While hair loss is a very common problem, it can be embarrassing, especially for women. There is often a stigma associated with female hair loss, which can sometimes make women feel ashamed or isolated when hair begins to fall out. Most women try to hide their hair loss due to this embarrassment, and many don’t realize just how many other women suffer from the problem. In fact, an estimated 30 million women suffer from hair loss in the United States alone! Some sources estimate that 40% of all people who suffer from hair loss are women, yet most hair loss solutions focus solely on men with male pattern baldness.
Dr. Pramit Malhotra’s goal is to help Michigan women at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery regain their confidence and self-esteem by offering his expertise and skill in hair restoration tailored specifically for female hair loss. Dr. Malhotra has dedicated a great deal of time to understanding the unique challenges women face when they begin to lose their hair. As a hair restoration patient himself, Dr. Malhotra knows the emotional toll that hair loss can cause, and he offers the most modern and effective hair restoration techniques available today.
What Causes Hair Loss in Women?
While women can experience genetic hair loss, this isn’t as common as it is in men. Genetic hair loss in women also presents differently in women than in men—men experience a receding hairline, while women tend to notice thinning all over and a wider natural hair part. Medical irregularities, such as autoimmune disease, thyroid problems, severe stress, and even a dietary deficiency can cause substantial hair loss. Hormone changes are often responsible for hair loss in women, with many women noticing thinner hair after pregnancy or during menopause. Fortunately, some of these factors won’t cause permanent hair loss, and the problem can sometimes be reversed by fixing the underlying problem. In other cases, however, hair loss can be permanent, and a hair transplant may be a good treatment option.
The Benefits of Surgical Hair Restoration
Hair restoration may be a cosmetic procedure, but it can provide huge psychological benefits for women. Thinning hair is not only embarrassing for many women, it can also cause self-esteem problems and severely impact overall confidence. Many women avoid social situations once their hair begins to thin, and they may find themselves especially self-conscious about their appearance. Surgical hair restoration looks totally natural and can help women regain confidence and self-esteem.
Are You a Candidate?
Before you move forward with any hair restoration procedure, it’s important to get an idea of what might be causing the hair loss to begin with. You should consult with your physician to rule out any medical conditions that could be a contributing factor so you can receive treatment if necessary.
If you are in good general health but are still struggling with hair loss, then you may be a good candidate for a hair transplant procedure. Good candidates should have moderate to severe hair loss with enough hair still available for transplant, and they should have realistic expectations about the results of the procedure. You and your plastic surgeon will assess your candidacy for the procedure before scheduling your surgery.
Before you undergo a hair transplant at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery, you will meet with Dr. Malhotra for an in-person consultation. Dr. Malhotra will assess your hair loss pattern and discuss your goals with you. He will also ensure you are a good candidate for the procedure and walk you through the surgical hair transplant process. The consultation is an excellent opportunity to get to know Dr. Malhotra and ask any questions you have about hair restoration before you make a decision.
The Female Hair Restoration Procedure
While some surgeons still use traditional hair transplant techniques, Dr. Malhotra prefers the modern Follicular Unit Extraction method using FUE technology. Instead of removing a strip of skin and hair follicles from the back of the scalp, as has been done traditionally, small clusters of follicles are extracted individually from this area for transplantation where they are needed. This approach allows the surgeon to achieve beautiful, natural results without the need for a large incision. That means there will be no large scar and a less invasive procedure overall. Patients will not even need staples because there are no large incisions.
Some areas of the hair may be shaved to allow Dr. Malhotra to perform the procedure, but the whole head does not have to be shaved as it did in the past. During the procedure, each graft will be meticulously removed using the FUE FUE method. This involves a mechanical system that removes the grafts using pneumatic pressure to avoid twisting and pulling. Then, each graft will be placed in areas of hair loss to fill in thin spots.
Recovery and Downtime
Recovery and downtime are fairly minimal for hair transplant patients. Because there are no large incisions, patients do not need to worry about stitches or staples. Dr. Malhotra will advise taking a few days to rest and there may be initial activity restrictions, but this minimally-invasive method allows patients to get back to their everyday lives quickly. Dr. Malhotra will give you full post-op care instructions prior to your procedure.
How is FUE different from traditional hair transplant procedures?
In the past, hair restoration procedures involved taking a large strip of skin bearing healthy hair follicles for transplantation, usually from the back of the scalp. While effective, this caused a large horizontal scar that would need to be hidden by the hair. With the FUE Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) method, individual groups of follicles are extracted instead. This eliminates the large scar and extended recovery time of the traditional methods while still achieving excellent results.
Is hair loss always caused by genetics?
There are so many factors that can influence hair loss in both men and women. Though genetic hair loss is one reason women lose their hair, other factors can be the root cause instead. Certain medical conditions, hormone fluctuations, pregnancy, menopause, dietary deficiencies, and even stress can cause temporary or permanent hair loss. It’s important to try to discover the reason for the hair loss before you seek treatment.
When will the new hair grow?
Hair follicles grow new hair in cycles so you won’t start seeing results right away. In fact, the grafted hairs will fall out initially as they prepare for a new growth cycle. Within about 3-4 months, you should notice the grafted follicles beginning to grow and fill in thinning areas, however.
What are the risks of a hair transplant?
FUE hair transplants are very safe, and there are few risks associated with the procedure. Though rare, normal surgical risks are possible, and complications can include infection, bleeding, and an allergic reaction to the anesthetic. The risks from FUE hair transplant are minimal compared to those that apply to traditional hair transplant surgery.
Is surgery the only option for hair restoration?
Surgical hair transplant is the most reliable way to restore thinning hair. It has a very high success rate. However, some topical treatments are available that may help some patients, at least temporarily. It’s also important to make sure hair loss in women is not caused by a medical condition or other issue.
Will hair transplant surgery limit my options for hairstyles?
Not when the FUE method of hair transplant is used. Traditional hair transplant scarring can be extensive, and can be visible through short hairstyles. FUE transplants, however, bypass this large scar and allow patients to comfortably wear any hairstyle they choose.
How can I prevent hair loss?
If hair loss runs in your family, it’s important to keep an eye out for thinning hair so you can address it early. Some topical treatments can help prevent or slow down hair loss for a time. You should also get regular checkups to ensure no medical conditions start to cause hair loss.
Is it sometimes hard to tell if you’re losing your hair?
In men, hair loss is usually very obvious. The normal pattern begins with a receding hairline or a bald spot. In women, however, hair loss isn’t usually confined to one area and may present as thinning all over the scalp. This can make it difficult to spot in early stages. We all lose over one hundred hairs a day due to normal hair cycles, but if you’re starting to notice more hair coming out in your hairbrush and when you shower, you might want to consider treatment for hair loss.
How do I choose a plastic surgeon for hair restoration?
Choosing a surgeon can seem daunting because it’s such an important decision. However, if you choose a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in treating female hair loss specifically, especially one who uses modern techniques, you’re off to a good start. You should be sure to choose a reputable surgeon with a good reputation, and you should only choose someone you feel comfortable with. Don’t skimp on the research and consultation phase—you want the best from your procedure!
Is hair restoration permanent?
The follicles grafted to areas of thinning hair are permanent. However, hair loss can still continue in other areas of the scalp.
Hair Restoration in Michigan
At Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery in Michigan, Dr. Malhotra encourages women who are struggling with hair loss to come in for a consultation and discuss the potential of hair restoration with FUE. Dr. Malhotra is happy to walk prospective patients through the entire process and answer any questions that may arise. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call Dr. Malhotra’s Jackson office at (517) 789-9800 or Ann Arbor at (734) 913-5100 today.