Hair Restoration For Women
Many women are not aware they are candidates for hair surgery or even that their hair loss requires a thorough disease specific medical evaluation. Our culture has accepted male hair transplantation but somehow the message has not reached enough women that their hair loss can be treated. This fact is confirmed by recent research conducted by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. In their recent studies they estimate more women are being treated for hair loss than in the past decade. In 2008, 15% of hair surgery patients were women.
Female hair loss patients require a different approach for transplantation. Compared to men, hair loss in women manifests in different patterns and is generally more diffuse and can occur at any age. In men, there is a strong genetic pattern whereas in women other underlying conditions play a role in thinning of the hair.
Female pattern balding affects the whole top of the head. It has a more diffuse pattern whereas men lose hair on the temple, the crown, the bald spot in the back. Also, the hormone and enzyme receptor sites are on different areas of the scalp — another reason doctors now believe the loss patterns are caused by different factors.
What causes hair loss? Hair loss may be hereditary or caused by illness, diet or medicine.
- Hereditary thinning or baldness (also called androgenetic alopecia): This is the most common cause of hair loss. About 80 million people in the United States have hereditary thinning or baldness and it affects both men and women. When women have hereditary hair loss, they see noticeably thinning hair. The first sign of hair loss for many women is a widening part. In rare cases, men see noticeably thinning hair.
- Alopecia areata: Is believed to be an autoimmune disease. Which means that the body attacks its own hair. This disease causes smooth, round patches of hair loss on the scalp and other areas of the body. People with alopecia areata are often treated to re-grow hair.
- Cicatricial (scarring) alopecia: This rare disease destroys a person’s hair follicles. Scar tissue forms where the follicles once were, so the hair cannot re-grow. Treatment tries to stop the inflammation, which destroys the hair follicles.
- Central centrifugal cicatricial (scarring) alopecia: This type of hair loss occurs most often in women of African descent. It begins in the center of the scalp and radiates out from the center of the scalp.
- Underlying medical condition: Approximately 30 diseases cause hair loss. By treating the disease, hair loss often can be stopped or reversed.
- Illness: Significant hair loss can occur after an illness, major surgery, high fever, severe infection, or even the flu.
- Some cancer treatments: Radiation therapy and chemotherapy can cause hair loss. This hair loss is often temporary, but it can cause great distress.
- Ringworm of the scalp: This disease is contagious and common in children. Without effective treatment, ringworm can cause balding.
- Trichotillomania: This medical disorder causes people to repeatedly pull out their own hair.
Hormones and stress:
- Giving birth: After giving birth, some women have noticeable hair loss. Falling estrogen levels cause this type of hair loss. The hair loss is temporary.
- Menopause: Hair loss is common during menopause. This loss is often temporary. Hair re-grows with time. If a woman is 40 years of age or older, she should not expect her hair to have the fullness that it did when she was younger.
- Stress: Experiencing a traumatic event can cause hair loss.
Dieting and poor nutrition:
- Weight loss: Some people see hair loss after losing more than 15 pounds. The hair loss often appears three to six months after losing the weight.
- Vitamin A: Too much Vitamin A can cause hair loss. Once the body stops getting too much Vitamin A, normal hair growth resumes.
- Protein: When the body does not get enough protein, it rations the protein it does get. One way the body can ration protein is to shut down hair growth. About two to three months after a person does not eat enough protein, you can see the hair loss. Eating more protein will stop the hair loss. Meats, eggs, and fish are good sources of protein. Vegetarians can get more protein by adding nuts, seeds, and beans to their diet.
- Iron: Not getting enough iron can lead to hair loss.
- Eating disorder: When a person has an eating disorder, hair loss is common. Anorexia (not eating enough) and bulimia (vomiting after eating) can cause hair loss.
- Some prescription medicines can cause hair loss. These include:
- Blood thinners
- High-dose Vitamin A
- Medicines that treat arthritis, depression, gout, heart problems, and high blood pressure
- Steroids taken to build muscle and improve performance may cause hair loss.
Unlike the old fashioned “punch grafting” technique that often produces an altered texture or unnatural straight lines (corn row) of hair appearance, NeoGraft has dramatically improved the results of hair restoration surgery. Grafting sessions are designed to replace the lost hair, refine the thinning hairline, and provide a healthy and natural appearance. Results will vary depending upon your personal level of baldness.
The NeoGraft device uses a special technology that is able to quickly and painlessly remove the hair follicles from the back of the head and implant them to balding areas. NeoGraft uses a controlled pneumatic pressure to slide out the graft smoothly, so there is no pulling or twisting which can risk damaging the graft. Because the NeoGraft transplant is faster than other out of date methods, the grafts can be re-implanted sooner which keeps them more robust, increasing the success of the grafting process.
You will be provided with specific instructions on how to prepare for this procedure.
- Minimal discomfort
The science behind grafting is quite simple. Hair follicles are taken from the hair at the back of the head that is genetically programmed to continue to grow. The follicles that hold your transplanted hair are living tissues that grow cyclically. Like normal hair growth, transplantation is an ongoing process that requires a commitment of time. Once the hair follicle has been implanted into the balding area, the grafted hair will stay in place for about two to three weeks before shedding. After shedding, the new growth will begin in three to four months; this is normal and an important part of the new hair growth process. After that time period, the hair will continue to grow normally; your result will look healthy and natural.
How long will it last?
Hair loss does not stop after a transplantation, some people will need continuing maintenance and further sessions will likely be required, particularly if your balding patterns continue with age. Progressive hair loss or the desire for more density may require more transplants. An estimate of balding pattern and the number of procedures needed will be discussed during your consultation.
Our goal is for you to be informed so if you have a question, please call our office at 850.474.8333