Are women coming around to the idea of hair transplants? The statistics aren’t promising, let’s be honest. Figures released by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) last year showed that some 87% of hair transplant procedures performed by ISHRS members were on male clients. That leaves women lagging by quite some distance. But those statistics may not tell the full story. Anecdotally, many hair restoration clinics are reporting a recent surge of interest from female clients. Has something changed? Are women now turning to hair transplants to restore their hairlines and increase the density of their crowning glory?
Let’s dive in and find out!
What Puts Women Off?
Traditionally, women haven’t exactly been encouraged down the road of hair transplants. Quite the opposite, indeed. There are stories of hair restoration clinics sending female clients away on the basis that women make poor candidates for hair surgery. This mistaken belief stems from the fact that hair grafting may not be suitable for every hair loss case.
Diffuse hair thinning, for example, the pattern of loss experienced by many women, presents a greater challenge than a defined balding spot or area. That’s because potential donor sites may also be vulnerable to hair loss, which means that taking grafts from those areas is problematic. That’s not to say it isn’t done, but you need a surgeon who knows how to avoid the pitfalls.
Then there is the social stigma attached to women and hair loss. While this kind of attitude also affects men, there is arguably more societal pressure on women. Ideal notions of female beauty are linked to waves of thick, luscious hair. When a woman’s hair starts to thin or fall out, she is more likely to try and hide the loss with a new hairstyle or head covering rather than risk ridicule and judgement by having a hair transplant.
Men also have a growing list of male celebrity role models and trailblazers to follow. Every week, it seems, there is another male athlete or TV personality happily talking about their life-changing hair transplant procedure. Not only does this publicise the process, but it helps normalise it. It makes it easier for Joe Public to make that same choice. What about Josephine Public? Where are her female trailblazers?
And yet, despite these obstacles, women are coming forward in greater numbers. So what has changed?
Cometh the hour, cometh the right hair restoration treatment. For decades, women have been attempting to manage hair loss using a variety of ineffective, unsatisfactory methods. Wigs, hairpieces and hair extensions are all high-maintenance, imperfect solutions that require regular upkeep and replacement. In contrast, a hair transplant is a one-time procedure that provides permanent results. This is a big attraction for women looking to ‘fix and forget’.
Modern hair transplants fit that description to a tee. Not only that, but the general public is becoming increasingly aware that hair transplant surgery can now deliver great results. Media coverage has helped, drawing attention to the advances in technology and techniques that have made such a difference to both the process and the outcomes. Less invasive options like Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) surgery not only produce natural, thick hair but do so with much less pain, little or no scarring and a lot less downtime.
Then there’s the rise in no-shave extractions. These have also been a factor in getting more women through the doors; name me the woman who wants to spend months with a bald head waiting for her new hair to grow!
There’s a growing awareness amongst women of what can be achieved. That’s one reason why hairline transplants are particularly popular. These are often used to treat a naturally high hairline, scarring, or traction alopecia caused by hair extensions, pulled-back hairstyles, chemicals or heavy accessories.
They can be done in a way that looks completely natural, too. This is particularly important for women, who are often judged harshly for any perceived flaws in their appearance. A skilled hair transplant surgeon can create a hairline which will grow just like the recipient’s natural hair (because it is the recipient’s natural hair!), creating a seamless look.
It’s long past the time that women seized the opportunities presented by hair transplant surgery. For many women, severe hair loss strikes at the heart of what it means to be female. It attacks their identity and their self-esteem. Thankfully, many seem to be realising that it doesn’t have to be like this.
If you’re wondering if a hair transplant could be the long-term answer to your hair loss problem, then Vinci Hair Clinic can help with that. We offer a free consultation to all our new clients. All you have to do is get in touch and make an appointment. Your consultation can take place at one of our many clinics or over the phone, using photographs. Book it today!