What’s your hair loss stage and what’s the plan? What are your goals and expectations and what’s the next step to get you there?
Hair loss stages are categorised in a useful guide help diagnose the extent of the hair loss, for both men and women.
The Norwood Scale is a classification of MPB for men, from remedial thinning to progressive hair loss; this makes it easier to understand the present grouping and determine the potential future loss. The Scale starts at 1 at its most minor up to 7 as the most aggressive form of male hair loss, also staging the loss between hairline and crown.
The female version is known as The Ludwig Scale and works in a very similar way to categorise a stage of thinning. The female pattern of hair loss is generally different but again gives a broad overview as to the condition of a person‟s situation.
How Common Is Genetic Hair Loss
Hair loss occurs to some extent in 60-70% of all men, and 4-8% of women. You inherit the tendency to lose hair from either of your parents. This is transmitted in your genes. You may even have this tendency despite the fact that your parents have full heads of hair – this is due to a process known as a spontaneous mutation, whereby the genetic information changes at conception.
What’s the impact of hair loss on our daily life?
Hair loss can have deep psychological effects for both men and woman, consciously or subconsciously this can affect confidence, the ability to interact with others easily, and can lead to low self-esteem.
Having the ability to restore something genetics has deprived us of can restore our own feel-good factor with ourselves; a more youthful appearance gives back the self- confidence and self-esteem, which can then reach out into all aspects of our lives, business and personal. There are no barriers, age, gender, and genre; be it a young man with early thinning, a 50 something, or a woman feeling she is losing her femininity.
You can’t always get what you want
Young men can be huge risk takers and often completely blind to the potential consequences. No one belittles a younger man´s reaction to hair loss, and their perceived premature aging but it must be understood before undergoing any hair loss treatment or surgical procedure.
It can be hard for most to relate to the psychological aspects of why we need hair, one can easily become overconfident in the ability to make a proper decision and the belief that one should not be denied their hair can result in a hasty decision.
The low rounded adolescent hairline will look fine on a younger man but not match the age and facial features of an older man. It also has to be understood that hairline placement, density, and thickness can vary from ethnic origin and genetic background. It is not always advisable to just follow a trend in hairlines but best to mimic nature and your pre-existing makeup.
The crown can vary widely in size. The crown opens on all sides, from the frontal and sides to dropping at the back; some cultures the area expands further due to bone structure expanding down each side potentially doubling the surface area. On a high Norwood 6 or 7, if too many grafts are used to only treat the crown it could equate to more than the average person has available in their donor area for the entire head.
Sometimes it’s the cold, hard reality of truth
The hair loss consultation acts to help the patient and the doctor, as both need to work in tandem to serve both the patient and the doctor in assessing the patient´s suitability for hair transplant restoration.
On listening to your expectations and goals you also need to understand the doctor´s assessment of where you are today, what can be achieved today and the potential for the future. This will include an assessment of your hair loss stage, technically either the Norwood scale for men or the Ludwig scales for female pattern baldness.
How important it is to look into the future cannot be underestimated, and assess whether the goals set out today will work with the potential for hair loss in the future. Your goals may be achievable today but if your objectives change or your hair loss progresses in the future these aspects must be anticipated.
This is an aspect that makes a hair transplant individual and not carte blanche; understanding the limitations of your hair will ensure that, although you may be disappointed as to what can be achieved, you will be aware of what type result is realistic and not live with false hope chasing something that is not possible.
Improvements in surgical hair restoration
Advances in hair transplant surgical hair restoration techniques, specifically the FUT – Follicular Unit Transplant and FUE – Follicular Unit Extraction methods are well suited to treat both men and women; today‟s technology enables high density and natural hairline designs. For those that are suitable candidates, the latest follicular unit grafting hair transplant methods present an ideal solution.
Everyone wants to achieve a result that is thick and natural. In reality, a patient’s insufficient donor hair can restrict the surgeon’s ability to accomplish this “ultimate result.” It is important to understand that it is not always possible to achieve the ultimate goal and sometimes a compromise has to be made.
Most patients today elect to have the mixed grafting technique performed, either initially or as their hair loss progresses. This enables them to enjoy the benefits of both techniques and gain the optimum graft numbers over time.
It is still important to understand there are limitations to a hair transplant procedure, it is not a miracle cure and is bound by the limitations of the donor hair you retain and the degree of hair loss you have suffered, coupled with your age and potential for future hair loss.