Hair loss can be a highly concerning and emotional reminder of the passing of time. By contrast a full, youthful head of hair, for many, is central to presenting a confident exterior both personally and professionally. For this reason, it is vital to understand what causes hair loss as well as the effect hair restoration can have on your daily interactions in all aspects of your life.
The facts are that by the age of 35, two-thirds of American men experience some degree of measurable hair loss, and by the age of 50, approximately 85 percent have significantly thinning hair. While often thought of as a man’s problem, the struggle of thinning hair isn’t unique to men. Studies also show that 40% of those suffering from hair loss are women.
There are a variety of factors that may lead to hair loss with the most common being a hereditary condition called male or female-pattern baldness. This usually occurs gradually with aging and in predictable patterns. At the center of it is hormonal changes. Scientists believe that your genes may affect how sensitive your hair follicles are to a hormone call DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which makes the follicles shrink. As testosterone levels in some men drop by 10 percent each decade after thirty, it is central to the process of hair loss. Ultimately, the absolute levels of these hormones are less important than the overall balance.
Beyond hormonal factors and heredity, various other causes can compound the problem. Medications or supplements can lead to hair loss as a side effect. Excessive hairstyling or certain types of hairstyles that pull your hair tight can cause traction alopecia hair loss. Even stress can play a major factor.
Treatments for hair restoration can be categorized as preventative and restorative. The type of treatment needed depends on the degree and cause of the hair loss. Preventative treatments will include non-prescription grade topical treatments and prescription grade medical therapy, as well as PRP (platelet rich plasma) and LLLT (low level light therapy). All of these can also be used for both preventative and restorative purposes. However, the pinnacle of restorative hair medicine is FUE hair transplants (follicular unit extraction) such as NeoGraft.
While hair restoration continues to surge in popularity, many potential patients shy-away from (or are not candidates for) the traditional “strip method” of hair replacement. Patients may reject this method for its slow recovery time, the loss of feeling at the incision site, the linear scar on the back of the head, or the amount of post-operative pain involved.
The FUE method of hair transplantation removes individual hair follicles from the scalp in groupings of about 1-4 hairs. The follicles are then placed in the areas of the scalp where balding has occurred. NeoGraft FUE offers a discrete solution to hair loss, allowing patients to achieve natural looking results with no linear scar, minimal downtime and a shorter recovery period. NeoGraft generally has a greater than 90% take rate, thus ensuring a high-quality result.
For anyone with concerns surrounding hair loss, it is important to seek out a well-trained, board-certified practitioner with experience in hairline design who can incorporate the latest medical and surgical modalities. Hair restoration is a continuum and there is no single “magic bullet.” There are, however, a number of tools at your specialist’s disposal to provide a natural and long-lasting result.
If you are interested in hair restoration, I invite you to join The Institute of Aesthetic Surgery for a complimentary consultation. To learn more, call IAS at (407) 409-8000 or visit iasurgery.net.