Hair Transplantation in Women
Hair, particularly axial hair, has been regarded as one of the many female characteristics of beauty since time immemorial. Wavy, curly, blonde, brunette, so many types of hair out- there left to man, sorry women to pamper over, play with, design and entertain themselves and others. So hair loss when it occurs, it comes as inconsolable grief. Compared to men in whom hair thinning or balding is acceptable at any age, women of any age are expected to have a full head of hair by societal norms.
Hair loss in women may be caused by conditions such as nutritional deficiencies, hormonal disorders etc. or normal life processes like pregnancy and lactation and menopause. Though usually, hair loss in women occurs as if the hair has been thinning out diffusely, in some, localised balding as seen in men may also occur. Androgenetic alopecia or chronic telogen effluvium can lead to localised balding in women.
Many methods such as hair ornaments, some hairdos etc. have been used to cover up hair loss. Treating hair loss with drugs, home remedies and other such modalities have largely been found to be inconvenient and to not give effective long term results. In women with localised baldness, who have enough hair in other areas, hair transplantation has been found to be an ideal treatment option. Hair transplantation can be used for treating women with androgenetic alopecia, scarring and hair loss as a result of cosmetic surgery, traction alopecia and trauma. Requirements include a satisfactory donor to recipient area ratio and a satisfactory donor to recipient hair density ratio. A positive exchange ratio is needed.
Usually, it is a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist that attempts hair transplantation. A surgeon and his team work at cutting a strip of the scalp down to tiny follicular units. A good donor strip is a prerequisite. The graft piece is then transferred to the site of localised hair loss and literally planted there. Sessions are performed at a minimum of four to six-month intervals and usually involve the transplanting of one-half to two- thirds of the affected area with one half to two thirds the number of grafts transplanted during a regular session performed on men.
Success depends on the amount of hair available for harvest and on the quality of the strands. Being relatively new and requiring a higher amount of finesse and expertise, hair transplantation especially in women is costly. The price varies depending on the complexity and the number of grafts. Unrealistic expectations should be dealt with prior to the procedure. Much time should be spent by the doctor in counselling and reassuring the patient. Other techniques such as using coarser hair, curling hair or using contrasting hair colours can be employed in addition to hair transplantation to make the hair appear fuller.