Hair Transplantation Information – FAQs
1. 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 in the back and sides of the scalp. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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 from ” follicular unit hair grafts” that are composed of naturally occurring 1, 2, 3, and 4 hair grafts.
These follicular unit micrografts are much smaller than traditional untrimmed micrografts that contain equivalent amounts of hairs. Their size enables larger numbers of them to be placed in tinier, less traumatic incisions closer together.
Using this advanced technique a surgeon can move more hair in a totally natural way – creating a natural look at every stage of hair restoration.
4. Why are so few physicians performing all micro”follicular unit hair transplantation?
It’s known that using small follicular unit grafts of 1 to 4 hairs and sessions of 1500-3000 grafts are the ideal procedure for a patient who wants to achieve the most natural result with the least number of sessions.
Using smaller grafts results in the need for greater quantities, thus it is more labor intensive. It necessitates a larger staff and longer time commitment to achieve the desired result as well as a staff that is experienced in the art of dissecting “follicular units” and placing the grafts into tiny incisions.
5. How many sessions will I need?
How many sessions 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 time, and your goals and expectations – or how thick you want it to be.
6. 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.
Dr. Dauer’s pricing is moderate by industry standards and financing through Care Credit is available.
7. 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 region, 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.
8. 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.
9. 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 hidden under the hair that grows vertically on the back of the head.
10. 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, however, in that they involve only the outer layers of the body. You should not worry excessively about risks or complications, because they are rare.
11. Is hair restoration surgery painful?
The discomfort associated with hair restoration surgery is usually comparable to that of dental surgery. Pain medication is always offered, though its use is limited generally to the first 24 hours after surgery.
12. 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.