What is it?
Preventing hair loss and restoring lost hair.
How is it done?
Combination of medicines and follicle transfer surgery.
Back to work- 3 days Complete recovery- 4 months for hair growth.
Hair loss affects millions of people in India and worldwide, the male pattern baldness being the commonest reason for hair loss and baldness.
For a problem of such magnitude (in numbers), the awareness regarding treatment options is strikingly low. Most men are distraught when they are face with the ongoing hair loss leading to thinning and baldness. Women also suffer from hair loss, especially in the peri menopause time.
For long, it was believed that there is no treatment for hair loss and this belief is probably ingrained so well that people with hair loss get resigned to their condition.
If you are suffering from hair loss, you may be surprised to learn two things-
There are very effective treatments for hair loss both medical and surgical.
The treatments are safe and part of mainstream modern medicine.
Surgical treatment for hair loss is more publicized, majority of people seeking hair transplantation are not aware of effective medical treatment. Medical and surgical treatments for hair loss are not mutually exclusive paths; most cases require both for complete hair coverage.
Male pattern hair loss: (Androgenic alopecia
Male pattern hair loss is the most common cause for hair loss.
Hair loss affects men psychologically- varying from “severe dent in self esteem and loss of confidence” to “not very bothered”.
This is a genetically determined condition. The male hormone (Testosterone) is converted to DHT (Di Hydro Testosterone) normally in our body. DHT acts on genetically susceptible hair follicles and causes decreased activity. Initially this is manifested as ‘miniaturization’ or much smaller hair than normal. This progresses to no hair growth from the affected follicles. Most male pattern hair loss people have a pattern of hair loss which is classified by Norwood (Classification).
Male pattern hair loss is treatable with high degree of success. Medical treatment stops further progress of hair loss and strengthens existing hair. Hair transplantation using one’s own follicles will help to cover bald areas. The best results are obtained with combination treatment with medicines and surgery.
Hair loss in females:
Contrary to popular belief, hair loss affects women too. Although a patterned hair loss in not common in women, generalized thinning of hair can happen at any age.
Hormonal imbalance is the commonest reason for hair loss in women. In conditions where male hormone levels increase in a woman- as in Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or close to and after menopause- there will be significant hair loss.
Anemia, low thyroid levels and stress are other common causes for hair loss in women.
The treatment strategy will be to identify the cause and correct it.
Hair transplantation (Follicular Unit Transfer FUT):
Hair transplantation surgery has evolved over the decades. The current gold standard in hair restoration surgery is FUT. In FUT surgery, a strip of skin is taken from the scalp at the back of the head. This strip is cut under magnification into tiny grafts- each of which will contain one hair follicle. These grafts are gently placed into the skin of the area to be covered.
FUT is time consuming and required very gentle handling of the follicles.
The number of follicles that can be transferred in one session can vary from 500-2000.
FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction is a different method of follicular transfer, where the follicles are extracted as single units. The advantage of this technique is the lack of the linear scar. This method is not favored in most centers because of higher chance of damage to follicles while extracting.
A comprehensive approach to treatment of hair loss requires complete evaluation and treatment of the cause. In male pattern hair loss, the treatment should be a combination of medicines and surgery (if required). In cases of early hair loss, medical treatment alone may be sufficient for achieving acceptable level of hair regrowth. In cases with long standing hair loss, surgical hair restoration is required to cover frontal and temporal areas of hair loss. Medical treatment is recommended even after hair transplantation to maintain hair growth.