by Agata Brys, M.D.
Hair loss (alopecia) affects 2 out of every 3 men, and 1 in 5 women. For men, heredity is a major factor in hair loss. For women, heredity and hormonal changes, such as those that occur during menopause, are responsible for female pattern changes that include hair thinning and loss.
Gradual thinning on top of the head is the most common type of hair loss. As people age, hair tends to gradually thin. The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition called male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness. Medical conditions such as thyroid problems, alopecia areata, scalp infections, and other skin disorders as well as drugs used to treat cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems and high blood pressure can cause hair loss.
Baldness typically refers to excessive hair loss from your scalp. Some people prefer to let their baldness run its course untreated and unhidden. Some may cover it up with hairstyles, makeup, hats or scarves, wigs, or hairpieces. Many choose to treat their hair loss through one of the surgical procedures that are available today such as hair transplants , scalp reduction or scalp flaps.
Hair Loss for Women
When a man starts to lose his hair, it is considered very natural for him to look for ways to replace his hair loss. That’s what our society expects.
But it’s different for a balding woman. She may feel that she’s losing a visible sign of her womanliness and femininity, but she may be too embarrassed to talk about it and to seek out hair replacement services.
If you’re a woman concerned about your thinning hair and interested in the hair replacement process, Dr. Brys and Dr. Kelly welcome the opportunity to meet with you and evaluate your concerns. An individual consultation will provide you with an understanding of what options are available to you to ensure the best possible hair restoration result.
In basic terms, hair transplants involve transposing hair from the back of the scalp (the donor site) and placing it in the front or mid-portion of the scalp where the hair has fallen out. The technique of hair transplantation in women is very similar to that performed for men but there are some subtle differences as well. For example, a woman’s natural hair is often more susceptible to “shock loss” if the transplant is performed too aggressively. In addition, the softer quality of the donor hair in some women will favor the use of slightly larger grafts in some patients to provide increased density yet still maintain a completely natural result.
If you have not already come in for your free hair replacement consultation with our Hair Restoration surgeons, schedule it today. You’ve waited long enough!
In the most common type of permanent hair loss, only the top of the head is affected. In this case, surgical procedures can make the most of the hair you have left.
The key factor in hair replacement surgery (also known as hair transplantation) is the presence of donor hair on the side and back of the scalp, which is used to replace the hair where it has been lost. The donor hairs (those hair follicles around the sides and back of one's head) are programmed to continue to grow on a permanent basis, so they will maintain their integrity and grow on, even after Dr. Brys or Dr. Kelly redistribute these hairs to the thinning or bald areas of the scalp during hair transplantation. Hair quality is another factor that determines results – light colored hair and coarse-textured hair produce a look of greater density than fine or dark hair.
Hair transplantation can be performed with local anesthesia, while you watch a movie in comfort. The donor hair is harvested from the back of the scalp and the area is carefully sutured closed, leaving only (in most individuals) a pencil-line wide scar. These stitches are unnoticeable and are removed in seven to ten days after the procedure. Using dissecting microscopes or magnification, the donor strip is meticulously cut into thousands of small hair grafts called follicular unit grafts, which contain only one to four hairs. Each follicular unit is carefully placed into recipient sites created in the thinning or balding areas on the scalp. This leads to natural appearing results.
The transplanted grafts continue to grow for three to four weeks, and then they fall out. Approximately four months after the hair transplants were implanted; the new, permanently growing hairs will appear and will continue to grow at the normal rate of growth for human hair, 1/4 to 1/2 inch per month. Over the following years hair thinning can occur, the non-transplanted hairs may fall out, while the transplanted hair continues to grow. A patient may benefit from another transplant at that time.
During your consultation, you and the hair restoration doctor will decide which areas need to be addressed and where donor hair needs to be transplanted to achieve the desired results. The consultation is free so call to schedule one today!
Scalp reduction surgery, also called alopecia reduction surgery, is used mainly to treat male pattern hair loss. The procedure removes the balding areas and allows the hair bearing area to cover more of the scalp. Often, several scalp reductions are needed to completely remove the balding area. Scalp reduction can be combined with hair transplantation (link) to further refine the results obtained.
The procedure may be completed with local anesthesia only. During the surgery, a piece of bald scalp is removed, and the adjacent hair-covered scalp is stretched over the opening to close it. Scars are generally covered by new hair growth. Follicular unit transplantation can be used to further refine the results obtained with these procedures.
You can expect some pain for a few days after the procedure and your scalp may feel tight for a few months.