Hair loss and baldness are common problems in both men and women. Thinning hair is not only an aesthetic issue but a serious self-esteem problem.
Some of the causes of excessive hair loss are hormone imbalance, diseases (diabetes, lupus), infections of the scalp and intake of different medications (blood thinners, birth control pills, anti depressants). Hair loss and baldness occur mostly in men, and the first signs of thinning hair and significant hair loss may start to appear at the age of 30. Apart from the above mentioned reasons, baldness in men is quite often due to genetic predisposition. The most common type of men baldness is called androgenic alopecia and is characterized by receding hairline and thinning hair at the top of the head. Androgenic alopecia in women is rare and is characterized by thinning hair over the whole scalp.
Hair Loss Treatments
Various hair loss treatments are available according to the type of alopecia and its causes. In cases when hair loss is caused by specific medication intake, stopping the medication causing hair loss or replacing it with another can fix the problem. If specific hair styling techniques or routines such as regular bleaching or dying with permanents are the cause of hair loss, changing them can significantly improve the health of the scalp and thus reduce hair loss. Additionally there are various over the counter medicines and lotions suitable for hair loss treatment in both men and women.
Hair transplantation is another possible solution for those suffering from permanent hair loss. It is rapidly gaining popularity among people looking for restore the natural beauty and appeal of their hair.
Is hair transplantation suitable for both men and women?
Until recently hair transplantation was considered a treatment specifically for baldness in men. Today, this method is widely used among men and women alike. New developments in medicine and new surgical procedures allow hair to be transplanted in a more efficient way, reducing the post-operative negative effects, risks and providing great results.
How hair transplantation is done?
Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure that can be performed under local anesthesia, sedation or general anesthesia in an out-bound surgical centers or hospitals. The surgery may last up to several hours and typically has two stages: hair harvesting and hair transplantation. There are two main harvesting methods – Strip Excision Harvesting and Follicle Unit Extraction (FUE). Depending on the method used, the surgeon will either remove a strip of the patients scalp, cut it into small pieces and transplant each piece into the bald areas of the scalp or extract individual follicles of hair and reinsert each one in the scalp in areas with thinning hair. If strip excision harvesting is used, the incision will be closed with several sutures and will leave a liner scar. Strip harvesting is usually done from the lower back section of the scalp which is usually an area with good hair growth. Follicle extraction requires microscopic incisions and there is no need of sutures to close the wounds. In addition, it provides much more natural looking results and has a significantly shorter recovery period.
Hair Transplantation Recovery and Aftercare
The recovery from hair transplantation largely depends on the surgical method used and the general health of the patient. In cases of strip extraction, patients can expect moderate levels of post-operative pain and the recovery period may last from two weeks to a month since there is a larger wound that needs to heal. FUE procedures has much shorter healing period – typically around a week, which is usually pain free.
The aftercare of hair transplantation is not that complicated. The areas of the scalp where the surgery has been performed must be kept clean and protected from the sun. Most surgeons will allow patients to start shampooing their hair on the first or the second day after the surgery and resume regular daily activities after the tenth post-operative day.
Hair Transplantation Side Effects, Complications and Risks
The most common side effects after hair transplantation surgery in the areas of the newly transplanted hair. This is known as “shock-loss” and the hair will grow normally from three months to a year. Swelling and bruising are also common side effects caused by the general tissue trauma caused during the surgery. They are likely to pass a few days after the surgery and can be managed with various medications.
Some of the complications and risks of hair transplantation include vomiting and nausea due to the medications used during the surgery, bleeding, numbness of the donor and recipient areas of the scalp, skin infections, skin discoloration and scaring. One of the most serious risks of hair transplantation procedures is follicles death that results in no hair growth of the transplanted areas and uneven or unnatural look of the areas with transplanted hair.
Hair Transplantation Cost
Hair transplantation cost will largely vary and depend on various factors. Hair transplant cost is typically based on the cost of the medications used, the surgical settings the amount of hair restoration that needs to be done and the methods used. In addition, surgical costs may vary among different surgeons and geographic regions. On average, the hair transplant cost is about $13,500.