Hair Loss and Replacement for Women

Men generally expect to lose their hair at some point in their lives – but women are not usually emotionally prepared for hair loss.  Even if there is a family history of permanent hair loss, women believe they must have a full head of hair to meet societal expectations.

ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA - Female pattern baldness

Lots of women have thick hair all of their lives, until reaching the perimenopausal stage, when ten to twenty percent of hair is typically lost. They start noticing symptoms such as a wider hair part and a receding or thinning hairline.  This can occur at any age with the percentages rising in progressive age groups. For example, a study conducted in early 2001 revealed that Female androgenetic alopecia (female pattern baldness), which is the most common type of hair loss among women, was found in 3% of women aged 20-29, rose to 20-25% among women aged 50-69 years of age, and to 28% among women aged 70 and older. 

Women who suffer from extreme hair loss usually notice it in one or all three of the following ways:  thinning hair on top of the head, thinning hair and patches of hair loss, or hair loss that runs from the front to the middle of the scalp.  If the loss is extreme, it occurs as patches of thinning hair or as small sections of baldness.  Female pattern baldness is caused by both genetic and hormonal components.  The word is still out on precisely which hormone(s) are responsible, but it is now known that androgenetic alopecia can start as early as your teens or 20’s.


  1. Hormones – hormonal imbalances can be a cause for hair loss especially among menopausal women.  An over active or under active thyroid may cause thinning hair also.
  2. Child Birth – may result in sudden hair loss in women usually within three months after delivery due to hormones shifting.  This hair shedding is usually temporary and returns to normal after hormone balance has been restored.
  3. Genetics – hair loss is common among those individuals with a heavy family history of hair loss.
  4. Trauma resulting in scarring, serious burns, or injuries the scalp.
  5. Severe illness, malnutrition, or vitamin deficiency can accelerate this process as can permanent hair color and chemical relaxers – if they are not applied correctly.


  • Trichotillomania - compulsive hair pulling is linked to emotional causes and results in the hair pulling being concentrated in selected areas – e.g. eye brows or eye lashes.
  • Alopecia areata – is an autoimmune disorder that causes patchy hair loss resulting in diffuse thinning to extensive areas of baldness – with “islands” of retained hair. 
  • Triangular alopecia – loss of hair in the temporal areas that sometimes begins in childhood.  The loss may be complete or a few fine, thin-diameter hairs may remain. The cause is not known, but the condition can be treated medically or surgically.
  • Scarring alopecia - hair loss due to scarring of the scalp area, appears typically on the top of the scalp and is seen predominantly in women. 
  • Telogen affluvium – is a common type of hair loss caused when a large percentage of the scalp is shifted into a shedding phase.  The cause may be hormonal, nutritional, or stress-related. 


  1. Topical treatments – such as Minoxidil can halt the progression of hair loss.
  2. Light-based (laser) therapy can also be effective to improve blood flow and the function of the hair cell.

Out with the old – in with the new!
Gone are the days of unnatural looking hair transplants that resemble rows of corn or the unsightly doll's head look.

This is a two to five hour surgical procedure that is performed under mild, oral sedation and local anesthesia.  A thin strip of donor hair is trimmed and removed from an androgen sensitive area at the back of your head. The incision is then meticulously closed and will result in a small scar that is well hidden in your hair.  The strip of donor hair is sectioned into small units, under a microscope, down to individual follicular units.  These units may have from 1-4 hairs per unit.  The recipient sites are created simultaneously with the hair units’ preparation.

What to expect after your surgery:

  • Some swelling and discomfort is normal and to be expected – this resolves quickly
  • You may wash your hair gently 24 hours after your surgery
  • You may resume light activity during the first week after your surgery
  • Shedding of the grafts is normal and to be expected within 2-3 weeks post-operatively
  • New growth occurs within 3 months after surgery – and is permanent
  • Your results will look totally natural and more youthful!

The ideal candidate for hair restoration surgery is any woman who desires to restore her lost hair and who is in good health.  She must also have a donor site with a sufficient amount of donor hair and a condensed area of hair loss.  However, even women with thinner than average donor areas can experience some good benefits from follicular unit grafting.