Men’s hair loss has become a common topic, one that even leads to joking around among friends. With women’s hair loss, however, the conversations are very few and the jokes are completely off limits. It’s not as commonplace to see women going through the same hair-loss struggles as their male counterparts. For this reason, women who do suffer from hair loss aren’t very familiar with their options. While treatments for men and women do vary, you may be a good candidate for female hair transplantation.
How Female Hair Loss Differs
Some estimates show that nearly 90 percent of the men who suffer from balding and hair loss are seeking treatment. Hair transplantation has almost become somewhat of a routine for the aging male. The same can’t be said for middle aged women experiencing hair loss. Yet, these prospective female patients cannot be treated in the same way as men can. Female balding patterns differ, so it is necessary to employ other techniques to restore lost hair in female patients.
There are several types of hair loss that are typical among women:
- A diffuse thinning pattern, often more concentrated at the top and sides of the scalp. Many women use wigs or hairpieces to hide this type of hair loss. For a more long-term solution, micro- and mini-grafting techniques are sometimes used to increase hair density.
- Loss of hair at the temples, which can sometimes be the result of a facelift surgery. This condition can be corrected surgically with grafts or expanders.
- A high forehead or high hairline, which leaves a wider space between the eyebrows and hair line than is desired. For some women, this distance is too wide for their entire lives. For others, the gap widens as the hair line slowly recedes. An ideal distance is 5 to 7 centimeters. Bangs can help to compensate for this gap in some cases; surgical intervention may be required for others.
What Makes a Good Female Hair Transplant Candidate
Many experts in the hair transplant field will agree that very few women make good candidates for the hair transplant surgeries that exist today. Consult with a hair transplant surgeon who offers techniques specifically designed to address the concerns of women’s hair loss to have your greatest chance of being eligible. A surgeon with experience transplanting female hair will be more knowledgeable about the techniques that are likely to best help you achieve your desired results.
The best candidates for female hair transplant surgery are: women suffering hair loss due to mechanical or traction alopecia and alopecia marginalis; women who have had previous facial surgeries and lost hair around the incision sites; women with distinct patterns of baldness; and women who have lost hair as a result of trauma, such as burn victims, those with scars from accidents, and those with chemical burns.
Two Procedures for Female Hair Transplantation
Currently, there are two popular methods used to transplant female hair and reverse hair loss. These procedures will address specific concerns that result from female hair loss, making them slightly different from the techniques used to correct male baldness. They are hairline advancement for women and expansion assisted hairline advancement.
In hairline advancement for women, the aim is to shorten a long forehead by lowering the hairline. It is an ideal treatment for women with very high foreheads and can generate natural-looking results within 2 or 3 days after the procedure. Simple and quick, hairline advancement for women is a more cost-effective alternative to the more involved follicular unit grafting procedure which involves two or three sessions and takes up to 18 months for results to appear.
With expansion assisted hairline advancement, patients will need to have two procedures done to complete the two-step process and move the hairline forward. During the first part of the process, a circular shaped expander, much like an uninflated breast implant, is placed underneath the scalp and behind the frontal hairline. Once it heals, the expander will be gradually filled with sterile water to stretch the scalp very slowly. These inflations will be performed every two to five days over the course of four to eight weeks until enough stretching has occurred. In a second surgery, your hair transplant surgeon will remove the device and move the stretched scalp forward, replacing the top section of high forehead. With this approach, the hairline can be moved up to 8 centimeters.
Consult With a Hair Transplant Surgeon for More Information
As an experienced hair transplant surgeon, Dr. Sheldon S. Kabaker can guide you smoothly through the process of planning for your own hair transplant procedure. As an Aesthetic Facial Plastic Surgeon and Hair Transplant Specialist, he also offers nonsurgical skincare treatments at his practice. He received his medical degree from the University of Illinois, College of Medicine in 1964, before serving in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and seeking active duty in Vietnam. Dr. Kabaker has studied and taught facial plastic surgery internationally in countries including France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Argentina, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Today, he continues to educate himself while delivering satisfactory results to his patients. To book a consultation with Dr. Kabaker, contact his office located at 3324 Webster Street in Oakland, California by calling (415) 379-9015.