A 32-year-old woman is having a hair loss problem at the top of her head. She has never been pregnant and is planning to get married and pregnant within the next year. She wants to know if she is a good candidate for a hair transplant.
Dr. Amiya Prasad, a hair restoration specialist and cosmetic surgeon, explains that there are two scales when diagnosing hair loss: the Norwood-Hamilton scale for men and the Ludwig scale for women. In male pattern hair loss, there is recession in the temples and thinning of the crown. When women have hair loss, there is a defused thinning of the entire scalp and the front hairline tends to stay intact. There is also widening of the part which is a reflection of diminishing overall density of the hair and sometimes called the Christmas tree pattern because it looks like a Christmas tree from the top view.
In addition, women also experience a phenomenon called telogen effluvium which is also called stress hair loss. This is mainly caused by stress where the hairs keep falling out. This can happen during pregnancy when a woman may lose a lot of hair before, during or after pregnancy. However, this is a common phenomenon for women and a hair transplant is not encouraged. Hair loss can still go on after a hair transplant if the woman is still experiencing stress or the underlying factors that caused the hair loss are not addressed.
Sadly, the only option for hair loss treatment for women is minoxidil and a lot of dermatologists also treat hair loss with corticosteroid injections. This is based on the belief that female pattern hair loss is caused by an inflammatory component. However, at present, there is still no exact reason that causes this female pattern hair loss.
In Dr. Prasad’s practice, he has developed a non-surgical injection treatment that has been very successful in treating both male and female pattern hair loss. 99% of his male patients had a clear improvement of hair quality and thickness while 70% of his female patients also had a similar level of improvement. This treatment is composed of extracellular matrix made by ACell which is combined with platelet-rich plasma that is injected into the scalp. This injection contains adult stem cells called progenitor cells that help protect hair follicles from different factors that may cause hair loss. It acts like a shield to reverse hair thinning and thicken existing hair. This prevents progression of hair loss during different stages of a stressed pregnancy.
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