Hair Transplant for Women

Can a woman with severe hair loss get hair transplants?  How long can the hair be?  THANK YOU

Doctor Answers 9

Hair transplants for Women with Severe Hair loss

In general, women with severe hair loss "may" be good candidates for surgery if 

1) the cause of hair loss is due to genetic hair loss

2) there is enough hair at the back of the scalp to move to the front of the scalp to really make a difference

Usually, women with severe androgenetic alopecia (female pattern hair loss) have hair loss all over the scalp - including front, top, back and sides. For this reason, women with severe loss are not typically good candidates for surgery. 

However, if there is a good donor area (meaning the density is good and the hairs are not thinning or miniaturizing in that area) and the cause of hair loss is confirmed as being genetic hair loss and not another cause, the patient may be a good candidate.

Other factors are relevant too so it's a good idea to sit down and discuss with a hair transplant physician. 


That is a Question of Supply and Demand

I have treated women with all degrees of hair loss from mild to severe.  Success depends on many factors:

1.  Is the woman realistic about what can be done?  Will she accept targeting certain areas like the central forelock, hairline and part and not the whole area?

2.  How extensive the baldness is of course a big thing.  If there is a lot of thinning but it is concentrated in for example what is called the Christmas tree pattern, then things may be able to be done.  This is the demand part o f the equation:  how much actual baldness needs to be covered.

3.  The supply side of things refers to how much donor hair is usable.  Many women lose hair also in the temples so that the donor harvest must be confined only to the occiput centrally.  In addition, the degree of density in any given area is critical.  High density covers a lot of sin.  Poor density is a difficult thing to deal with.  The hair caliber comes in as a close second if not on par with donor density and sometimes even more important.  If the hair caliber is wispy thin then that is a problem.  Less important is if the hair is curly or straight.  The curlier the better.  The straighter the less able to cover the area.  For example, African American hair really covers a great degree of distance especially if it is left unrelaxed.  The hair color to scalp color difference is important.  Dark hair on dark skin or light hair on light skin is more ideal than dark hair on light skin or light hair on dark skin.

All of these factors and more are important when considering the adequacy of a female candidate.  To be honest, it is very hard to judge from photos.  There is nothing like a 5 minute physical examination by an experienced hair transplant surgeon that truly helps define realistic and attainable goals.


Sam Lam

Samuel Lam, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Hair Transplant Surgery May Be an Option

Not every hair loss patient is a good candidate for hair transplant surgery, especially in women where there are many variable causes for hair loss. However, as long as there is an adequate donor region from which to harvest the hair, you could be a candidate for hair transplant surgery. Before surgery, though, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a board certified dermatologist who specializes in hair loss conditions to determine the cause of your hair loss. While your hair loss may be caused by female pattern baldness, it could also be the result of hormonal changes caused by thyroid abnormalities, menopause or birth control pills, physical stress from surgery, illness, anemia, rapid weight loss, emotional stress, and medications. By determining the exact cause of your baldness, your dermatologist can determine if hair transplant surgery is the best treatment option for your case.

Ashley R. Curtis, MD
Atlanta Dermatologic Surgeon

Hair Transplant for Women with Severe Hair Loss

The answer is yes depending on the cause of hair loss.  If it is due to a thyroid problem, lupus, etc. the answer is no.  But if it's a result from inherited hair loss the results can be excellent.  About 15% of my patients are women who have genetic hair loss.  The reason it works for these patients is they have good donor hair. 

Jack Fisher, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Hair Transplant for Women

By severe hair loss, you can mean many things.  The key thing is, if there is reasonable density in the back/sides of the scalp  (donor area) then a transplant can be quite effective. A workup for the hairloss is also indicated.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

The long and short of hair transplants in women

Yes, women are candidates for hair transplant surgery. The woman must be in good general health and all the medical reasons for hair loss must be eliminated. Women usually have thining through the coronal (mid portion) of the scalp leaving the hair line unaffected. A strip of hair is removed from the occipital (back portion) of the scalp and this strip is trimmed into micro (1-2 hairs) and mini grafts (3-4 hairs) and the grafts are transplanted into the thinning areas. The transplanted hairs have the same characteristics in their new location as they did in their previous location so if the hair was long before it will grow to substantial length in their new location.

I hope this was helpful.

Hair Transplants in Women

 If your hair loss is localized as men experience with male pattern baldness, hair replacement surgery may be appropriate. Unfortunately, many women who experience diffuse hair loss over the entire scalp are not candidates. The transplanted hair will grow just as long as it did in its original location. 

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

It depends on how extensive the loss is.

 If you have loss over most of your head the answer is no. You have to have an area of thick hair to serve as the donor source. If you have normal hair on the sides and back of the head the answer is yes.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Female Hair loss and hair transplants

Yes, it can be performed. IT can be as long as your natural hair. Most surgeons prefer to start with medical treatment which can include steroid injections to the scalp for alopecia areata or the use if minoxidil type preparations prior to employing surgery.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.