hair Loss Treatment - Hair Replacement
Fortunately, the days of artificial appearing hair plugs are behind us. Due to advanced technology, refined technique, and improved understanding of hair physiology, hair replacement is now done naturally and consistently. Whether it is a small bald spot, an unsightly scar, thinning, or severe recession, there is a solution to give you the full, natural head of hair that you desire.
Many factors can lead to hair loss. Most commonly, hair loss is due to specific genetics and circulating hormones, termed androgenetic alopecia. This can affect both women and men. Androgenetic alopecia results in stunting and eventual cessation of hair growth. When approximately 50% or more of the hair volume is lost, thinning becomes apparent. Additional factors, such as certain medical conditions and lifestyle choices, may also contribute to hair loss.
Hair goes through a natural cycle of growth (anagen), transition (catagen), and resting and eventual shedding (telogen). Roughly 80-90% of our hair is in the active growth cycle at any given time. Any factor that shortens the amount of time in the active growth phase will result in shorter, thinner hair. Prolonged shortening of the active growth phase causes “miniaturization” of the hair and ultimately loss of the hair.
Hair restoration procedures are not just for men. Women are also good treatment candidates. Furthermore, hair can be replaced just about anywhere including the scalp, the eyebrows, the eyelashes, the beard, and the chest. The goal of hair restoration should be to recreate a youthful, natural appearance.
When evaluating hair loss, it is important to diagnose and understand the cause of the loss. Hair loss can be short term and temporary. Furthermore, many causes of hair loss are more successfully treated with medical management than surgical restoration. Together, with Dr. Ladner, the appropriate treatment plan and options will be discussed.
Surgical Hair Restoration
In general, two harvesting techniques are used to provide natural results. These are known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT).
With Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), individual hair follicles are carefully removed from areas of normal hair density or areas of undesired hair. This is done with a specialized instrument to delicately extract the individual follicles and minimize injury to the hair.
Once the donor hairs have been removed, the individual follicles are then microscopically inserted into the areas of desired hair growth. Small stab incisions are made in the scalp accommodate the hair follicles. FUE is ideal for patients who wear their hair short and do not wish to have a surgical incision within the hair-bearing scalp. FUE does not require any sutures.
With Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), also known as the strip procedure, a strip of hair is removed from the back of the scalp. Sutures are then used to close this donor site. The incision is meticulously closed to minimize the chance of scarring and/or alopecia (hair loss). This strip of hair is then microscopically dissected by Dr. Ladner’s expert team of hair technicians. This dissection creates individual follicular units similar to the FUE technique, and insertion is performed in an identical fashion.
Hair growth can be seen as early as four months with full results between six and twelve months. Together, with Dr. Ladner, the appropriate surgical plan will be determined. Depending on the individual patient’s needs, the procedure length can vary between 1 and 6 hours. These procedures are generally performed under local anesthesia with oral sedative medications.
Most patients can expect to return to work within a day or two of surgery. Scabbing and crusting at the donor and recipient sites is common and generally disappears within 10 days. Furthermore, the skin tends to turn a pink color during this time and gradually subsides. You will be instructed to sleep with your head elevated the first few nights after the procedure. Pain is typically minimal and analgesics will be given, as needed, to minimize discomfort. The head dressing that is placed during surgery will be removed the following day in the office and your hair will be gently washed at that time. A special shampoo will then be given for showering at home. After 2 weeks time, your normal showering and grooming routine can be resumed. To minimize sun exposure, you will be instructed to wear a hat for 2 weeks to keep the areas protected. A second follow up visit will be arranged between 10 to 14 days to remove any sutures if necessary.
Medical Hair Restoration
Rogaine® (Minoxidil)- Rogaine® is a topical medication that is approved to help regrow hair in both men and women.
Propecia® (Finasteride)- Propecia® is an oral tablet medication that is approved for the treatment of male pattern hair loss
Latisse® (Bimatoprost)- Latisse® is a topical solution used to treat eyelash hypotrichosis to help grow longer, thicker, and darker eyelashes.