Hair transplant for women and how to qualify
The type of alopecia is the main dictating factor on whether women qualify for hair restoration. Most women who are eligible for hair transplants have androgenetic alopecia. Androgenetic alopecia, commonly called female pattern baldness (or male pattern baldness), is a genetic condition that causes both men and women to lose their hair structure in a well-defined or predetermined pattern.
Hairline transplants can potentially treat traction alopecia, which causes the hairline to recede due to sustained pressure, and is common in women who regularly tie up their hair.
Victims of head trauma are potential candidates for hair transplants. Women who have recovered from burn wounds or cancer removal surgeries may have hairs implanted once healed.
Hair restoration is impossible if there are not enough donor hairs for the implant. You must have enough hair grafts at the back of your scalp to cover the thinning/balding area.
The Ludwig scale is often used as a standard measurement to determine if you qualify for hair replacement surgery by clarifying the stage of hair loss in women.
What is the Ludwig scale?
The Ludwig scale is a three-stage classification system used to measure the severity of female pattern baldness. There is minor thinning at the top of the head at stage one. At stage two, the thinning is more significant, resulting in parts of the scalp visible between the hair. By stage three, patients have entirely lost the hair on the crown of their head.
Luckily, women may still be eligible for hair transplants despite being stage three on the Ludwig scale, so long as they have enough donor’s hair.
Why are hair transplants uncommon for women?
Only about 30% of women qualify for hair implants because their eligibility is commonly decided based on their alopecia type. Alopecia areata and telogen effluvium are typically not treatable with hair transplants. Your local physician can determine your eligibility at your consultation.
Menopause may also be a determining factor in whether you can have hairline surgery or not. Unfortunately, hair loss due to menopause is untreatable using hair transplants.
What are some of the other options for women?
If you find yourself unsuitable for hair transplant surgery, PRP (platelet-rich plasma) may be what you need to help you with your hair growth. PRP is a procedure that samples a small amount of your blood and places it in a centrifuge to separate your blood cells and plasma cells. Your plasma cells are then extracted and reinserted into your hair using a syringe. If you have any questions regarding PRP, please contact your local clinic.
The most common non-surgical treatment for hair loss in women is minoxidil. Typically prescribed in the form of foam, it is applied to the head once a day and assists with maintaining your vigorous hair and restoring lost hair. Minoxidil is the only FDA-approved treatment for hair loss in women.
Only about 30% of women qualify for hair restoration, as they commonly have variations of alopecia that do not allow for hair implants. They do, however, have multiple cosmetic options that are non-surgical, which could restore the strength in women’s hair. These mainly being PRP and minoxidil.