Hair Restoration for Women

Do Women suffer from hair loss?
Yes.  Although hair loss in women is not as common of an occurence as hair loss in men, women do indeed suffer from thinning or loss of hair especially in the forehead region.  In fact, about 1 out of 5 women experience hair loss to the degree that they would consider medical or surgical treatment.

What extent of hair loss should I expect?
In women, hair loss is not typically seen to progress to the same extent as that in men.  Most patients complain of thinning of the hair in the forehead region and not baldness.  Occasionally patients can have patches of baldness or frank baldness in these regions but this rarely progresses to the degree that is seen in men.

What causes hair loss in women?
The most common cause of hair loss in women is a process called Androgenic Alopecia, which means Male Pattern Baldness.  The reason for this name is that the cause of this pattern of baldness is the interaction of testosterone (typically associated as a male hormone) with the hair cells in the forehead and temple regions.  Although testosterone is known as a male hormone, it is also present in females to a lesser degree.  In some females who are genetically prone to this type of hair loss, the hair cells in the forehead and temple region will begin to thin and fall resulting in hair loss.  This type of hair loss is entirely genetic in origin and the extent of loss is determined by the pattern seen in the family.

Some of the other causes of hair loss can be classified as infectious such as tinea capitis (fungal infection of the scalp), autoimmune (immune system attacks the hair follicles) such as alopecia areata or traumatic such as seen after surgery or burns.  Each of these conditions are treated differently and thus would need to be appropriately diagnosed.

» What options do I have for treatment?

Hair Restoration for Men

I am losing my hair.  How common is this?

Loss or thinning of hair is a common complaint amongst men.  In fact, it is not unusual to have patients complain of hair loss as early as 20 years of age. Approximately 2 out of 3 men experience hair loss to the degree that they would consider medical or surgical treatment.

What causes hair loss in men?

The most common cause of hair loss in men is a process called Androgenic Alopecia, which means Male Pattern Baldness.  The reason for this name is that the cause of this pattern of baldness is the interaction of testosterone (typically associated as a male hormone) with the hair cells in the forehead and temple regions.  In some men who are genetically prone to this type of hair loss, the hair cells in the forehead and temple region will begin to thin and fall resulting in hair loss.  This type of hair loss is entirely genetic in origin and the extent of loss is determined by the pattern seen in the family.

Some of the other causes of hair loss can be classified as infectious such as tinea capitis (fungal infection of the scalp), autoimmune (immune system attacks the hair follicles) such as alopecia areata or traumatic such as seen after surgery or burns.  Each of these conditions are treated differently and thus would need to be appropriately diagnosed.

How much more hair loss should I expect?

The natural progression of hair loss in men has been classified in seven stages by Dr. Norwood.  Class I is normal hair with no loss or thinning while class VII is the horseshoe hair loss pattern seen in some men.  It is important to realize that about 30% of men will progress to class VII hair loss pattern and that typically the best predictor of hair loss is the pattern seen in of ones male family members such as father or grandfathers.

What is Norwood Classification?

Norwood Classifications

Class I: This group is considered to have no thinning or loss of hair and thus does not require any treatment.  Early hair loss in this stage can be slowed or reversed with topical or oral medications.

Class II: This group begins to have some hair loss along the frontal temporal area.  Oral or topical medications can slow or even reverse some of the hair loss in this stage.  Some individuals, depending on age, family history, pattern of hair loss, and quality of the hair, can benefit from hair transplantation procedures.

Class III: The hair loss along the frontal temporal area is increased in this group and some thinning or loss of hair along the vertex or crown of the scalp can be noted.  Again depending on age, family history, pattern of hair loss and quality of the hair, these individuals can be candidates for hair transplantation.

Class IV: This group has significant recession of the frontal temporal hairline with increase loss of hair in the vertex region resulting in the “bald spot” appearance.  At this stage several options including surgical and artificial hair restoration could be utilized to gain improvement in appearance.  This will again depend on age, family history, pattern of hair loss and quality of the hair.

Class V: This group has further recession of the frontal and temporal hairline as well as increase in the balding of the vertex.  There might be a thin island of hair between the two regions but this will quickly recede and a connection between the two regions will appear resulting in the early horseshoe pattern of hair loss.  Some individuals can benefit from artificial hair restoration.  For most, surgical hair restoration in form of grafting can be very beneficial.  Other procedures such as flaps and scalp reduction could be combined to achieve optimal results.  Again this will depend on age, family history, pattern of hair loss and quality of the hair.

Class VI: This group has very severe hair loss with balding of the frontal and vertex region.  Most in this group can benefit from artificial hair restoration in form of a hairpiece.  Some can undergo surgical restoration with combination of flaps, grafts and scalp reduction procedures.

Class VII: The individuals in this group have significant loss of hair and only a thin band of hair remains in a horseshoe pattern.  Surgical hair restoration is not an option in this group while artificial hair restoration in the form of a hairpiece is the best tool available today.

» What options do I have for treatment?

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