What causes baldness?
The cause of male pattern baldness is no longer a mystery. Research has shown that when the male hormone – testosterone is exposed to 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme in the hair follicle, it produces another hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which causes permanent hair loss. This hormone (DHT) causes the hair follicle to shrink and grow a finer hair that is lighter in color, shorter and less deeply rooted than its predecessor. Most often, the hair in the balding region will continue to grow at an increasingly slower rate until hair growth ceases completely.
The pattern of progression, and the extent and speed of male pattern baldness, is largely dictated by genetics, hormones and age. For men, this permanent type of baldness generally follows specific patterns. Even in the most extensive cases, a horseshoe shaped fringe of hair remains on the back and sides. This donor fringe is insensitive to the balding process and will last a lifetime. This is because this hair is genetically programmed in the root, or hair follicle, to be resistant to the effects of DHT.
The hair in this donor area provides the basis for surgical hair restoration. These hairs, when transplanted into thinning or balding areas, will take root and grow, and continue to grow for the rest of a person’s life.
Are hair transplants permanent?
Since the hair used in hair restoration surgery comes from the donor area, which is not sensitive to the balding process, it will be permanent. This hair will retain its genetic characteristics even after relocation. It will grow and continue to grow for the rest of your life.
What is “follicular unit hair transplantation”?
This procedure has been called the logical end point of 30 years of evolution in hair transplantation beginning with traditional larger plugs and culminating in the move to one, two, and 3 hair follicular unit hair grafts, which mirror the way hair grows in nature. (Hair Transplant Forum Feb. 1997).
The key to follicular unit transplantation is to identify the patient’s “natural hair groupings” and use them intact to create “follicular unit hair grafts” that are composed of naturally occurring 1, 2, and 3 hair grafts.
These follicular unit hair grafts are much smaller than traditional untrimmed micrografts that contain equivalent amounts of hairs. Their size enables larger numbers of them to be placed in smaller, less traumatic incisions, and much closer together.
Using this advanced technique a surgeon can move more hair in a completely natural pattern – creating a natural look at every stage of hair restoration.
How much work will I need?
How much work you will need depends on various factors – such as, how much hair loss you have now, the amount of hair loss you will have in the future, and your goals and expectations – or how thick you want it to be.
What does Hair Transplantation Cost?
Generally hair transplantation has become a dramatically better value over the past several years. The cost of hair grafts have gone from a typical $25 per graft charge for the old large pluggy grafts, to prices ranging from $4 to $10 for today’s follicular unit grafts. The price per graft tends to be lower as the size (number of grafts) of the transplant session increases. Therefore, larger sessions not only produce more dramatic and rapid progress but better cost efficiencies.
Our pricing is very moderate by industry standards, and that’s not even taking into account the vastly superior results that we achieve. The cost per graft can be as low as $4.00 per graft in certain circumstances. Financing is also available.
We like to say that we are not the most inexpensive you will find, but we are also no where near the most expensive you will find. Beware of the quality in the least expensive clinics. These clinics are usually staffed by temporary doctors who may have very little experience in hair transplantation and are paid a “day rate” by a marketing company to come in and perform procedures. Their nurses tend to be temporary employees that usually do not have the same “pride in their work” that our full time nursing staff has.
We believe our results are as good or better than the most expensive clinics, at a fraction of the price.
A bad hair transplant result could cost thousands of dollars just to repair, so it is very important to make an educated decision in choosing which Hair Transplant surgeon is right for you.
Since Propecia is now available, will hair transplantation be a thing of the past?
While Propecia and Rogaine have been proven to regrow hair, they will not grow all your hair back. Both products have not been proven to grow any significant hair in the frontal scalp, which is the main area of concern for most people.
Their greatest benefit seems to be in slowing down hair loss. Propecia and Rogaine can be part of an effective hair restoration plan. We prescribe Propecia in order to help maintain some of the hair which may be lost over time. Taking these medications may also prolong the timing for additional procedures due to continuing hair loss.
What about “Scalp Reductions”?
Scalp reductions were first introduced in the mid-1970s as a way of treating an individual with a midline bald spot. Although several design approaches can be used, an elliptical approach is generally the most common. With this procedure, an ellipse of bald skin is removed centrally in the crown area and the hair-bearing scalp on the sides of the head is stretched toward the middle to obtain closure.
Because scalp reductions do not allow for an upward and forward advancement of the entire scalp, they are not effective in treating patients who possess or have the potential for more extensive baldness. Due to this inherent surgical limitation, as well as the aesthetic drawbacks, which include an excessive stretching back of the bald area and increased receding at the temples, the scalp reduction procedure is considered outdated for the treatment of moderate to extensive baldness. Newer procedures offer more predictable and better aesthetic results, and often require fewer surgical sessions.
Does removing hair from the donor area on the back of my head leave a gap?
The scalp is very elastic. When the donor strip of hair is removed, the scalp on both sides is just pulled together and sutured. The only evidence of surgery is a thin line typically 1-3mm hidden under the hair that grows vertically on the back of the head.
Are there risks involved?
Elective surgery to improve physical appearance is universally accepted and is being performed successfully everywhere there are qualified specialists. Hair restoration procedures differ from general surgery in that they involve only the outer layers of the body. You should not worry excessively about risks or complications because they are rare.
Is hair restoration surgery painful?
The discomfort associated with hair restoration surgery is usually comparable to that of dental surgery. We use special vibration devices that reduce the discomfort of the anesthetic injections. Pain medication is always offered, though its use is limited generally to the first 24 hours after surgery.
Will my transplanted hair require special care?
Your newly restored hair will grow and require the same maintenance as your original head of hair. It’s your hair and can be colored, permanently waved or styled in a variety of ways suitable to your lifestyle.
Can I wear a hairpiece until my surgery is completed?
Hair pieces can be worn between surgical visits if you want, as long as proper hygiene and ventilation of the scalp are maintained.
What is the difference between density and fullness?
The word fullness rather than density more accurately describes the visual phenomenon in what we perceive as thick hair versus thin hair. The concept of fullness is broader and more inclusive. Density, the number of hairs, (per centimeter), is only one of several factors that are responsible for the visual impression of hair that appears “thick”. Other factors include hair shaft diameter, color, texture, and curl, which may be of equal or even greater importance than density in contributing to the visual appearance of a “full” head of hair. It is said that an extra 1mm in hair caliber can add an extra 30% to cosmetic density.
How do I know if I’m a good candidate for this?
Most men in good general health are candidates for hair transplantation. Education is the key to ensure that the supply to demand ratio is equal to the patient’s expectation. Understanding limitations to your individual traits and characteristics such as color and type (fine, medium, coarse) and pattern of thinning/balding are also important .The doctors and the patient will help identify those together.
Is it better to begin early?
You should begin thinking about hair transplantation as an option when your degree of hair loss is unacceptable to you. If you are noticing some hair in the shower drain or on your pillow in the morning then it may be time to think about getting started. If there are no signs of hair loss, then you are one of the lucky ones.
How much hair do I have?
The Norwood classifications were adapted to help determine typical loss patterns. Not all fit into these, but most do. There are 7 classes of hair loss in the main series and 5 variations of these called “A” series. Most men start to thin in the corners, and then some in the vertex, and over a long period of time at the top of the scalp. If you compare your hair loss pattern with the Norwood diagrams Typical Loss Patterns, you can probably see the pattern you are in now.