Figures released by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) in 2022 show that there’s still a big gap between men and women when it comes to hair transplant surgery. Approximately 87% of hair transplant procedures performed by ISHRS members were carried out on male clients, leaving women to make up just 13% of the total. Why the big difference? Is there something about female hair loss that makes transplantation an unsuitable option? Or is it the process itself that puts women off?
This article is going to outline everything women should know about hair transplants. Keep scrolling to find out more!
Causes of Female Hair Loss
Greater social acceptance of cosmetic procedures and advancements in surgical techniques have made hair transplants more accessible and suitable for women. And there’s little doubt that the number of women seeking hair restoration treatments, including hair transplants, has been steadily increasing in recent years. But those ISHRS figures can’t be dismissed easily. So, is there something about female hair loss that can’t be fixed with a hair transplant?
As with men, there are many different causes of hair loss in women. These include genetics, hormonal changes, physical and emotional stress, medical conditions or the medication taken to combat those conditions (chemotherapy, for example), and nutritional deficiencies. And that’s by no means an exhaustive list.
All those hair loss causes can be addressed by a transplant when it comes to men. The same applies to women, but the process may be a bit more complex for three main reasons. In the first place, women tend to have a more diffuse pattern of hair loss, making it harder to find suitable donor sites for transplantation. They also, as a rule, have finer, thinner hair than men, which can make it more challenging to achieve the desired result with a transplant. Thirdly, women often have a different hairline shape compared to men, which requires a more nuanced approach to transplantation. It’s important to stress, however, that these challenges are by no means insurmountable.
That fact is borne out by the growing number of women getting hairline transplants, making it one of the most popular types of transplant requested by women. Hairline procedures are in demand for two reasons. Firstly, they are often required to rebuild a hairline that has lost hair, perhaps because of traction alopecia brought on by tight, pulled-back hairstyles or overuse of chemical products and heat styling tools.
Secondly, a hairline transplant can be carried out for aesthetic reasons, to reduce what clients perceive to be their high forehead. This involves repositioning the hairline to a lower line on the forehead to create a more pleasing appearance.
The hair transplant process is no more difficult for women than it is for men, with one possible exception. We’ll look at that in a moment. To be a good candidate for hair transplant surgery, you must have healthy hair growth at the back and sides of the scalp which can be used as donor hair. Good overall health is also key; there should not be any medical conditions that could complicate surgery.
Where a hair transplant is deemed to be the most appropriate treatment, the process involves hair follicles being surgically relocated from one part of the scalp (the donor site) to the area showing signs of hair loss or baldness, commonly known as the recipient site. The procedure is performed using either follicular unit transplantation (FUT) or follicular unit extraction (FUE) surgery, and the transplanted hair typically grows permanently in the new location.
Hair transplants are performed under local anaesthesia and can be done in a single day. The results are natural looking and permanent and can significantly boost the self-esteem and confidence of the recipient.
For women, one aspect of the process that might be difficult is the shaving of the head in preparation for the surgery. That’s not such a deal-breaker for a man, for whom a shaved head can be viewed as a fashionable choice. It’s not a style that women often embrace but, in the longer term, the reward of thick, natural hair might be worth it.
Hair transplants shouldn’t be a male preserve. While female pattern hair loss presents some particular challenges, these are not sufficient for women to discount the procedure out of hand. It’s important to consult an experienced hair transplant surgeon for a comprehensive evaluation to determine if a transplant is the best solution for your hair loss and to discuss your specific needs and goals. It helps to have realistic expectations and be fully informed about the potential benefits and limitations of the procedure.
When it comes to hair specialists, Vinci Hair Clinic can help. We employ some of the best in the hair restoration business. What’s more, we provide a free, no-obligation consultation to all our new clients, either in person or over the phone using photographs. Get in touch and make your appointment today!