Do you like to experiment with new hairstyles? However, for a great number of women, a hair salon is one of the last places to visit as they try to live with hair loss. A woman sufferer is likely to feel unattractive and this definitely hampers her confidence, making hair loss a more psychological effect than a physical one. Hair loss in women can usually be contributed to female-pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) where hair gradually thins out and gets more noticeable after menopause. It starts often from the top of the head and is most likely genetically predisposed.[1] Meanwhile, alopecia totalis would mean complete loss of hair on the head with regrowth being unlikely. But, advances in aesthetic science have made female hair transplant an option for women to regain their hair.

Hair transplant for women

An uncomplicated procedure, hair transplant involves transferring hair follicles from the donor area to the affected area (balding spot) for a natural looking result.[2] Yet, hair restoration for women is not for all, as most women experience overall thinning in all areas of the head, including sides and back, which are predominantly donor sites for men undergoing hair transplant. Women also tend to be more concerned about loss of volume from the top and back but hair transplant does little to improve on volume as it only moves hair from one place to another.[3] Because a large percentage of women have hair that is unsuitable for hair restoration procedure, the specialist must hold a consultation to determine if you can handle it. An examination of the donor area must be performed to find out the amount of follicular units that can be obtained for the recipient area. A woman should have hair on the back and sides with enough density so that the harvesting process makes enough follicles to successfully cover the recipient area for the hair transplant to work. The other examinations would be of the recipient area to determine the final number of grafts required for restoration and of skin elasticity.

Female hair transplant procedure

Known as Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), the procedure takes hair from the back and sides of the scalp and places it on the balding areas of the scalp. Using naturally occurring groups of 1, 2, 3 or 4 hairs (follicular units), a strip of tissue from the donor area is removed after the scalp is anesthetized. The donor strip is then cut into individual follicular units and a professional hair transplant team should ideally consist of 5 people to prepare the follicular unit grafts [4] as the job is very delicate and requires much focus. While the grafts are being prepared, the doctor will make tiny holes in the scalp to place the grafts. A hair transplant is supposed to mimic the way your hair naturally grows without any signs of a procedure. Therefore, the doctor will discuss the placement of the follicular unit grafts during consultation depending on your hair loss history and possibility of future hair loss together with how you want the end result to look like.[5]

After a hair transplant, there may be some discomfort or pain and medication is provided. A special shampoo is given to clean the transplanted area. After ten days, the grafts should be firmly in place and resuming your normal hair care routine or getting a haircut is fine. If you want to dye your hair, wait about four weeks after the transplant. Most patients only require a one-time procedure so you are encouraged to wait about 1 year to see the effects of the transplant before deciding on a second hair transplant.[6]


Angeline Rose

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