This uncontrollable situation has created an even stronger need for educational resources such as the IAHRS as the choices that patients have today are far greater than at any time in history and the dangers of surgical hair restoration have similarly increased.
Hair Transplants For Women
Most men make good or moderately good candidates for surgical hair restoration. Unfortunately this is not the case for women. Women typically suffer from androgenic alopecia in different ways than men and this makes surgery more difficult for a number of reasons
When considering FUSS one must take into consideration the laxity of the patient scalp. Female patients typically have less donor laxity than their male counterparts. This is strictly a physiological issue. This does not preclude women from considering FUSS but the doctor must take a more reserved approach to donor harvesting compared to male patients in order to reduce the chances of a wide donor scar. The nature of female hair loss also means that the safe donor zone is reduced as most women will also have loss along the bilateral temporal regions and above the ears so the safe donor zone is usually reserved for the posterior donor zone along the occipital bone.
Typically, female hair loss is not in the same patterns as males and in fact, is rarely in a discernable pattern at all. While female hair loss is oftentimes referred to as “female pattern hair loss” it is in fact a diffuse, unpatterned hair loss. The traditional donor zone is greatly limited on female patients where the strongest hair is only found at the back. Male patients traditionally have donor hair on the sides as well as the back thus allowing for longer strips to be harvested for greater numbers of grafts to be transplanted. Combined with the high tension normally found in female patients follicular unit strip surgery is not possible for females as often as it is for males.
When considering FUE the number of female candidates increases as the tension variable is now eliminated. FUE allows for grafts to be taken from all over the scalp but, again, the diffuse nature of female hair loss limits the amount of hair that can be taken due to the reduced density that many female patients experience. However, because density is being reduced on a one to one ratio from the very small safe donor of the female scalp the overall number of grafts available is lower with FUE than with FUSS. This is highly subjective of course but is a valid concern when the goal is maximum graft availability.