Naturally high or receding hairline: A woman in this category usually undergoes a female hair transplant in order to lower the hairline by a few centimetres. Therefore lowering the hairline results in a shorter forehead.
Female pattern baldness: This is characterised by hair thinning on the hairline, top and crown of the head (midscalp area), with little or no thinning on the back and sides of the head.
Hair loss as a result of plastic/cosmetic surgery: This most commonly affects women who have had procedures such as facelifts or brow lifts and want to conceal noticeable incision scars.
Mechanical or traction alopecia, also known as alopecia marginalis: This is characterised by hair loss at the front hairline, temple, and, in some cases, the sides of the head. This is frequently caused by the continued use of hairstyles that pull the hair tightly.
Transgender people who are transitioning from male to female: In these cases, the person usually wants to create a more feminine hairline to frame their face.
Hair loss as a result of trauma: This is most commonly associated with burns (either fire or chemical), but it can also apply to a variety of other accidents or injuries.
After you’ve had consultations with your doctor and determined that you’re a candidate for a hair transplant, your specialist will discuss which specific hair restoration technique is best to restore the growth. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is the most commonly used technique, but Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Direct Hair Implantation (DHI) are also viable options.
How to prep for your surgery?
If you’re a woman suffering from hair loss, you’ll need to visit a hair loss specialist for initial consultations and tests. Your specialist will perform a variety of tests to determine what is the likely cause of your hair loss.
However, prior to these tests, it is critical to examine your head and hair loss in detail. When you contact Global Medical Care, we will ask you to send us a picture of your head from the front, top, back, and sides, and our doctors will advise you on which tests you should get. We’ll also let you know how many grafts can be harvested and how much coverage you can get with that graft amount. This will allow us and your doctor to make an initial assessment of your hair loss and eligibility for a female hair transplant.
However, because female hair loss can be caused by a variety of factors and is difficult to diagnose by sight, your GP or your dermatologist may order additional tests such as a microscopic hair evaluation, a pluck or pull test, a scalp biopsy, or a blood test.
If you’ve already spoken with a doctor and they’ve recommended a hair transplant, one of our Medical Consultants can help you get started on this treatment journey! Contact us and we’ll provide you with information on a variety of Global Medical Care-approved and internationally accredited clinics abroad. You’ll be able to view specific doctor profiles, read real reviews, and select a treatment plan based on the criterias that are important to you.
- On 25/01/2022