Androgenic alopecia is a genetic hair loss condition that is the most common cause of hair loss among men and women. In fact, it is the reason for up to ninety five percent of cases today. The other five percent can be attributed to stress, disease, medication or poor nutrition.
Female pattern baldness is the manifestation of androgenic alopecia in women. It is characterised by a thinning of the crown area and radiates toward the different sections of the scalp. It does not result in a receding hairline like in male pattern baldness nor does it create a total loss of hair at the top of the scalp. There are rare cases however, where hair loss resembles that of male pattern balding.
There are two hair transplant options available for both men and women. The first is follicular unit transplantation (FUT) method. This extracts a horizontal strip of hair from the donor area located on the lower back portion of the head. The graft of skin is further divided into smaller grafts to be implanted into the balding areas. Next is the hair transplant option known as the follicular unit extraction (FUE) method. This directly harvests individual hair follicles from the donor area or even locations where there is no balding. These hair follicles are placed where it is required to create a thicker set of hair. There is no new hair growth that is generated through both procedures. What occurs is the movement of hair follicles throughout the scalp.
A woman can be a candidate for a hair implant (transplant) procedure. These cases however, are less likely to occur compared to men because of the nature of a woman’s androgenic alopecia. Female pattern baldness is usually characterised by thinning all over the scalp. The donor area will not be able to provide hair follicles because there is no stable area to speak of. It is the entire scalp that is experiencing hair loss exhibited through the thinning of hair density or a case of diffuse balding. Note that hair transplant procedures only move hair follicles around the scalp. No new hair is produced. These hair follicles might also be harvested from an area being affected by dihydrotestosterone (DHT), one of the main reasons for hair loss. Moving it to another place would still result in the loss of the hair strand because the hair follicle is already blocked by the DHT from receiving nutrients from the blood supply.
Women that can actually benefit from hair transplant procedures are those that exhibit similar balding as male pattern baldness. This would provide the surgeon with a viable donor area to extract healthy hair follicles from. Non-hormonal alopecia such as traction alopecia can also be treated by FUE due to the isolation of the area of balding. Women that have undergone cosmetic surgery can also have a hair transplant procedure to remedy their affected hairlines. Trauma victims either from burns or accidents that resulted in scars can be candidates for this procedure. Note however, that there should be no keloid scars on the scalp of such women in order for the surgery to succeed. They should also have enough hair to harvest in order to cover these bald areas.