Video: Hair Transplantation In Women vs Men?
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July 16th, 2012

Dr. Bernstein is frequently asked about hair transplant procedures for women, and in this video he discusses the differences between treating men and women.

Read a transcript of the video:

Hair transplantation has been traditionally thought of as a procedure that men get. Over the last few years, we’ve been transplanting more and more women patients and seeing many more women patients for hair loss. It turns out that about 40% of women have a significant amount of hair loss in their lifetime. In the past, women have felt that their hair loss was almost taboo, and I think it is more acceptable now that women know that hair loss is relatively common, that it’s not just a bad thing but something to be treated if you can. So we are seeing more and more women at our practice.

One of the most important things in managing women that have hair loss is to find the underlying cause. The vast majority of men that come into our practice have male pattern hair loss or common baldness. With women, there is a greater number who have other conditions: hair loss from medication, from shedding due to stress, due to pregnancy, anemia, a bunch of scarring diseases that cause hair loss. For some reason these other conditions are much more common in women than men. So a work-up is really important. Part of what we do is evaluate women on the underlying cause of their hair loss.

Once a diagnosis is made, if it is a cause other than genetic hair loss, there are specific treatments for it. With respect to genetic hair loss, the treatments are a little bit different than in men. Women can’t take Propecia, because it is contra-indicated due to possible stimulation of breast tissue. Rogaine sometimes is not always useful because women don’t often wash their hair every day and it’s difficult, aesthetically, to use.

In hair transplantation, women that are good candidates get great results, as good as men. The problem is that some women are not good candidates for a hair transplant because their hair loss is diffuse, it is thinning all over. And when your hair thins all over you don’t have a stable area to get the hair from. The critical thing in a hair transplant is not only to have the need for it, to have an area that has lost enough hair that hair transplantation will help you, but you also need a permanent donor supply so, once the hair is transplanted, it will be permanent over your lifetime.

We can evaluate a woman, with densitometry, to find out whether her donor area is stable enough to make a hair transplant worthwhile.

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