Women And Hair Loss… Devastating… But There Is Help
- May 03, 2019
- 0 Comments
Recently, at our clinic we had the pleasure of transplanting back to back two women over the age of 70 for hair loss and using the (FUE) Follicular Unit Extraction Technique. They were both practically the same in terms of age, type of hair loss, and reasons why they wanted to have a transplant but they were unrelated. This sparked an interest to blog about getting the word out about Women and Hair Loss and the options for Women.
The Statistics of Women and Hair Loss
When it comes to hair loss and women, there is a 50% chance that you will experience hair loss at some point in your life. The majority of you will experience this after the age of 40 and mostly during menopause. Hormonal changes, specifically the drop off of estrogen, may cause hair loss.
Some women will have a noticeable hair loss after certain difficult life stressors, such as an illness, a massive loss weight during extreme dieting, or even a major financial burden. This is called Telogen Effluvium. That is a fancy term but it only means a short term hair loss. The hair loss during this time period will return after the stress is gone and can take up to three months.
Pregnancy also falls into this category, however I wanted to single it out because not many people realize that this type of hair loss is common after pregnancy. However a few women experience a latent return of hair or NO return of hair. This would mean that it is time for the individual to go see their primary care or hair transplant physician. A chronically low iron, Thyroid hormone, or a combination of these with low Vitamin D could in fact be the culprit. We would test these through a simple blood test and correct it. If these tests are normal and there is no other cause, the we would look at medical and/or surgical options for hair loss.
Before we discuss that, there are just few other causes for hair loss in women. Another medical cause would be an Alopecia Areata ( A medical condition of hair loss that leaves random circles of baldness on the scalp). The term Alopecia actually means hair loss. Other words in combination with alopecia means a condition of. Such as the last hair loss cause in women we will discuss and is completely preventable. Traction Alopecia.
As one would expect, the term traction has to do with pulling of the hair strands. If you pull your hair back in very tight styles, or wear head gear such as turbines, what you are doing is slowly pulling the follicle and its root completely out of the scalp. Over time, the constant pressure, and one by one follicle being pulled out, will lead to a destruction (permanent) of your hairline and temporal region. We see it all the time in hair restoration. Careers in the military have hair protocols to pull hair back tightly. Some High school gymnastics and cheerleader programs along with their respective competitions also require the tightly pulled buns. The key here is that traction alopecia will require ONLY a surgical hair transplantation. Once the hair is gone, it is gone forever. So on to the medical and surgical options.
Medical and Surgical Interventions For Women Hair Loss
In terms of a medical treatment for women hair loss conditions, Minoxidil is the most commonly recommended over the counter topical treatment that is safe to use. READ MORE
Minoxidil is effective for the treatment however you must be consistent.The results of the medication are not seen until much time passes. That being at least 4-6 months. If you have tried this or are still using the product, and still have hair loss issues, then you can move to PLATELET RICH PLASMA or PRP. Many people like doing these therapies together. PRP is drawing your own blood, concentrating the platelets, and either massaging the extract into your scalp or injecting the extract in small increments or both. We do both. READ MORE
The surgical hair transplant or restoration option is another great option that I want to discuss. Sometimes people would rather go for this along with, before or after medical treatments such as PRP. And this is perfectly fine.
A hair transplant goes along the same premise as a male transplant. The differences are:
1. The place where the hair is extracted. A woman’s hair loss is for the most part, a global hair loss meaning it could be ALL over. These are difficult cases because a global hair loss means all over the scalp there is loss and not in any pattern. An experienced profession will utilize FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) to look for healthy follicles or grafts and extract them one at a time. The other method of hair restoration would not be appropriate here.
2. The design of Female hairline. The female hairline is more rounded off while the male usually has a squared of hairline and in male pattern hair loss the recessions are on the right and left side of his hairline.
These are important concepts for a successful transplant. They are not always taken into consideration in inexperienced hair transplant clinics. Fortunately, we have performed hundreds of female hair transplants and we take each of these cases seriously.
Below is what one of these two ladies looks like pre and post op for two weeks. The other person will be posted as soon as I get her 2 week post op pictures. They graciously consented for me to use for the education of women who suffer from hair loss.