Are Women Good Candidates for Hair Transplant Surgery?
Balding is not just a men’s problem; women often lose hair as they get older as well. You might wonder, if that is the case, why more women do not have hair transplant surgery. You may be surprised to know that many women are not good candidates.
Women usually have a different type of hair loss than men. Male pattern baldness uncovers parts of the top of the head. However, the sides and back of the head are usually covered with healthy balding-resistant hair follicles.
Men with this pattern of balding will have donor hair that survives the hair transplant process and flourishes long afterward. That is because a naturally-occurring enzyme in the body combines with testosterone to create a chemical called DHT. This chemical is responsible for the hair loss on the tops of men’s heads when they have male pattern baldness.
However, it does not affect the back and sides of their hair in most cases. These areas have healthy hair follicles and make excellent donor sites for hair transplant surgery. These are called stable sites because they remain unchanged over time rather than shrinking like the hair follicles affected by DHT do.
Female pattern baldness is different. In most cases, they do not have large areas of stable balding-resistant hair follicles. The sides and back of their hair tends to thin just as the front and top of the head do. The DHT affects all the areas of their hair.
Any hair follicles that are affected by DHT will simply fall out if they are moved by hair transplant procedures. Moving them from one place to another does not affect the basic nature of the hair follicle.
Also, women do not have the problem of receding hairlines in most cases. Their hair is lost in a more diffuse manner, thinning uniformly all over the head. It is not so much where their hair is that is the problem, but how much they have. Hair transplant surgery will not correct this problem. It is best used to move hair from one place to another.
There is a very small percentage – about 5% of all women with baldness problems – who are good candidates for hair transplant surgery. The thing that all these women have in common is that they all have healthy areas of hair follicles that can be used as donor sites.
For example, women with mechanical or traction Alopecia have lost their hair because they have scratched their head for a long period of time, they have used tight rollers or their hair has been pulled or stretched in any manner. These women almost always have an area of their hair that is unaffected. If they do, they can have hair transplant procedures.
Some women have cosmetic surgery and suffer hair loss around the incision sites. In these cases, hair transplant surgery can help. Other women actually have a pattern of hair loss that is similar to male pattern baldness. These women are able to have the surgery, too.
Finally, women who have suffered trauma from accidents or burns are good candidates for hair transplant procedures. If you are a woman with balding problems, is worth the time to consult with a doctor to find out if you are one of the women who can benefit from hair transplant surgery.