HAIR LOSS IN WOMEN
How common is hair loss in women?
Actually, it occurs quite often. Although it is not as common as in men, it can affect one in four women.
What leads to hair loss in women?
There are many causes, including:
- Medical Conditions
- Surgical procedures and aesthetic procedures
- (such as face or brow lifts)
- Wearing very tight hairstyles, exerting a constant pull on the hair
Many women are born with high hairlines. These women are excellent candidates for transplantation.
Hair loss in some women can be caused by underlying medical conditions,
It is important that women be evaluated by a physician.
If clinically appropriate, the following processes should be considered:
- Thyroid Disease
- Connective Tissue Disease
- Gynecological Conditions
- Emotional Stress
It is also important to review the use of medications that can cause hair loss, such as oral contraceptives, beta-blockers, Vitamin A, thyroid drugs, coumadin and prednisone. The following laboratory tests are often useful if underlying problems are suspected: CBC, Chem Screen, ANA, T4, TSH, Androstenedione, DHEASulfate, Total and Free Testosterone.
Why are some women not candidates for hair restoration surgery?
Hair transplantation involves the movement of hair from an area of greater density and fullness (usually the back of the scalp) to an area of hair loss in the front, top or crown. Women who have generalized thinning (Diffuse Unpatterned Alopecia) have hair that is thin all over the head, and it may not be beneficial to transplant hair that has been weakened by the balding process.
When hair is removed from a part of the scalp that is in the process of thinning, there is a risk that some of the hair that is weak will not regrow in its new location. There is also the possibility that the hair in the recipient area is more fragile and some or all of the original hair in this area may be lost. This process is called telogen effluvium and when it occurs, it is usually reversible in a three to six month time frame. Also, when the donor area continues to thin, then the transplanted hair will also thin over time, since it came from the same area. Dr. Harris will evaluate the “strength” of the donor by a method called “densitometry” to evaluate your candidacy.
In hair transplantation, as in all surgical procedures, it is important to balance the potential gain against the possible risks when making a decision to go forward with the treatment.