Although hair loss occurs in the majority of men and more increasingly now in women it is seen by many who suffer as a flaw to be cured. Socially it is considered to be an unwelcome sign of ageing and points towards poor health and wellbeing.
Generally, man or woman we try to look our best, feel good about ourselves and like to convey a youthful appearance to others. Life today has its own demands and more and more people look to cosmetic surgery for answers to the aging process.
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.
Put all these factors together and the desire to improve our appearance can affect our judgment and reasoning and be objective about the best possible solution to your expectations. So what do you need to consider to make the right decision about your hair restoration?
Start Off With Your Options
Male-pattern baldness is a result of a gene in the body that converts large quantities of testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone). Hair loss occurs to some extent in 60-
70% of all men, and 4-8% of women. This balding process is caused by hereditary factors. You inherit the tendency to lose hair from either of your parents.
There are many causes of hair loss, some systemic, traumatic, chemical it is important before any treatment is administered a proper assessment is required.
There are only three FDA approved medicated treatments and therapies for the treatment of genetic hair loss, although FDA approved it must be understood there is no miracle cure and results can vary from person to person, and always consult a specialist before using.
Treatment can help to stabilise the hair growth process to balance the shedding and growth phases once again. Treatment cannot make new hair grow if the hair follicles have shut down but by promoting the dormant hair follicles to regrow the hairs faster can help to improve the number of hairs on the head as well as the hair strength and quality.
In the early stages of hair loss treatment can be the first option in tackling your hair loss. Stabilising your hair growth can help maintain your hair for many years. At an earlier age, future hair loss cannot be predicted therefore a permanent solution such as a hair transplant would not be considered a sensible option opposed to a treatment programme that can sustain your hair growth for years to come.
Not all treatment or therapies are suitable for both men and women or for certain hair loss conditions. The earlier a treatment is started the more likely a positive result can be achieved as the more severe the damage to the hair follicles maybe cannot be repaired.
Medications can also complement a surgical hair transplant when suitable by providing the best result. It is important to understand that surgical hair replacement without medical therapy may not provide a suitable result if the existing hair growth continues to fall out leaving patchy areas of hair growth.
Minoxidil (Rogaine®) is a topical application applied to the scalp twice daily, 1ml each application. Available over-the-counter in 2% or 5% lotion, and now in a foam form, the active ingredient is thought to increase blood circulation locally, acting as a vasodilator.
Finasteride (Propecia®) is a tablet taken daily, and acts by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is the cause of male pattern hair loss. It is available only on prescription and cannot be taken by women. It slows hair loss and stimulates some new hair growth, and works more effectively on the crown and mid- scalp than the frontal area.
The most recently approved treatment uses low-level red laser light which stimulates hair follicles. The size of a normal hairbrush and in dome form that sits under a cap they can be used every other day and improves the strength and appearance of hair as well as hair growth.
There are two recognised techniques to harvest the hair from the donor area, STRIP Surgery/FUT and Follicular Unit Extraction/“FUE”. FUT hair transplant surgery the doctor harvests the hair from a thin strip of the hair-bearing tissue removed from around the back and sides of the head. Follicular Unit Extraction/FUE, on the other hand, utilises a different harvesting method, using a micro-punch to extract each FU one by one from around the donor area.
With both techniques it has been medically recognised that hair from the donor can be moved to an area of hair loss and this hair will continue to grow after being moved to the new area, displaying the same traits and characteristics as it had prior to being moved.
Are Your A Good Or Bad Hair Transplant Candidate
Are your goals and expectations realistic? Do you understand the limitations of a hair transplant? Do you understand age can play an important point in considering the correct hair restoration treatment? Do you understand hair loss is progressive over the adult lifetime? Do you have average to good hair characteristics? Do you understand a hair transplant is not a hair loss cure?
Non-Surgical Hair Replacement
Not everyone wants to have a hair transplant and some, maybe due to their expectations, medical concerns or hair characteristics are not good surgical hair restoration candidates. Treatment may be holding their hair loss or maybe their hair loss has already progressed to an advanced stage and they are looking for a new look of more hair coverage.
Hair replacement systems are generally made from a synthetic material making up the base of the unit that human and synthetic hair is woven into. The base/unit can be custom made to the size of the individual or stock sizes. The hair length can be ordered as required and a sample of the individual´s hair taken to match the colour and texture. The base can be attached with tapes or clips as well as a glue that can last around 4 weeks before coming loose and needing to be treated, removed, cleaned and reapplied. The hair is cut to blend with the individual´s existing hair and special grooming products used on a daily basis. The units can last anything from a few weeks to a year before losing hair and looking old and needing to be replaced.
Scalp Micro Pigmentation – SMP
Scalp micro pigmentation, (SMP) also known as a head or scalp tattoo is a cosmetic tattoo that gives the illusion of a shaved looking head of hair. The technique can also be used to camouflage the scars from FUT and FUE hair transplantation or to make thinning hair appear fuller. In contrast to body art tattoos, the procedure does not penetrate as deeply, and the inks are not permanent, so lasting months and others a year or more.
Take A Step Back
Hair loss is an emotive issue for many men and woman and occasionally the heart can rule the head because of the desire to repair or replace lost hair. It is important to calculate the options and pros and cons and it may be necessary to compromise your expectations for your greater well-being.