Hair transplantation is an effective treatment method that creates a positive impact on individuals experiencing hair loss; affecting every aspect of their lives. Hair transplantation is considered as a highly important treatment as the final outcome of this procedure will positively contribute especially to a women’s physical appearance. Nobody wants to experience hair loss or complete baldness; as it is known to be a medical condition that can leave an individual in a constant state of worry, fear and dread. Apart from the negative impacts on physical appearance, hair loss can also lead to feelings of extreme psychological distress.
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This situation affects women much more than men.
A study has revealed that; whereas men had a general feeling of sadness about the hair loss condition, women felt more deep and intense emotions such as shame, fear and humiliation about losing their hair. In fact, it has also been observed that women have the tendency to experience serious psychological problems such as; feelings of inadequacy in a social environment, spending a lot of time and effort to conceal the thinning locks and bald patches or having trouble accepting their hair loss condition. Although the majority of hair transplantation patients are still men, a high percentage of women have also started looking into a hair transplant procedure as a hair loss treatment. Before we proceed with our topic; ‘hair transplant for women’, we will address hair loss causes in women and the actions to be taken to keep your hair from falling out.
Iranian surgery is an online medical tourism platform where you can find the best hair transplant doctors and hospitals in Iran. The price of a hair transplant in Iran can vary according to each individual’s case and will be determined based on photos, a number of grafts a patient needs and an in-person assessment with the doctor. It is our responsibility to give you enough information about this surgery, so that please feel free to contact us and get free consultation from Iranian surgery.
Preparing for your procedure
How do I prepare for a hair transplant procedure?
Your surgeon will provide thorough preoperative instructions, answer any questions you may have, take a detailed medical history, and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for surgery.
In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:
. Stop smoking at least six weeks before undergoing surgery to promote better healing.
. Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs and some herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding.
. You may be asked to take a shower and wash your hair with regular or antibacterial soap.
. Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.
Hair transplant surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you at least the first night following surgery.
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Hair Loss Causes in Women
Female Pattern Hair Loss also known as Androgenetic Alopecia, is the most common cause of hair loss in women.
Other potential causes of hair loss in women are:
. Having a genetic predisposition to hair loss
. Autoimmune diseases
. Change in hormone levels
. Excessive stress
. Crash dieting/rapid weight loss
. Iron Deficiency
The follicular changes that cause androgenetic alopecia, are similar between male and female pattern hair loss; Progressive shrinking of terminal (thick and dark) hair follicles (hair miniaturization), terminal to vellus transformation (conversion of the thick and dark terminal hairs into very thin and white hairs called vellus), shortening of the hair growth cycle and eventually, the shedding process.
Even though male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss share some similar characteristics, they are actually quite different in many respects. Hair loss in men generally is characterized by a receding hairline (frontal area), affecting the temples (temporal area) and the crown region (vertex area).
Women, on the other hand, generally lose their hair diffusely over the crown of the head. It is very rare for women to experience complete baldness. In male pattern baldness, hair loss causes the hairline to gradually move backwards, creating a receding hairline; whereas a receding hairline in women is very rare and they mostly tend to retain their hairline.
Hair loss in women is mostly characterized by a general thinning occurring all over the scalp or localized; affecting only specific regions of the scalp. As it follows a typical pattern, it is much easier to detect male pattern baldness than female pattern hair loss. In addition, as hair loss in women can be triggered by many conditions, it is much harder to diagnose when compared to men.
According to the severity of hair loss, the progression of female pattern baldness can be classified on the Ludwig Scale as, Ludwig I, II, and III.
. Ludwig I- Type I is defined as the earliest stage of hair loss. Thinning of the hair over the crown area is considered to be mild.
. Ludwig II- At this stage, thinning on the crown area has increased and this, is accompanied by a noticeable decrease in hair density and widening of the midline part of the scalp. If the patient has healthy hair follicles in the donor area, a hair transplant procedure may be a viable option at this stage.
. Ludwig III- At this stage the frontal hairline is still preserved but the crown area now displays extensive hair loss, the part line has significantly widened and the hair has become so thin that it impossible to conceal the scalp. If the patient has adequate donor reserves, at this stage the only solution is to undergo a hair transplant procedure.
This hair loss type, which has been classified by Olsen, is defined as the “Christmas tree pattern” in female pattern hair loss (Olsen).
This hair loss type follows the same pattern observed in male pattern baldness (forming an M or V-shaped pattern).
Which women are good Candidates for Hair Transplant?
. Women who have suffered hair loss due to mechanical or traction alopecia (nonhormonal).
. Women who have had previous cosmetic or plastic surgery and are concerned about hair loss around the incision sites.
. Women who have a distinct pattern of baldness, similar to that of male pattern baldness. This includes hairline recession, vertex thinning (on the crown or top of the scalp), and a donor area that is not affected by androgenetic alopecia.
. Women who suffer hair loss due to trauma, including burn victims, scarring from accidents, and chemical burns.
. Women with alopecia marginalis, a condition that looks very similar to traction alopecia.
Statistics on Women’s Hair Loss
. One in four women suffer from hair loss. This number increases to 2 in 4 women during menopause.
. Approximately 40% of women experiencing hair loss have genetically inherited ‘female pattern hair loss’.
. There are approximately 30 different conditions that triggers hair loss in women, however only a few are actually responsible for the majority of patients.
. More than 10% of pre-menopausal women and more than approximately 50% of women aged over 65 are affected by thinning hair.
. While 84% of the women experiencing hair loss struggle with low self-esteem, %34 fight with depression and 94% regard their hair loss condition socially unacceptable in comparison to men.
. Approximately 17.5% of the hair transplant patients across the globe are women.
Another point worth mentioning is that women with female pattern hair loss require a different approach for hair transplantation. Compared to men, hair loss in women generally does not result in a receded hairline. The areas that are mostly affected are the vertex (crown region) and the parietal regions. For this reason, a hair transplant procedure performed on a woman requires a relatively high degree of expertise.
The Advantages of Hair Transplant
. This procedure works well to provide long term results for male pattern baldness, hair thinning in women due to hormonal fluctuations and in cases of scalp injuries.
. Hair transplantation is more cost effective than medication treatments as the whole cost is incurred in one procedure versus a lifetime of treatment.
. Natural hair growth is the main aim of this procedure, making its effects long lasting.
. The results of the surgery is in the patient’s control, with the eventual aesthetic beauty achieved as per each patient’s vision.
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Ways to Prevent Hair Loss in Women
Preventing hair loss can be possible through medical treatments and self-care as well as maintaining a healthy diet. Before recommending any treatment plan for women, their hair loss type and the causes must be identified. This, can only be possible with the correct diagnosis made by a specialized doctor. Additionally, determining whether or not the hair loss condition is permanent or temporary and progressive or stable, will also be helpful for choosing the most effective treatment program for the patient.
The primary treatment options recommended to women patients are:
. Hair Transplant: Hair transplantation that offers a permanent solution for hair loss, is the process of extracting follicular units from the donor area (taking place at the back of the head) that are genetically resistant to balding and transplanting into areas of hair-loss on the scalp. This procedure, which is carried out with minimal invasive methods, yields successful results in women with permanent hair loss conditions, as long as they have adequate amounts of donor supply. Hair transplantation, stands out as one of the most favored treatments amongst women experiencing localized or male-patterned hair loss conditions.
. Minoxidil: Minoxidil topical solution is the only androgen-independent medication that has been approved by the FDA. Minoxidil topical solution applied to the scalp, is used to stimulate hair-growth, which, in turn, helps to slow as well as stop the progression of hair loss. Women are recommended to use 2% minoxidil topical solution.
. PRP: PRP therapy is a non-surgical remedial and protective therapeutic option for hair loss treatment. PRP involves centrifuging a patient’s blood sample to separate out the red blood cells from the platelet-rich plasma and then injecting this platelet-rich plasma into the treated areas.
. Hair Mesotherapy: Hair Mesotherapy is the process of applying small doses of selected medications into the skin by special needles. It is an alternative treatment that is applied to reduce hair loss and promote hair growth.
. Healthy Diet: Eating a diet rich in protein such as red meat, fish, eggs, wholegrains together with, biotin, magnesium, zinc, selenium, vitamins A, E, C and B6, which can be found in spinach, bananas and greens, can help your hair fill up with nutrients, which, in turn, will strengthen and protect your hair strands.
Follicular unit extraction (FUE)
In an FUE hair transplantation method, each follicular unit is individually taken from the scalp and no strip of tissue is removed. Hair follicles are removed randomly which results in less density in the donor area that is not very noticeable.
The Stages of Hair Transplant for women
Although the basic principles of hair transplant FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) method in men and women remain the same, when performing hair transplant procedures for women, it is important to take their special cases into account.
Women are not required to shave their heads completely before their hair transplant procedure.
The stages of hair transplant for women are as follows:
Read more about : FUT method
Recovery and Aftercare
After the hair transplant in Iran, your scalp may be very tender. You may need to take pain medications for several days. You should wear bandages over your scalp for at least a day or two. Your surgeon may prescribe an antibiotic or an anti-inflammatory drug for you to take for several days. Most people are able to return to work 3 to 5 days after the operation.
FUE may take several hours to several days to complete. In part, this depends on the amount of work performed by the surgeon. You will go home the same day of the procedure.
Once the surgery is done, the area may be swollen, so your surgeon might inject triamcinolone into the area to keep the swelling down.
You’ll likely feel pain or soreness at the transplant site as well as in the area where hair was taken from. For the next few days, your surgeon may prescribe:
. Pain medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil)
. Antibiotics to prevent infections
. Anti-inflammatories, such as an oral steroid, to relieve swelling
. Medications such as finasteride (Propecia) or minoxidil (Rogaine) to help stimulate hair growth.
Here are some aftercare tips for hair transplant surgery:
. Wait a few days after the surgery to wash your hair. Only use mild shampoos for the first few weeks.
. You should be able to return to work or normal activities in about 3-5 days.
. Don’t press a brush or comb down over the new grafts for about 3 weeks.
. Don’t wear any pullover shirts and jackets until your doctor say it’s OK.
. After surgery go home and rest. Keep your head up about 45 degrees. A recliner will be helpful.
. You can work out again after 1 month
. You can swim and do steam baths after 1 month
. You can wear hats after 10 days, and hard hats after 4 weeks
. A headwrap will be placed around your head for the first night. The next morning, take scissors and just cut the headwrap and remove it. Don’t pull it off, or you might pull out some grafts. Don’t leave it on more than the first night either, your head will swell more later on if you do so.
Don’t worry if some hairs fall out. This is part of the process. Transplanted hair may not grow much or seamlessly match the hair around it for a few months.
. Day 0: the day of the surgery is counted as day 0.
. Day 1-5: The first 2 weeks after the hair transplant are the most critical ones. During the first 5 days, patients may experience swelling of the forehead and at the back of the head, which is the donor area. The skin may also look red at the areas where all the tiny incisions were made for the newly transplanted hairs. This redness usually resolves after the first week or 2. After only a few days, the donor area is no longer tender.
. Days 6 – 10: At this point, patients no longer experience any swelling and the redness should only be faint or completely gone. For each follicular unit transplanted, a “crust” will form which is the attached skin layer drying out. This scab can be gently removed by soaking and gentle rubbing with fingers. By day 10, all the crusting should be gone and the transplanted hairs will appear like a “crew-cut” haircut.
. Week 2- 3: The transplanted hairs will start to shed at this point, and by the end of the 3rd/4th week, most will be gone. This is a normal part of the healing process and is totally expected. The newly transplanted hairs go through a shedding process as the actual hair shaft is released, but the actual follicular unit and bulb are totally intact starting to grow a new hair shaft. Patients may feel like the operation was a failure but this is part of the normal hair cycle.
. End of Month 1 – Month 2: The hair follicles have entered into the resting phase of their cycle. The length of the resting phase can vary before they start to grow again. At this stage, patients will appear exactly as they did prior to surgery with regards to the amount of hair present.
. Months 2 – 4: The new hairs should start coming out. For some patients, their transplanted hairs start growing early in the timeline; for others, they start growing later. Patients will see the new transplants, but they will be thin at this stage as they begin to emerge from the scalp. Most of the native hair will be growing back at this time. The donor area is healing and any redness at the donor site will resolve.
. Month 6: Transplanted hair has entered the anagen phase and begins to grow (finally…progress!). At this point usually, the doctor used to see you in follow up.
. Months 6 – 9: Patients will start to see a considerable amount of hair emerging from the scalp. The hairs are thinner; many of the transplanted hairs will be over 3 inches or longer and is able to be groomed. Toward the end of this period, the hair will show textural changes and start to thicken up. The donor area will be completely healed at this point. The original donor laxity is restored by month 9.
. 1 Year: Patients have achieved about 80% of the hair growth of the transplanted hairs. Most of the hairs will have emerged from the scalp. At this point, further density is unlikely to noticeably improve without further surgical and/or nonsurgical intervention (PRP). It’s time to focus on outcome maintenance!
. After 1 year: For some patients, they achieve the full appearance by 1 year; others will take longer for the hairs to emerge and increase their density and thickness.
Additionally, as the hair grows longer, that provides a fuller appearance since the volume of hair is increased at the transplanted area.
Since FUE procedures involve removing hairs individually from the scalp, there is no linear scar left behind. However, there will be tiny puncture marks that tend to heal by themselves after scabbing in the days following the procedure. These tiny wounds typically heal within three to seven days.
How long will the results last?
Hair transplantation results last for a lifetime; however, some patients may find that after the procedure, they continue to lose some of their original hair or their new head of hair may not look as full as they would like. In these cases, it's not uncommon for patients to schedule a second surgery.
4 Factors affecting the cost of hair transplant in Iran
On average, the cost of hair transplant for women is between $ 500-1100 in Iran.
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