Though hair transplant is most commonly done in males, recently there is an increasing number of female patients who seek hair transplant surgery. The most common indications for women hair transplant surgery include female pattern hair loss (FPHL), hairline lowering and scarring alopecia.
In female pattern hair loss (FPHL) there are various factors leading to hair loss like genetic factors, hormonal factors which include polycystic ovarian syndrome(PCOS), birth control pills, peri-menopause, menopause, postpartum hormone changes, thyroid abnormalities, and pituitary abnormalities. Also nutritional factors like deficiency of iron, vitamin D3, Vitamin B12 etc and any chronic illness and stress can lead to hair loss. Basic medical evaluation and laboratory tests should be done to rule out these factors.
In females hair transplant correction of the basic etiology and proper medical treatment alone can cause significant improvement in many cases.In FPHL unlike in male pattern hair loss, hairs are never lost completely, usually there is only decrease in density to various degree in frontal and mid-frontal area. In females not showing proper response to therapy or not compliant with medical treatment, surgical hair restoration can be an option.
In females there are a few things that the patients have to understand before going for surgery. Immediately after surgery there can be acute shock loss which can affect the nearby existing hair and the hair density may look worse for a few months after surgery but this process is reversible and the hairs usually grow back within 3-6 months. Also in females it’s not possible to obtain high density hair restoration with a single session. It may take 2 or 3 sessions to achieve high density. And also it may take longer time to see full results in women hair transplant because of naturally longer hairs. It also has to be explained to the patient that a small strip of donor area has to be trimmed before extraction. But this area can be covered up with existing hairs. FUE (Follicular unit extraction) hair transplant offers advantage in that it causes no visible scarring and less downtime.
In recent times there is also a trend for hairline lowering in young females with high hairline. In such cases hairline has to be designed suiting the shape of patient’s face and also taking patient’s wish into considerations. Again in such cases it may require more than 1 session to achieve a dense hairline. Designing a female hairline is trickier than designing a male hairline because of presence of multiple variations in female hairline. So it is better to consult with hair transplant surgeon in the field before going for a hair transplant.