Hair transplants is generally thought of as a surgical procedure only for men. However, this is not the case. Women can also suffer from balding and hair loss due to increased hormone activity or as a result of injury to the hair follicle. Although the presentation of hair loss in female pattern hair loss is different compared to male pattern baldness, a similar surgical procedure can still be used in women as in men to transplant hair to the thinning or bald areas of scalp. Women who suffer from localized thinning hair on the scalp or at the temples can benefit greatly from hair transplantation.
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Suitable candidates for hair transplantation
The best candidates for hair transplantation include those men and women with pattern baldness where the hair loss is limited to the top of the scalp. In some women, and a few men too, the hair loss can be quite extensive. These individuals are not suitable candidates for hair transplantation.
For hair transplantation to work, there must be a good number of hair follicle at the back of the scalp that are unaffected by the pattern baldness some of these hair follicles are selected for transplantation in the procedure. If the area at the back of the scalp has hair follicles affected by pattern baldness then they cannot be transplanted. If they were, they would continue to be affected by the androgen activity and the hair thinning would persist. Consequently, only those men or women with a good hair density in the donor area can undergo hair transplants.
Since hair transplantation requires medical and technical expertise, it is vital that a patient research their physician options. The doctor performing the Hair transplant should not only be experienced, but should have received specialized training in the hair surgery field. Sometimes a dermatologist can perform the hair transplantation because of additional training, so a patient can look to that field as an option for a physician. In some cases, hair loss can be treated by other methods than hair transplantation, so it is necessary to speak with a physician before determining the best course of hair loss treatment. A good surgeon will recommend the best treatment approach even if it means the treatment does not involve surgery.
Hair transplant procedure
Hair transplantation takes hair and its roots from one part of the body (the donor area) and transplants them to another that is lacking in hair. There are several different methods of hair transplantation, but the most popular currently is follicular unit transplantation. In this procedure, a donor strip of skin is taken from the back of the scalp and cut into blocks of one to three hairs in clusters under a microscope. The size of the hair follicle clusters will be determined by the hair type, hair quality, hair color, and the area to which the piece will be transplanted. These tiny micrografts are then individually transplanted into the balding regions of scalp. Not only is hair transplantation effective, but it is also permanent. In cases of pattern baldness, some patients will find that there are areas that continue to grow hair at the fringe of the bald patch; these areas can be transplanted as they have proven that they will grow.
The entire hair transplantation procedure can take up to eight hours, depending on the specific nature of hair loss in the patient. Local anesthesia is needed for the procedure, but the patient will not need to be put to sleep in order to have the hair transplantation. Most patients can return to work within two to five days of having surgery. For those with extensive hair loss it may take more than one surgical session to fully cover the bald areas – usually at six month intervals.
Following the hair transplantation, hair can begin to grow within one to three months. Initially, the transplanted hairs will fall out, but the hair follicles remaining in the skin will begin a new growth cycle and produce new hairs. As the hair transplantation is repeated, the hair will become thicker and thicker and grow in more healthy. Some care needs to be taken of the transplanted grafts initially, but after the grafts have healed into place, no special long term care is required and the hair can be curled, permed, etc. as the patient desires.
Natural look of transplanted hair
The question most often asked by patients is whether or not the hair transplantation will look natural. The answer to this question is yes. If the physician has been trained properly and has good experience in hair transplantation, then the results should look completely natural. Physicians who have been trained thoroughly will be sure to place grafts in the same direction as existing hair to achieve the proper natural look.
Hair transplant risks
In terms of risks associated with hair transplantation, the most common risk is that the hair will not grow as hoped. This can happen to some patients, but with a good physician, it is not the norm. The place form which the donor hair is taken will have a tiny scar, but that will be hidden by the surrounding hair in the area. There may be some bleeding and crusting over of the areas where the grafts have been placed, but it is usually unnoticeable.
Overall, hair transplantation is a great option for men and women suffering from areas of baldness. It is permanent and can provide the boost in self-esteem to the patient who undergoes the procedure