It’s not to be sexist, but when it comes to hair loss, the biological make-up in women creates a bit of a challenge when restoring that full head of locks. Even with the list of treatment methods available now, there are still other factors that needs to be considered before they are advised by surgeons. With hair transplant in particular, most women would need to think it over first because the hair loss they experience can be different from that in men.
Typically, initial signs of hair loss in men are characterized by receding hairline, or a bald spot at the crown. It comes in a certain form and takes a particular direction which is why it is more aptly called, male pattern baldness.
In women, their hair loss is more defined by diffuse shedding over the entire head instead of bald patches. That is why thinning of the hair over the entire head is apparent. But with female pattern hair loss there is a distinct pattern focused at the woman’s hair division at the center of the scalp.
The Ludwig Scale provided 3 categories and subcategories for rating the degree of hair loss. It is classified as a slight thinning at the hairline in the middle, to a progressing recession that spreads outwards.
To be realistic about it, not all women are really granted the golden ticket for hair transplant. A good surgeon would be honest about this with a client and would advise against the surgery.
Why? Well, it is because there are certain criteria that have to be met to be a good candidate.
For instance, conditions that affect not just the hair but the scalp itself, such as pregnancy, thyroid problems, autoimmune diseases or anaemia are not advisable for a transplant. Otherwise the surgery would only render negative results.
Another thing that surgeons also consider is whether the donor hairs are also healthy enough to thrive once transplanted. Because with women, the entire area of the head are affected with the chemical DHT (dihydrotestosterone), unlike that in men where the side and bottom portions are usually spared. So what you can expect to happen after transplantation would just be another shedding.
So who then are good female candidates?
Sad to say, experts identified that only a meagre 2-5% of the female population benefits from hair transplant. This would include those women who are experiencing a distinct patterned baldness, similar to that in men, those who have had trauma (stitching or burns), and those who have traction alopecia (not a genetic condition, but due to a constant pulling force applied to the hair).
That is why a consultation is always necessary to come up with an appropriate treatment.
Having known this information now, you are better equipped with knowledge to ask the right questions to your surgeon. This also helps avoid being blindly led to unethical treatment, by proceeding with surgery even if you do not pass for it.
So don’t think it to be unfair if you are advised against the procedure. You wouldn’t want to pay thousands of dollars only to have it gone in the end. The success of a hair transplant for female pattern baldness is only as good as the evaluation done.