As hair transplant surgery increases in popularity for men, with celebrities like Wayne Rooney bringing the procedure firmly into the mainstream, it seems strange that more women aren’t jumping on the hair transplant bandwagon, particularly with the recent revelations about the rise in female hair loss.
So, why aren’t more women having hair transplants?
Male pattern versus female pattern baldness
When looking at androgenetic hair loss (that’s male pattern or female pattern baldness to you and me), men and women lose hair in very different ways. Men tend to lose their hair first at the hairline, which begins to recede, and then at the temples and crown. The hair at the back and sides of the head usually remains stable, providing a perfect donor area for hair transplant.
In women, however, this hair loss tends to be more diffuse, beginning with thinning at the centre parting of the hair, and spreading out across the back and sides of the head. This means there is no obvious donor area from which to transplant the hair.
Can women ever have hair transplants?
Yes, there are certainly some situations in which a woman would make a good candidate for a hair transplant. When women have lost hair around the hairline due to the use of hair extensions or tight hair accessories, or when hair has been lost in one particular area due to scarring – whether it be from a burn, a trauma or even from a cosmetic procedure – a hair transplant can be the ideal option.
In these situations, women often make even better candidates for hair transplant surgery than men, as longer hair provides better cover for the scarring in the donor area.
What other options are available for women?
If you are a woman suffering from hair loss, the best thing to do in the first instance is to visit your GP, dermatologist or a hair loss expert, as they may be able to diagnose an underlying cause for your hair loss. Although hair thinning in women is often caused by female pattern hair loss, it can also be a result of hormonal changes, thyroid problems or nutritional deficiencies, so it is important to get this checked out before investing in expensive treatment.
If your hair loss cannot be treated by treating an underlying cause, there are a number of other hair loss treatments available, including some topical treatments and scalp micropigmentation (SMP), which can be used to create the illusion of thicker hair in the thinning areas.