Men and women lose hair in different ways, this is why treatment is also catered to their specific needs. Hair transplant, which is considered the last resort when it comes to restoring hair, have to be personalized to create an aesthetic outcome that is appropriate for the male or female profile. Before you head out to your first consultation, here are the facts you need to know about a female and male hair transplant.
Hair loss in men and women
Androgenetic alopecia or pattern hair loss is an inherited condition that can affect both male and females. The reasons may be similar but it progresses differently.
Both male and female hair loss is caused by an increased sensitivity to male sex hormones. Testosterone, which is also present in certain amounts in females, becomes DHT or dihydrotestosterone when it comes in contact with a certain enzyme. It is discovered that DHT is the culprit behind male pattern hair loss, although it also possesses certain beneficial effects to other parts of the body.
DHT causes the hair follicles to thin, shrink and then eventually shed. But what is unique about this type of hair loss is that it takes on a certain pattern, hence the term, pattern baldness.
It is in the pattern that the hair loss progress that men and women differ. Guys start to lose it from their front hairline. It starts to thin and regress towards the center of the head forming an inverted M or a U. For women, hair loss starts at the center part of the hairline going outwards.
This pattern of hair loss needs to be taken into consideration, along with many other factors. The approach for male and female hair transplant has to be appropriate for their needs and their type of hair loss.
Male Hair Transplant
Even if you have the means for a hair transplant surgery, and even if you are psychologically ready to go through with it, your surgeon still has to make certain considerations. For example, surgeons would first have to determine if the progression of hair loss has already run its course before hair transplant can be done. There is no universal age at which hair loss stops, but the amount and rate of thinning are dependent on several factors (e.g. diet, environment, general health). Genetics also plays an integral aspect in determining when and how much hair a man will lose.
If a patient jumps the gun prematurely by undergoing hair surgery much early on, then hair loss might still progress. So a man could end up with a restored hairline but is eventually left with a bald center.
Hair loss medications maintained prior to the surgery would still be continued even after the procedure. This is to prevent hair loss from worsening or control it entirely.
- The procedure
A male hair transplant is done by removing donor grafts at the back of the head since this area is often unaffected by the condition. There are two techniques in doing this, the FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) and FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction). FUT, also known as the “strip method,” involves the removal of a piece of the scalp which contains the donor graft. This is more invasive, but it promises better yield because it is less traumatic to individual hair follicles. FUE, on the other hand, is a newer technique which uses a special tool that acts as a punch to remove individual grafts directly from the scalp.
Female Hair transplant
A lot of men may make great candidates for hair transplant, but this isn’t necessarily the case for women. As we have mentioned earlier, the donor areas for men are found at the back of the head. This site is called a “stable site,” which means that it is not affected by DHT. In female pattern baldness, the same areas are usually unstable. These areas are also thinning just like the other areas of the head. Therefore, if you remove hair from these areas and transplant them to thinning areas, they would just eventually fall out. Any surgeon who attempts to transplant hair from an unstable site is unethical and is only taking advantage of the patient.
- What is the goal of treatment for female hair transplant?
Unlike men, women are able to keep their frontal hairline since their hair loss takes on a more diffuse pattern. The reason for a hair transplant in this group is not much about framing the face, but restoring volume from the top and the back. FUE is often the technique of choice for such cases, although some clinics prefer the strip method.
- Who is a good candidate?
Not everyone can undergo a hair transplant. A surgeon has to thoroughly evaluate patients to see if this treatment will be appropriate for them. The potential female candidates are those who are:
Women who have suffered hair loss due to mechanical reasons, such as traction alopecia. This occurs in women who frequently style their hair in tight buns, braids or weaves.
- Women who have a distinct pattern of baldness after close evaluation, similar to that in male pattern baldness.
- Women who suffer from hair loss that is caused by burns, accidents, and trauma.
- Women who had previous cosmetic or plastic surgeries and are concerned about hair loss on the incision sites due to scarring.
Women who are suffering from alopecia marginalis, which is a condition that is closely similar to traction alopecia.
Female hair transplants have provided excellent results in patients who have undergone the procedure. The Daily Mail shared the journey of one woman who had the procedure done, and how she came out of it very satisfied and confident of her new look.
Hair transplant today is not the same as it was ten or twenty years ago. Today, the practice has been far improved to provide natural-looking results. It is less painful, it can be minimally invasive, and it also guarantees strong and healthy follicles for donors. These are also the reason why female hair transplant cases are slowly catching up to male hair transplants.
Sydney Hair Transplant Clinic is also keeping abreast of the tools and techniques available for your specific case. Schedule your consultation with us today, and let’s see what can be done.