Even though hair loss is very common among men, it still remains a topic that is sensitive amongst men. It is estimated that one in five men experience some degree of hair loss before they turn 30. With age, men also tend to experience hair thinning rather than loosing hair in patches. This is very common, but the good thing is that now it is possible to reverse hair loss due to the hair transplant procedures and other non surgical options readily available.
Here is a brief guide on men’s hair transplant treatments, where we have tried to answer the most common questions and dispelled some myths with the help of experts in this field.
Major Causes Of Hair Loss in Men
We may blame a disease or a poor diet for hair loss however these are not very frequent factors. Men may tend to lose their hair as a result of predetermined genetic factors and the overall ageing process. Some of life's less pleasant circumstances such as emotional trauma, protein deficiency due to crash diets, and hormonal changes during puberty also lead to hair loss. There are several health conditions such as thyroid, anaemia and low blood count which can cause temporary hair loss, and it is important not to exclude these from the list as these are treatable causes.
Dr Juan Krogulec, Specialist Plastic Surgeon at CosmeSurge says, “In 95% of the cases hair loss is caused by androgenic alopecia, a genetic condition causing a receding hairline. Other factors include hormonal imbalance, skin disease, stress or any other condition typically involving the hair and the skin.”
Lokesh Handa, Specialist Plastic Surgeon at Cocoona says, “Most common cause of hair loss in men is Androgenetic alopecia, which means, genetically determined hair loss because of the influence of male hormone. The other causes could be medical conditions, drug-induced, trauma, surgery, radiation, immunological or stress and life-style induced loss.”
Some Myths About Male-Pattern Baldness
• People inherit baldness through their mother's male relatives. This is not true as actually, genes from both the mother and the father determine baldness.
• Longer hair puts a strain on roots. No it doesn't, and hats don't choke off the circulation to the scalp to cause hair
• Shampooing does not accelerate balding.
• Poor circulation does not cause hair loss, and massaging doesn't stop it.
Most Common Hair Loss Treatments
Some of the most common procedures include hair loss treatment which is approached using various medications, including the Minoxidal spray, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) or Regenera treatment that can help improve hair growth. Another preferred procedure includes hair restoration treatment, one of which is Follicular Unit Extraction hair transplant, a commonly performed (FUE) technique where a small section of hair follicles are extracted from the genetically stronger areas of the scalp and implanted on the bald areas. Lokesh Handa of Cocoona says, “The two surgical procedures to restore hairs are FUE and FUT (strip) method, out of which FUE is currently more popular, as this is less painful and recovery to work is quicker. The other methods like PRP to prevent hair loss are also very popular.”
Other Options To Treat Hair Loss
• Hair-fibre powders: Coloured, powdery fibre sprinkles are commercially available in different hair texture colours and work to camouflage balding areas. These coloured sprinkles have special properties that help them attach to the hair and give a fuller appearance.
• Hair weaving: Hair weaving is a time honoured way to add hair temporarily to the scalp. With hair weaving, either artificial or human hair of similar texture is woven with existing hair. Quality varies considerably with the price of the treatment.
What Makes A Man A Good Candidate For A Hair Transplant Procedure?
To be considered for a hair transplant, you need two things, enough healthy hair on your scalp that can be transplanted to the area that needs hair and the ability to grow hair on the thinning area of your scalp. During the consultation session, the doctor will examine the scalp to find out if you have both. If you are a good candidate for a hair transplant, your dermatologist can tell you what results you can expect. A full head of hair may be unrealistic, but a fuller head of hair can be the goal.
Dr Juan Krogulec, of CosmeSurge says, “In case of hair loss the patient needs immediate treatment in order to restore the vitality of the hair and renew the quality of the skin. For the surgical procedure, the patient needs to be aware about the length of the procedure, that typically lasts an entire day and before surgery need to undergo a blood test to be cleared off any diseases or condition that could potentially affect the treatment.”
Lokesh Handa of Cocoona says, “Men who have lost considerable amount of hair, be it in the hairline or the crown area or whole of the top scalp, are the ideal candidates for hair restoration, provided they have good donor area from where the hairs can be harvested. Those who are actively shedding hairs or have a diffuse hair loss, need to be counselled for the medical therapy or PRP and injectables treatment.”
What Happens During A Hair Transplant?
The hair transplant procedure takes between a total of four to eight hours. Patients are given a local anaesthetic that makes the scalp numb, and most patients remain awake during the entire surgery.
The surgery begins with the dermatologist removing the healthy hair. To give natural-looking results, the dermatologist may remove the healthy hair by either cutting a strip of skin with healthy hair from the scalp or removing individual hair.
Depending on the number of hairs to be transplanted, two to three members of the hair transplant team may help place the healthy hair into the area that needs hair. Once all the hair has been transplanted, the scalp will be bandaged and instructions will be given for at-home care.
Lokesh Handa of Cocoona says, “Preparation for the surgery starts a day before in the form of cleaning scalp, taking antibiotics, blood tests, pre-operative work-up in the clinic like signing documents and photography. For people with active hair loss, medical treatment begins first to arrest hair loss and stabilise the scalp for future surgery."
What To Expect Post Surgery?
Post-procedure instructions are advised after the procedure is finished. This involves medication, care of the scalp, washing routines, lotions and serums, donor area care and physical restraints on heavy activities.
Dr Juan Krogulec, of CosmeSurge says, “Post-surgery the patient is expected to visit the doctor for cleaning and changing the dressing, revisit again after 10 days and follow up every 2 to 3 months. For the first few days patients should avoid touching the treated area considering its sensitivity and particularly because the grafts would usually take 4 to 5 days to be secure. After the first few days patients are recommended to cover their head with something loose to keep the area protected. Ten days post-surgery, patients should have recovered enough to be able to resume all their activities."
When Do Patients See Results From A Hair Transplant?
Most patients see results between six and nine months after surgery. For some patients, it takes 12 months. To get the best results from a hair transplant, the dermatologist may recommend medicine that treats hair loss. Medicine helps because hair loss and thinning can continue, even after a hair transplant, and doing this can prevent or slow down new hair loss and thinning. By doing that, you can keep your natural-looking results for years to come.
Word Of Advise For Prospective Patients From Experts Themselves
Dr Juan Krogulec, of CosmeSurge says, “It is important to do a thorough research about the surgeon, check whether they are qualified enough to perform the surgery and that the hospital environment is conducive to perform the operation. This is important especially because the first surgery is extremely crucial and any damage caused to the donor area could put the patient at risk for future treatments. Hence taking the necessary precautions is absolutely vital.”
Lokesh Handa of Cocoona says, “For a prospective client, it is important to plan the procedure at their suitable time and they should know the time to recovery and back to work, trimming of hairs to size zero is required which can be a challenge in certain professionals. A person should be motivated enough to take care of hair loss in future, which will require religious use of some medications, visits to the clinic, and long term medications as well, as hair restoration surgery is not meant to prevent further losses, for which medical management is must and a continuing effort.”