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Chicago Hair Institute

Understanding and Restoring Women's Hair Loss

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Many female hair loss patterns can be classified using the Ludwig classification system. The Ludwig system divides progressive female hair loss into three stages, as illustrated below. The photograph above demonstrates a female with an advanced Ludwig I or early Ludwig II pattern, who may progress to a Ludwig III.   

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There are two basic categories for women who seek help with hair restoration - 1) those with a stable or localized hair loss problem; and 2) those with a diffuse or progressive hair loss disorder.

Women with stable or localized hair loss typically make excellent candidates for surgical hair restoration.  Good surgical candidates include women with: 1) a naturally high hairline; 2) age-related hairline recession; 3) hair loss resulting from facelift surgery; 4) traction-related hair loss (tight braids, extensions, weaves); and 5) hair loss resulting from trauma, infection or chemical damage (e.g. perms).  Patients in this group generally have excellent donor hair reserves capable of allowing a full restoration in the affected area. 

Women with diffuse or progressive hair loss patterns are generally considered risky candidates for surgery.  As many as one in four women will experience some degree of age-related diffuse thinning.  Unlike male pattern baldness which has a well-recognized genetic basis, diffuse female hair loss is much more complicated and can have many causes.  Although some in this category make reasonable surgical candidates, the majority of those with a diffuse hair loss pattern cannot be corrected by surgical intervention.  Unfortunately, diffuse patterns often extend into the donor region so as to deplete the very reserves that are needed for restoration.  Proper diagnosis and careful patient selection is mandatory for women with diffuse loss so as to prevent unwarranted surgery and to maximize the benefits of non-surgical therapy.

It is necessary to identify the cause of the hair loss for all female patients prior to considering hair transplantation.  Hair loss arising from many medical conditions can be corrected without surgery.  Evaluation by a non-surgical hair loss expert is the best first step for diagnosing the problem.  A scalp biopsy or blood tests may be required to help find a treatable cause.  Medical management for treatable disorders may include a prescribed medication to help stop hair loss and possibly restore some of the previously lost hair.  Upon completion of the medical evaluation, the non-surgical hair loss expert will provide a recommendation as to whether or not surgical hair transplantation is a viable option for cosmetic improvement.  Once cleared for surgery, the patient and surgeon will determine if the goals for enhancement can be met.  Fortunately, women declared to be good candidates for hair restoration generally achieve results that rival those of men.

Female Hair Loss Disorders - Surgical Candidates

  • Women born with a high hairline
  • Age-related hairline recession
  • Hair loss resulting from facelift surgery
  • Traction-related hair loss (tight braids, extensions, weaves)
  • Hair loss from trauma, infection or chemical damage (perms, dyes, straighteners)

Female Hairline Restoration

Women bothered by an excessively high hairline or those with age-related frontal hairline recessions often make excellent candidates for surgical restoration.  A high hairline or deep recessions can create an aged or masculine look.  Women seeking improvement for these situations may benefit from a procedure which lowers the hairline and fills deep recessions.  A custom-tailored approach is used to match hairline shape with facial characteristics so as to fully accentuate natural female beauty.  Women with high hairlines generally have an abundant supply of donor hair which allows for a complete restoration.

BEFORE SURGERY - GENERAL VIEW OF THE THINNING AREA

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BEFORE SURGERY - DEMARCATION OF THE FRONTAL HAIRLINE

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AFTER SURGERY - FRONTAL HAIRLINE RESTORATION

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AFTER SURGERY - CLOSE UP VIEW OF THE NEW HAIRLINE

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Regain Your Feminine Locks

The various causes of female hair loss are discussed by Dr. Sahar Nadimi, a hair restoration specialist. She strives to understand each patient's concerns and goals so she can recommend the best treatment. Her extensive knowledge and training allow her to help women regain one of their most noticeable features so they can feel beautiful again.

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Repair of Facelift and Browlift Deformities with Hair Transplantation

Visible scarring, hairline distortion and sideburn distortion are complications that occasionally follow facelift and browlift surgery.  These problems are easily repaired using ultra-refined follicular unit transplantation.  Transplanted hair can help camouflage even the worst facelift or browlift scars.  Camouflage is possible whether these scars be located around the ears, in front of the hairline or within the hairline.  Follicular unit grafts are implanted directly into and around any problematic scar so as to create a seamless transition between the facial skin and the scarred area.  Hairlines and sideburns that have been moved into unnatural positions or shapes from aggressive facelift or browlift procedures techniques can also be repaired with ultra-refined grafting techniques (Facelift Repair).

Hair Loss Related to Traction, Trauma, Infection and Chemicals

Patients with hair loss from traction (e.g. braids, extensions, weaves), trauma, infection and chemicals (e.g. perms, dyes, straighteners) generally make very good candidates for surgical restoration.  As long as adequate donor reserves remain intact, a full restoration can be accomplished to thicken areas thinned by any of these hair loss processes.

Female Hair Loss Disorders - Non-Surgical Candidates

Pregnancy-related hair loss - Hormonal and stress-related hair loss is common following pregnancy.  Post-partum hair loss is usually temporary and often reverses several months following its onset.  Hair shedding commonly stops and healthy hair growth resumes once the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy has returned to normal.  Occasionally this type of hair loss is permanent.

Thyroid dysfunction - Disorders of the thyroid gland can lead to hair loss. Thyroid dysfunction and the resultant hair loss are more common in women as compared to men.

Iron deficiency - Iron deficiency is more common in women and may be the cause of unexplained hair loss.  Diagnosis can be made with a  blood test.  Dietary iron supplements are recommended as a treatment for iron deficiency-related hair loss. 

Estrogen - Estrogen levels lower with age. Approximately one-third of women experience significant hair loss after menopause. Hormonal replacement may help post-menopausal thinning.

Stress - Stress is a well-recognized cause for hair loss.  Divorce, loss of employment, and death of a loved one come to mind as factors which can lead to stress-related hair loss.  This type of hair loss can resolve once the stress has been controlled.

Vitamin supplements/medication side-effects - Many medications contribute to hair loss and thinning.  Dietary supplements can also influence hair loss as they can contain high doses of vitamins and herbs that interfere with hair growth. Medications should be reviewed with your physician to determine if they are the cause of your hair loss.

To contact our Chicago area office in Oakbrook Terrace for a preliminary assessment of your hair loss, complete the virtual consultation form or call us at 630-932-9690.

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Oakbrook Terrace

1S280 S Summit Ave
Ste C4
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

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