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Overcoming Hair Loss

Patient Stories

When Brenda Mottram began losing her hair, she turned to Mass. Eye and Ear for life-changing hair restoration surgery.

Growing up with thick, curly hair, Brenda never thought she’d lose her hair. When female pattern baldness — the most common cause of hair loss in women  — set in, it was an unwelcome surprise.

“I always had so much hair that I never thought about what it would be like to not have it,” she said.

Women and Hair Loss

Female pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, often begins with gradual thinning at the part line. It can be seldom at first, which was the case for Brenda. She was able to easily cover the thinner spots with her curls. But after a while, she began to notice more and more hair in the shower drain, which is a common progression for this type of hair loss.

Brenda began taking vitamins and using hair products to delay the hair loss and promote hair growth, but nothing worked as well as she had hoped.

One evening, she was out to dinner in New York City and noticed a crowd of young women looking at her as she played with her hair in the restroom. “They were looking at me with pity,” said Brenda. “It was awful and so humiliating. That is when I knew I was ready to do something more for my hair.”

In the Right Hands

Brenda first came to Massachusetts Eye and Ear for a consultation with Linda N. Lee, M.D., a specialist in the Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Division. During her visit, they spoke about Brenda’s options and decided that a hair restoration procedure was the best course of action.

“I instantly felt a sense of trust in Dr. Lee,” said Brenda. “She gave me recommendations based on her experience with other patients, and I just knew I was in the right hands.”

With hair restoration (or hair transplant) surgery, the surgeon removes hair from areas of the scalp with active hair growth and transplants them to the areas where there is baldness or thinning.

For Brenda, they took hair from the back of her head and transplanted it to the top of her head, where she was seeing the most hair loss. Since this technique uses your own, natural hair, the results often look more natural and are permanent.

“The whole process was a very calming experience for me,” said Brenda. “For a procedure that can be a bit scary, I didn’t feel nervous. Dr. Lee was with me through each step of the way.”

Before (left ) and after (right) Brenda’s hair restoration procedure.

“I have my sense of humor and confidence back.”

Hair transplant results are not immediate — it takes time for the newly implanted hair to grow out.

Brenda, who had the procedure done in the month of February, was hoping to reveal her new head of hair at a wedding in August of that year.

By August, Brenda had hair she was comfortable showing off. It is even curlier than before, which is something that she really enjoys. A few years later, Brenda continues to be pleased with the results, noting that she feels more like herself each day.

“I never thought about my hair before this; I just took it for granted,” she said. “It wasn’t until I lost it that I realized how much goes with having hair.”

“For a lot of women, I think our hair is interwoven with our confidence, so I was losing my confidence along with my hair,” she continued. “Since my surgery, I feel more light-hearted, and I have my sense of humor and my confidence back.”

For more information on hair restoration care at Mass. Eye and Ear, please call 617-573-3709 or request an appointment online.

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