Women & Hair Loss
A Normal Condition Dictated by Heredity
Since 1984, Dr. Pistone has been one of the pioneering surgeons leading the way in the study, development, refinement and practice of the surgical techniques available to women suffering from female-pattern baldness. Follicular Unit Transplantation is the scientific and permanent solution to hair loss, not only for men but also for women.
Western Culture’s Psychological Effects
It’s difficult to imagine anything more devastating to a woman’s self-image than losing her hair. We live in a society that places a premium on personal appearance.
From childhood on, media and culture teach women that the way they look will play a disproportionate role in determining the course of their lives. A quick study of magazine advertising, moreover, strongly suggests that the dominant factor in beauty is hair-its color, texture and style. Because of this, thinning hair is portrayed as a loss of beauty.
Especially true for women, the loss of hair has a profound impact not only on how you are perceived by others, but more importantly, on how you perceive yourself. When a woman loses her hair, she often begins to lose her self-esteem as well, which adversely affects both her personal and professional lives.
If You’ve Got Thinning Hair – You’re Not Alone
In most cases, hair loss in woman is a normal condition dictated by heredity. Hair loss is relatively common in women, more common than one would imagine. Almost 30 million women, or one in four, experience thinning hair due to androgenic alopecia: female-pattern-baldness.
All women have both estrogen (female) and testosterone (male) hormones in their systems. The loss, or depletion of the protective estrogen and/or the over production of testosterone permits the testosterone to exert its effect on the hair follicles, resulting in thinning of the hair.
Typically, the loss of the hair follows one of two patterns. Either diffuse hair loss is evident all over the scalp, causing a decrease in hair density throughout. Or, the hairline is maintained relatively intact, with more significant thinning starting just behind the hairline and extending to the crown. In most cases, women’s hair loss does not eventuate in total baldness of the affected area, but rather thinning at the top and sides of the scalp creating the veil effect-the ability to see through the thinning hair. Ludwig developed a female-pattern classification chart for hair loss, which illustrates the severity of thinning at the top of the scalp.
The onset of hair loss in women can begin any time after the teenage years, but most commonly occurs during peri-menopause or menopause when a woman’s estrogen levels fluctuate at first and then gradually decrease to a new, muchlower level-culminating in the loss of protective effects of estrogen. Anything, from drugs to trauma, that alters the protective levels of estrogen could lead to premature development of female-pattern hair loss.
Treating Female-Pattern Baldness
In the past, surgical hair transplantation was not necessarily the answer for the majority of women experiencing hair loss due to the fact that the large plus damaged the healthy, living, thriving hair follicles in the recipient area.
Today’s techniques, however, have advanced to a state where an experienced, skilled surgeon intersperses hair follicle grafts in a natural pattern, amongst and around the remaining hair. The result is a noticeable increase in density, with no damage to the existing hair. Despite the medical advances made in understanding and treating hereditary hair thinning, many women are still misinformed about thinning hair and what their corrective options are, including hair restoration surgery.