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Many would think that hair loss is only linked with men, but women also complain about hair thinning as well as the hair loss. Hair loss in women is often not considered seriously by friends or family either which could bring psychological problems resulting in depression.

We need to understand that losing hair is hard for men, but for women it is nothing less than a traumatic case as hair places the most important part of women’s identity

Hair loss in women may also be disregarded as a "normal" phenomenon. Gradual hair loss is often related with ageing, whereas temporary hair loss is often related with pregnancy. Very often, women have pattern hair loss that "runs within the family".

Women hair loss should never be considered "normal"; however, the cause should be persisted until a proper diagnosis is established. Out of the many causes of female hair loss, only a few factors such as ageing, hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and hereditary pattern hair loss might be considered "normal". Treatment is available for female hair loss as a result of these conditions, and treatment should be taken into consideration when hair loss influences the woman's quality of life.

DIFFERENT TYPES AND DEGREE OF FEMALE HAIR LOSS

Majority of the hair loss specialists use the female hair loss density scales which are the Ludwig Scale and the Savin Scale. They are almost alike for all the intents except that the Savin Scale also measures overall thinning. Savin Scale determine the different types of female hair loss by nine crown density images reflect a range from no hair loss to severe hair loss in the following illustrations.

CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS IN WOMEN

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a derivative of the male hormone testosterone, is the biggest enemy of our hair follicles.

The hormonal process of testosterone converting to DHT which then harms hair follicles, occurs in both genders and considered to be at the core of different kinds of hair loss. Common causes of hair loss in women are listed as follows:

Androgenetic Alopecia 

It is the most common type of hair loss with almost 20% of women suffering androgenetic alopecia. It is generally called female and male pattern baldness. It is a hereditary pattern hair loss with diffuse thinning on all areas of the scalp. It can be caused by a number of different factors related with the actions of hormones including ovarian cysts, high androgen indexed birth control pills, pregnancy and menopause. As in the case of men, the DHT hormone once again emerge to be at least partly to blame for the miniaturization of hair follicles in women who are suffering with female pattern baldness.

Telogen Effluvium 

It is a condition that causes shedding of hair all over the scalp, it might be a chronic disorder, but may also be an acute one following a stressful event, major surgery, dietary deficiency and chronic blood loss from heavy menstruation. The phenomenon called telogen effluvium start 6-12 weeks after an stressful event resulting in losing handful of hairs at a blink of an eye. On the other hand, unfortunately for some women telogen effluvium could be a chronic disorder which can persist even years without finding out the actual triggering factors.

Anagen Effluvium

Common cause of the hair loss is associated with the chemotherapy treatment. Since chemotherapy targets the body’s quickly dividing cancer cells, body’s other fastly dividing cells such as hair follicles in the growing (anagen) phase, are also extremely affected. Soon after chemotherapy starts around 90% or more of the hairs can fall out while remaining within the anagen phase.

Traction Alopecia 

Traction alopecia is caused by localized trauma to the hair follicles arising from the hairstyles that constantly pulling the hair over time. Braiding, tight ponytails and cornrows are the most frequent styling causes. It is crucial to detect the condition early in order for hair to regrow.

Alopecia Areata 

It is a recurring disease with unknown cause which results in patchy loss of hair from the eyebrows and/or scalp.

Scarring Alopecia 

Hair loss is caused by scarring of the scalp area. Scarring alopecia commonly involves the top of the scalp and occurs more likely in women. The condition usually occurs in Afro-Caribbean women and is believed to be associated with constant tight braiding or "corn-rowing" of the hair. A form of scarring alopecia may also occur in prior to menopause period in women, associated with inflammation of hair follicles and following scarring.

Hypothyroidism 

It is a thyroid defect which could be associated with thinning and patchy hair loss.

Pregnancy 

Hormonal changes within the body and stress of pregnancy might cause temporary hair loss.

Loose Anagen Syndrome 

It is a condition that causes hair to shed prior to completion of its normal growth cycle. Hair can be easily grabbed by brushing or combing.

Chemicals 

Some chemicals applied for hair styling can cause permanent damage to hair and scalp over the years resulting in hair loss.

Trichotillomania (Compulsive hair plucking) 

It is a condition that a person feels obliged to pull out hair in regular or strange patterns, resulting in traction alopecia and permanent hair loss over time.

DIAGNOSIS

Female hair loss is often not as straightforward as in most men. In men about 90% of all cases are associated with hereditary male pattern baldness, whereas hair loss can be triggered by a number of different conditions and circumstances in women as described in ‘Causes of Hair Loss’ in women.

The following diagnostic tests should be carried out in order to pinpoint the hair loss trigger. The matter of fact is that for quite a lot of patients the results come out as "within the normal range," but it is important to understand that the ‘process of elimination’ is the start of a proper diagnosis for hair loss in women.

DIAGNOSTIC TESTS

  • Hormone level tests (DHEAs, testosterone, androstenedione, prolactin, follicular stimulating hormone, and leutinizing hormone)
  • Total iron binding capacity (TIBC)
  • T3, T4, TSH for Thyroid
  • Serum iron
  • Serum ferritin
  • VDRL (a screening test for syphilis)
  • Complete blood count (CBC)

DESNITOMETRY 

The densitometer is a handheld magnification equipment used in order to examine the miniaturization of the hair shaft.

HAIR PULL 

Hair pull is a simple diagnostic test which the small amount of hair is pulled in order to examine whether there is an abnormal loss. Excessive loss described as 100 hair when pulled simultaneously, where is a normal loss is limited with three hairs per each pull.

FEMALE HAIR LOSS TREATMENT

Hair transplantation is pretty much a permanent solution for a women who are suffering from a hair loss. The simple procedure in today’s technology deliver very satisfactory results for majority of the women.

Nevertheless, not all women are the suitable candidates for hair transplantation. As we often deal with women who can cover their loss or who have thinned their hair, it is unusual for anything to show after treatment.

MediExpert will surely advise you accordingly whether we believe this not the case in your situation. As a matter of fact, some women are more suitable to hair transplantation than others, whereas some might not be a good candidate at all. MediExpert have strict policies in order to provide you the realistic answers in terms of being the right candidate as well as what to expect from your treatment.

FEMALE HAIR TRANSPLANTATION

Hair transplantation is a surgical technique that requires the insertion of human hair into the scalp in order to cover baldness. Using micro FUE technique involves taking grafts individually from the donor site which often the scalp and transplanting them into the recipient areas.

MEDIEXPERT’S FUE FEMALE HAIR TRANSPLANTION PROCESS EXPLAINED STEP BY STEP

1. HAIR PREPARATION AND EXTRACTING THE GRAFTS

The rear part of the scalp (donor area) is prepared by washing and shaving. Only small part of the donor area is shaved. Related with the total number of grafts to be transplanted and the transplant area is not being on the top side of the head, complete shaving might not be required which the decision taken during the examination period. The donor area do not have any tendency to fall as they are not affected by the related hormone for baldness unlike the rest of the head.

A local anesthesia is applied to reduce any possible discomfort followed by the extraction of the follicular units from the donor area by using a state of the art electronic surgical instrument so as called ‘punch’. Unlike the male hair transplantation, this time smaller punch is preferred usually between 0,6-0,7 mm diameter as women have thinner hair than men.

The advantage of using the punch is it creates virtually invisible little holes which then led to not visible to a naked eye after the procedure.  After the grafts taken by the punch, they are then separated into one, two or three hairs categories. The number of grafts extracted in a procedure can vary from 2000 to 4000, which is equivalent of 5000 to 7000 hairs. The quantity is variable depending on the patient’s density of the donor zone. After the extraction, an antiseptic gel is applied to the donor area which can be easily removed the next day.

2. PREPARATION AND STORAGE OF THE FOLLICULAR UNIT

As soon as the extraction process complete, the follicular units are then placed in a nutritious solution which will ensure their vitality until they are cultivated. The follicular units must kept in the required optimal temperature until the start of the implantation. The appropriate conservation of the follicular units have a significant impact for the transplant to be successful.

3. OPENNING THE CHANNEL

At this stage of the procedure, anesthesia is used for the recipient area and incisions are made where the hair implants will later then be placed. The depth of the channel will precisely be the same as the length of the follicular unit. The channels will define the growth direction of the hairs which has to be similar with existing natural hair pattern in the recipient area.

4. IMPLANTATION OF THE GRAFTS

This is MediExpert’s final phase of the hair transplantation procedure. Instruments to make precise placement of the grafts to the recipient area are used which is called ‘Implanters’. As each follicular unit have a variable number of hair (1-4 hairs), different implanter is used depending on the quantity of hair accordingly in order to get a precise perfection.
Follicular units are then placed one by one into the designated areas. After the implantation procedure completed, head is washed and cleaned up followed by a general check-up of the hair transplantation.

HOW LONG IS THE HAIR TRANSPLANTATION PROCEDURE?

The total procedure will take between 4-8 hours depending on the density of the donor zone and the number of grafts to be implanted. It is recommended that you should take a complete day off and not make any arrangements on the day of the procedure.

STRAIGHT AFTER THE PROCEDURE

Immediately after the FUE procedure, you are free to go home or to your hotel within half an hour of the treatment ending. You will be able to see the new hairline with their new position. The results might not be as satisfactory as you have been expecting in the first place as there is some time needed in order to get back the good look you have been waiting for.

Although the FUE procedure not having any complications, minority of the patients may experience minimal side effects such as swelling especially in the forehead which is only on temporary basis. It will lessen and heal within a day or two.

MediExpert specialists will assist on how to good care of your transplanted hair and will give you recommendations on washing your hair and positioning while sleeping in order to achieve the best results.

IS HAIR TRANSPLANTATION PAINFUL?

Hair transplantation is not a painful practice at all, because of the use of local anesthesia for the operation which blocks the related nerves causing pain in the scalp. We do regularly find patients falling asleep during the operation, while some prefer to watch a movie.

IS THERE ANY RISKS FOR THE PROCEDURE?

Since it is a minor cosmetic procedure which transferring hair from one area to the other, there is not any medical risks involved. It is a basic and very safe procedure.

HOW LONG IS THE RECOVERY PERIOD?

FUE hair transplantation technique is a painless procedure without any complications. Therefore, the recovery period should not take more than 5-7 days following MediExpert’s doctor recommendations. There will be no linear scars or incision at the back of the scalp, might have very little scars which will not be visible to the naked human eye, only through a magnifying glass.

CAN I GO TO WORK STRAIGHT AWAY AFTER THE OPERATION?

There is not any reason not to go to work straight away. However, it may be better to take a week off unless the doctor advise otherwise. If you plan to arrange holiday to a sunny destination straight after the operation, you are advised to use sunscreen with high factor and wear hat whilst under the sun.

WILL THE TRASNSPLANTED HAIR LOOK NATURAL?

Thanks to the very small grafts taken precisely by MediExpert specialists using the latest technology techniques, you will be having a very natural hairlines. There is no more bits of that unnatural look which was typically seen in the transplants of the past. It is almost impossible for someone who does not know that you underwent a procedure to differentiate your transplanted hair with the existing one including your hair stylist.

SHORT TERM

You will be realized that the implanted hairs start falling out between 2-6 weeks after the FUE procedure. You shouldn’t be worried as this is the necessary part of the procedure in order to open a way for the new hair’s to grow.

MEDIUM TERM

The growth will begin after 3-4 months after the procedure. Average hair grows approximately 1 cm per month, therefore you will be having an idea of your new look after 5-7 months after the operation.

LONG TERM

It usually takes about 12-14 months to gain back the complete look which you have been waiting for. As hair transplantation is a lifelong permanent solution to have your hair back, you will be completely free to have your hair short, long or with a style of your choice.

IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE HAIR TRANSPLANTATION?

Men and women have differences in terms of the ways in which they grow and lose hair. For instance, when men begin to lose hair, they initially tend to develop bald patches in particular areas, whereas is likely to be a general thinning for women. Therefore, transplantation for men and women may also vary accordingly. Some of the major differences herein outlined below:

  • In the case of not having sufficient hair on the scalp, body hair transplantation is also an option for men, whereas, this is not possible for women at all.
  • Majority of men have hair on the scalp area permanently regardless of the level of the hair loss, whereas donor area for women is not as stable as men resulting in the hair growth to be little less than men.
  • Men have a receding hairline that is usually related with hair loss and once it is kept, there will be a noticeable change, whereas frontal hairline is almost most likely to be maintained for women
  • Most of women are reluctant for their heads to be shaved which result in the transplant procedure to be harder and longer.

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