Posted on May 7th, 2014 by Dr. Carlos Puig]
Women are capable of suffering hair loss just as men do. The cause for both sexes is the same, but the problem affects the hairline of women differently. It is possible to have female hair replacement performed through medical hair restoration, but women require a different approach to the issue. In men, male pattern baldness tends to follow a predictable path and leaves donor hair sites with viable follicles. Women can also have this pattern, but more often, hair thins all over the scalp, requiring a different approach to restoration.
Female pattern baldness is caused by dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. When conditions are right, such as the onset of menopause, DHT attacks hair follicles until it successfully kills them off. Normally, women have a very small amount of testosterone in their body when compared to men. Sometimes testosterone levels rise just enough to create DHT that then attacks the hair follicles and causes hair to die off. It takes so little DHT to cause this that blood tests can come back in the normal range for women. In some cases, the problem happens because women are sensitive to their own body chemistry, and a subtle change in the testosterone levels sets off the hair loss.
Hair loss patterns in women vary. Some have male pattern hair loss, which is losing hair from the forehead to the crown while others lose hair in what is known as a diffuse pattern. A diffuse hair loss is hair loss all over the scalp and leaves a sparse appearance. The appearance of either of these patterns can be repaired through female hair replacement therapies.
Two types of hair replacement therapies are available to repair the damage. One is surgical and the other is medication. Surgical hair replacement restores the hairline and fills in damaged areas, whereas medication works to restore hormone levels and stimulate follicle growth through topical and oral prescriptions. Sometimes a combination of both of therapies is necessary to address the problem.
Surgical hair replacement works by removing hair follicles from areas of the scalp that are not affected by DHT and placing them in the hair loss areas. The replacement follicles do not have DHT attached to them, and grow normally when they are placed in area to be filled in. Over time, the relocated hair follicles thrive in their new location and blend in with the remaining hair. The end result is a full head of hair that looks as if it had never experienced follicle loss.
Women who are seeking female hair replacement therapies can learn more about their options during a consultation with a hair restoration surgeon. During the consultation, the surgeon performs an examination and recommends a course of action that is appropriate for the hair loss issue at hand. The goal is to restore the patient’s hair to a point where the hair loss isn’t noticeable anymore.