Women who are experiencing hair loss often don’t know where to turn, and it appears that media influence is leading some to think that a transplant procedure would be the best course of action.
Reality TV celebrity Maria Fowler recently underwent a his-and-hers transplant with her boyfriend Kelvin Batey, and both Chanelle Hayes (Big Brother) and one of this year’s X Factor hopefuls, Grace Davies, have admitted to wanting a transplant in interviews.
While it could be that their comments were of a throwaway nature, there is little doubt that the notion of a woman’s hair transplant is starting to become more popular than it once was. While not necessarily a trend, history has proved time and time again that when celebrities start talking about something in the media it gives people ideas.
Differences between male and female hair loss
It could be that the women involved don’t really understand the key difference between male and female pattern hair loss. The former tends to affect specific parts of the head such as the hairline or crown and, left untreated, can cause baldness in these distinct areas. These may also join up to form a larger bald area from hairline to crown along the vertex. Female pattern hair loss, however, typically results in diffusely thinning hair across the whole of the top of the head – as opposed to just at the hairline or crown – though it rarely ends in baldness. This is why we refer to androgenetic alopecia in men as male pattern baldness and in women as female pattern hair loss – not baldness.
As such, it is more difficult for women’s hair transplant procedures due to the large area affected and, correspondingly, the large amount of donor hair needed.
Hair restoration surgery to address genetic hairloss starts by harvesting hair, known as ‘donor hair’, from the areas of the scalp where follicles are not susceptible to DHT – the hormone which causes hair miniaturisation, thinning hair and worsening hair fall in those with an inherited predisposition. These are located around the sides and back of the scalp as DHT only affects the top of the head and the hairline in both genetically predisposed men and women.
These donor hairs are then grafted into small incisions in the top of the scalp wherever hair loss is occurring. The newly transferred follicles will remain immune to DHT, however, those around them will still be subjected to its effects. As such, men who undergo surgical hair restoration are usually advised to follow a hair loss treatment course on an on-going basis in order to prevent the hairs surrounding the transplanted areas from shedding. When this type of hair fall does occur, it can leave ‘islands’ of hair which often look extremely unnatural. Surgeons generally recommend following this type of pharmaceutical course for a minimum of six months prior to surgery too in order to maximise hair regrowth.
Hair loss surgery tends to be priced per graft so, while men may opt to have a receding hairline or thinning crown filled in, for women the larger area affected can mean significantly higher prices. So, women considering hair transplant surgery run this risk if they decide to go for a smaller area than that which is actually affected – especially if they also fail to follow a proper aftercare programme to prevent hair loss moving forward.
Other issues which can make hair transplants for women trickier than for men are being able to find enough suitable donor hair, and women agreeing to shaving their heads where necessary.
Non-surgical solutions for thinning hair in women
The apparent hike in interest in hair transplants for women may be a result of the increase in awareness of this costly surgical route that has been generated by so many male celebrities sharing their surgery stories recently. Women may actually be simply wishing for a solution to their thinning hair – and may be unaware of the other options available.
Female pattern hair loss is extremely common, with a Loose Women episode last year stating that it remained something of a taboo subject. A poll on the show’s website indicated that a massive 94 per cent of respondents said they were worried about thinning hair.
Whilst thinning hair in women can have a number of causes, genetic hair loss is by far the most common. Once associated with ‘older women’ from their 40’s onwards, there is a trend for the condition starting to develop increasingly early – from early 20’s up. Millennials are suspected to be more prone to premature hair loss than previous generations for a number of reasons, including the increased stress of modern living – something known to trigger genetic alopecia.
This general lack of awareness about hair loss in women is perhaps the best answer to the burning question: why would women opt for a painful and expensive hair transplant surgery when there are much less invasive solutions? Female Pattern Hair Loss treatment is well-established, widely used and features a clinically-proven, MHRA and FDA-approved drug named minoxidil that is applied topically to the scalp.
As women’s hair loss treatment tends to be less spoken about than it is for men, many don’t know it is an effective option; Belgravia clients are often delighted to hear there are easy-to-use, convenient and effective solutions available. Clients presenting with female pattern hair loss are offered a custom treatment programme based around applications of high strength minoxidil from the recommended formulations available, alongside several complementary hair growth boosters.
One such element is Hair Vitalics for Women, developed exclusively by Belgravia’s expert team. Though not intended to replace a balanced diet, modern life is such that some people find it difficult to get what they need via their everyday food intake and often find it convenient to top up with a highly-targeted hair supplement. As such, these one-a-day food supplements are also available to non-clients wanting to give their hair a boost, and can be purchased online.
Hair Vitalics hair growth supplements contain a proprietary blend of essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts. This bespoke selection of high quality nutrients, identified for their influence on hair growth, includes zinc, biotin and selenium, as well as L-Methionine – an essential sulphur amino acid which is involved in the body’s synthesis of L-Cysteine, a building block of proteins. Hair Vitalics for Women also contains premium hair-friendly components unlikely to be found in a normal diet, including the soy isoflavones genistein and daidzein. These have been shown to lower serum levels of DHT.
This covert approach to dealing with hairloss has been incredibly successful for many women – especially those who want to avoid the pain, price and lack of privacy that comes with surgical options!
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.