Comprehensive Hair Restoration Solutions for Women at The Maas Clinic™ in San Francisco

Hair restoration in San Fransisco isn't just for men. Women can also suffer the psychological and social consequences of thinning hair, and the same procedures that are effective for men can also work for women. At The Maas Clinic™ in San Francisco, we offer state-of-the-art hair restoration procedures that offer natural, permanent results with minimal discomfort and downtime involved. We can customize hair restoration solutions for each of our patients with different techniques, ensuring a positive outcome no matter what your specific hair loss concerns might be.

Women and Hair Loss

Hair loss in men and women typically develops as a result of androgenetic alopecia, a progressive condition caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT), an androgen related to testosterone. In genetically susceptible individuals, DHT may bind to the hair follicles and cause them to shrink and weaken in a process known as miniaturization, leading to a gradual thinning and loss of hair. Although androgenic alopecia is usually associated with men, women are not immune to the problem, and they can be just as negatively impacted – if not more so – when it does occur. Genetic and hormonal factors cause androgenic alopecia and cannot be prevented, which means that if a female member of your family has dealt with thinning hair or alopecia, you are more likely to do so as well.

In women, hair loss tends to be a more complex issue as it may often be attributed to other issues, such as a medical condition or hormonal imbalance. Since hair loss in women can be more complicated, identifying any underlying cause is an important first step in the restoration process. When women experience hair loss, it is often more diffuse, meaning that female balding patterns are typically non-uniform; thinning occurs throughout the scalp, making it difficult to find a stable donor site for hair transplantation. As a result, treating hair loss in women can be more challenging, but not impossible, and requires the skill and expertise of the specialists at The Maas Clinic™ in San Francisco.

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Hair Transplants For Women

Hair transplantation is the process of transferring hair from a stable donor site of unaffected hair follicles to the location of thinning. It is often more diffuse when women experience hair loss, meaning that female balding patterns are typically non-uniform. Thinning tends to occur throughout the scalp, making it difficult to find a stable donor site for hair transplantation. As a result, treating hair loss in women can be more challenging, but not impossible, and requires the skill and expertise of the specialists at The Maas Clinic™ in San Francisco. For women who are good candidates for the procedure, the same hair restoration treatments that have proven effective in men can also be successful in female patients. The unique challenges faced by women with non-uniform balding are identifying any underlying causes of alopecia and locating a stable donor site. If a surgeon transplants hair from a donor site experiencing thinning, this effect will also be seen in the treatment area. Women that are ideal candidates for a hair transplant are those who experience hair loss due to:

  • Androgenic alopecia, or genetic hair loss caused by DHT, with available stable donor sites.
  • Traction alopecia, or mechanical hair loss, resulting from repeated pulling or tugging. This cause is commonly seen in women who wear ponytails or braids that are too tight.
  • Distinct pattern baldness, such as vertex thinning (seen on the top of the head) or hairline recession, in which the hair loss follows a discernible pattern that leaves donor sites unaffected.
  • Alopecia Marginalis, or hair loss confined mainly to the hairline and temples, often results from continual traction caused by braids and hair extensions.
  • Surgical procedures like facelifts, brow lifts, and other facial procedures involving incisions along the hairline.
  • Trauma or injury, such as burns and scarring, has affected hair growth.

At The Maas Clinic™, we recognize the complexity of female hair loss and evaluate each patient carefully to determine if a hair transplant is a viable treatment option. Once Dr. Maas has determined you are a good candidate for the procedure, he will review your options and explain the different techniques. Although a hair transplant for women requires the skill and expertise of a specialist such as Dr. Maas, this procedure can be performed in-office under local anesthesia, which means minimal discomfort and downtime for you.

Hair Transplant Options for Women

Hair transplantation in the United States dates back to the 1950s, and techniques have steadily advanced, increasing effectiveness and comfort. When a hair transplant is expertly performed with care and precision, patients receive high-quality results that exceed their expectations. Dr. Maas has years of experience treating both men and women and understands the nuances of hair loss and treatment options. For women eligible for a hair transplant, a few techniques can be used — the Follicular Unit Transfer (FUT), also known as the strip method, or Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), which transfers hair follicles individually. Regardless of the method used in any hair transplantation process, your doctor must identify and select the donor area from which healthy hair follicles will be taken.

For men, this location is often at the back of the scalp, where hair is at its densest. The thickness of this location's hair can also be true for women who notice thinning hair around the hairline or their natural part. The hair can be removed by each follicle using the FUE method or from small groups of follicles in a single narrow strip from the scalp using the FUT method. No matter which technique removes the hair from the donor site, the follicles will be introduced to the treatment area one at a time. If the removal is performed via FUT, the follicles will be separated before they are implanted into the area of the scalp needing hair restoration. The implant procedure can be performed with a needle, minimizing incisions and visible scarring after the procedure.

When performing the transplant procedure, selecting a specialist such as Dr. Maas is essential because the surgeon needs to be mindful that the hairs are placed at the proper angle to produce a natural result. The necessary expertise requires taking into account the shape of the hairline, growth patterns, and diffuseness of hair loss. For example, in contrast to the typical male hairline, women tend to have a rounded hairline that descends downward. The best results depend on selecting an experienced surgeon for your hair transplant procedure. Dr. Maas will carefully place each follicle into the scalp using the right angle to ensure the hair lies properly on the head for attractive styling and a natural overall appearance.

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How the Hair Transplant Procedure Works

FUT and FUE can be performed using a special local anesthetic containing adrenaline. The addition of adrenaline or epinephrine minimizes bleeding during and after the procedure, which also reduces bruising and makes for a more comfortable recovery process. Once the scalp is numb, the extraction process is performed at the donor site, and removed follicles are transferred to their new location. FUT, or the strip method, harvests healthy hair follicles in strips to imitate the natural hair growth pattern. Once a strip is removed, the hair follicles are individually divided before Dr. Maas carefully transplants them one at a time into areas affected by hair loss. FUE, or follicular transfer, is one of the most popular modern hair transplantation methods.

This technique harvests hair follicles individually from donor sites using minimally invasive NeoGraft and SmartGraft devices for improved results and patient comfort. Harvested hair follicles are then individually transplanted into areas of the scalp experiencing hair loss. A hair transplant procedure can take many hours to complete as the process is slow and precise. Dr. Maas carefully harvests and transplants healthy hair follicles to ensure minimal scarring and natural-looking results. Once the procedure is over, you can return home to recover in comfortable surroundings. You will be asked to refrain from washing your hair for about 48 hours to allow the scalp to heal. Combing and blow drying will be discouraged for an extended period to prevent any disruption of the new follicle transplants.

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Hair Transplant Results

Modern hair transplantation techniques produce natural-looking results that blend seamlessly to mimic natural hair growth patterns. It can take three to six months for transplanted follicles to start producing hair, but once the area is fully healed and the transplants "take," your hair will start to grow the same way in the newly placed follicles as it does on the rest of your scalp. You can cut and style your hair as if the placement was completely natural. In most cases, the results of a hair transplant will be permanent, allowing you to forgo additional procedures to maintain your results. For women, loss of hair can be even more socially devastating than it is for men. Fortunately, treatments are available to restore female hair and confidence while enhancing a woman's appearance. To learn more, contact The Maas Clinic™ today.

Corey S. Maas, MD, reviewed this information about hair transplants for women. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us using our contact form below.

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