Hair Loss and Restoration

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Hair Growth and Hair Loss

Our hair follicles are genetically programmed from birth. As a result, the genetic coding determines the behaviour of the hair follicles through our lifetime.

Anagen is the growth phase of the hair follicle.  It can last between two to three years. With Telogen being resting phase. This cycle lasting only three to four months.

During the growth phase, your hair can grow a few cms per month. At the end of the resting phase, the hairs fall out. The new hair then enters the growth phase. This cycle is maintained by a constant growing and shedding of hair. The result of this is the average person shedding from 50 to 100 hairs each day.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, at any given time 90% of your hair is in the growth phase.

Not all hair grows at the same time. As a result, approximately 10% is in a resting phase. On average there are 100,000 – 150,000 follicles on the scalp. If there are fewer than 90,000 hairs on the scalp, the hair density is considered thin.

Some people suffer interruptions in their normal phases of hair growth.  This results in either temporary or permanent hair loss. Hair loss can be caused by a variety of problems. To name a few conditions that can cause hair loss, hormonal problems, disease, medication, medical treatments, heredity, infection, and nutritional deficiency.

Hair Types

There are three major types of ethnic hair characteristics. Asian, African and Caucasian. People of Asian descent will have a lower hair density, which remains straight along the hair shaft. The hairs are coarse and will give a thicker looking coverage. Ethnic African hair has the characteristic of irregular curling along the length. This gives high coverage and the appearance of high hair density. Although the hair is fine diameter. Caucasian hair is between these two extremes. It can show greater extremes or differences in variation. Individuals with blonde hair have the highest number of hair follicles over the head. Redheads on average have the fewest number, although have coarser individual hairs.

Genetic Hair Loss

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Hair loss can affect men and women. There are many forms of hair loss, with the hereditary hair loss condition called androgenic alopecia. Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) in men and Female Pattern Baldness (FPB) in women. This form of hair loss is passed down genetically from family members.  There is a predestined potential this gene will be inherited by one or more family members. Genetic hair loss can come from either the maternal or paternal family members.

The stages or patterns of hair loss are categorised in two hair loss scales for men and women. The Norwood Scale classifies degrees of hair loss stages for men. The lower the number (NW2) represents minor hair loss and the higher the number (NW7) represents advanced hair loss. The Ludwig Scale is the female pattern hair loss Scale with similar representations to the hair loss stage.

Hair Regrowth Treatment Programmes

Treatment is designed to stabilise and improve the quality of hair growth. By treating the effects or causes of hair loss and to stimulate the hair follicles to grow stronger, healthier hairs again. With MPB the emphasis is on attacking the DHT effecting the hair follicle. Also, to improve blood flow to enhance the nutritional balance of the hair.

DHT suppressants are taken orally in tablet whilst regrowth stimulants are applied topically in lotion. Both are home-based treatments used daily.

There are two FDA medically proven hair growth medications available, Minoxidil and Propecia, the latter being a prescriptive product. The Laser Cap is the third FDA approved treatment for hair loss. The laser can help to balance the hair growth cycle and stabilise the thinning process.

PRP is the abbreviation for the treatment Platelet Rich Plasma. PRP is concentrated blood plasma treatment. The process contains approximately three times the number of platelets found in normal circulating blood in our body.

The platelets promote healing and accelerate the rate and degree of tissue regeneration. As a result, this aids the formation of new cell growth. PRP can be used to stimulate inactive or dormant hair follicles. The treatment can potentially help with a variety of hair loss conditions.

Surgical Hair Restoration

It has been known for over fifty years that genetically strong hair can be moved (donor hair) to a new area of the body (recipient area). Traditionally scalp hair is used but recently body hair is also considered donor hair. The donor hair, even when moved, behaves as if it were still in its original state.

A hair transplant is a safe, minor surgical procedure under local anaesthetic and sedative usually taking one day to perform.

It should be understood that not all hair transplant procedures are the same.  Due care should be taken to ensure you understand the consequences of being on the wrong side of a poorly performed hair transplant. A hair transplant, when performed to a high standard, is a technically skilled surgical procedure. As a result, a hair transplant requires medical and artistic skills perfected over years. This dedication will ensure the required care and attention is given to achieving the best possible results.

The donor area a finite resource of hair. A full density of hair cannot be realised for the vast majority so planning is vital. A good donor area can yield around 8000 follicular unit groups. This requires the original density of follicular groups to be 70 to 100 groups per square centimetre.

It is not necessary to match these numbers to create a natural appearance of density and coverage in the recipient area. Normally hair restoration begins by rebuilding the hairline. From there you work back into the central area and lastly to the crown. This plan ensures a natural look rather than a thin general coverage from front to back.

FUT and FUE Hair Transplant Techniques

httechThere are two hair transplant techniques. The Strip Technique (FUT) and FUE. The major difference between Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and the Strip Harvesting Technique (FUT) is the method of extracting the follicular units.

The placement of the hair should be undetectable to the person’s natural hair.  Even under close scrutiny the angle and orientation should match. The procedure is performed under a local anaesthetic and mild sedative.  No hospital stay is required and healing is relatively fast, able to resume normal life within five to ten days.

Learn more about the hair transplant techniques – Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT)
Beard Transplants

Beard reconstruction transplants have become more popular in the last few years. With some men wishing to increase the coverage and or density of their existing beards. The donor hair is usually the traditional scalp donor hair. This hair needs to be qualified that the hair characteristics match the beard. Also, the scalp hair has a different growth cycle to beard hair. As a result, the hair will require trimming to ensure a natural blend is maintained.

A beard hair reconstruction requires special skills to create the recipient sites. The angle and orientation of the hairs are very different to scalp hair. The skin is more pliable to the traditional hair transplant and must only be performed by a skilled Doctor and team.

The FUE or FUT technique can be used to perform a beard hair reconstruction. The age of the individual is important before performing this procedure. A beard may not fully mature until a man is well into his thirties.

Body Hair Transplants

Body hair can be used on the right candidate after scalp hair has been exhausted. Hair can be taken from the beard, chest, back and other areas of the body. It is a technically demanding technique to perform using the FUE technique. Body hair has different hair characteristics to scalp hair.  It is important the hair will blend to ensure a natural result will be achieved.

Non-Surgical Hair Restoration

dottedcurvedlineSMP is the abbreviation for the treatment called Scalp Micro Pigmentation. SMP is a sophisticated form of tattooing the skin, a head tattoo. The idea is to mimic the look of shaved hair.

The treatment uses medical grade pigments and micro instruments. As a result, this allows the SMP technician to create thousands of tiny points that mimic the look of shaved hairs.

The technician must be experienced and skilled. Their technical and artistic ability is paramount to the quality of the result. It requires knowledge of facial bone structure. This allows for the correct hairline design to frame the face well.  Not being too aggressive or conservative is an art.

How Many Sessions Are Required?

SMP generally requires a number of sessions to achieve a full result. The time between each session and the number of sessions can vary. This can depend on the skin type and other variants.  Results will last months or years. The time depends on the type of pigment used. At some point, there will be mild fading of the pigment. A pigmentation touch-up will increase the contrast again.

Scalp pigmentation can treat genetic male and female pattern hair loss. Other hair loss conditions are alopecia areata, traction and chemically damaged.

Ensure you consult an experienced adviser or technician. Ensure the information you are being given is correct and the treatment is suitable for your goals.

Learn more about male and female hair loss
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