Female Hair Transplant

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After Three Procedures I Am Noticing Further Hair Loss, Did The Hair Transplants Not Take?

I have undergone 3 hair transplant procedures and thought that they were successful.  However, recently  I have noticed further hair loss and am concerned that the hair transplants may not really be working for me, especially since reading that very, very few women are good candidates.  It is difficult to tell if I am seeing just the normal loss of my hair or if the transplants did not take.    Before I decide to have another procedure I want to be very sure that I am really a good candidate for the procedure. Thank you so much for your help.  – Lauren
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Lauren,

Thank you for taking the time to write.  Let me try to answer your question as best I can without seeing you and examining your scalp.

Hair loss, by its very nature, is relentlessly progressive.  This is why a hair restoration surgeon takes into account future hair loss when planning a transplant – they must place hair in areas that might need hair in the future in addition to the areas that have already lost hair.  In women, this problem can be worsened by the surgery itself – that is to say – if a hair is at the end of its life cycle, it may have its final “shed” at the time of surgery.  This is mitigated by the fact that the new hair you get from the surgery is permanent so you end up ahead in the long run, surgeons are just usually more cautious with their female patients.  Additionally, you do not mention what type of hair loss you have; is it androgenetic alopecia (female pattern hair loss), alopecia areata, or hair loss due to other medical problems?

There are a few things you wrote that are not necessarily true, though.  Women are good candidates for hair transplant surgery.  In the past it was thought that there were few women candidates, but we now are finding this is not true.  Also, if the procedure was done according to the standards now used by most hair restoration surgeons, it is unlikely that the grafts would not “take.”

Since you are looking at another surgery, and since I do not know how many grafts you have had in your three surgeries thus far or even what type of hair loss you have, here is what I suggest;  find a hair restoration doctor or a dermatologist that you trust and get a definitive diagnosis for your hair loss.  To find one, consider checking some of the independent websites like the IAHRS (International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons, http://www.iahrs.org/) or even the American Hair Loss Association (www.americanhairloss.org).   This process may involve a scalp biopsy or some blood tests.  You need to know what type of hair loss you have in order to explain any continued loss of hair or any possible failure of hair transplant surgery (which would be very rare).  From there the next step would be to have that trusted hair restoration doctor evaluate what another surgery would accomplish for you.

Hope that helps and best of luck with your treatment.

Warm Regards,
Dr. Sara Wasserbauer

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