Hair transplantion: Consult to Plan
Now that newer methods of hair transplantion exist that create very natural results, more men than ever are turning to restore a head of hair for professional or social gain. While hair transplantation is not new, its reputation has been marked by older methods that either leave a doll like plug appearance or a large scar across the back of the head. With NeoGraft and proper placement techniques, this is no longer an issue.
Male pattern hair loss leaves a predictable balding geography. We all know it because we see it so often. In fact, up to a third of men will experience significant hair loss with age.
However, hair loss occurs at different paces in men. Often, family members will show a pattern, and thus looking toward those who share some of the same genes can be somewhat of a predictor of how we may thin or recede. However, genetics isn’t the entire story. Certainly, medications, environment, drugs like steroids, natural aging, poor nutrition, and a whole host of other things may play a role in hair loss. The common thread among most of these hair loss factors is testosterone. Or at least the toxic byproduct of testosterone know as DHT. DHT will kill susceptible follicles in the man who possesses this gene. During your consult you will also want to divulge any and all medications you are taking or have taken, the rapidity of your hair loss, and any familial patterns.
You will be asked if you take Rogaine or Propecia (generic is finestaride), and whether you have had prior PRP or hair transplantation, and if so, what method? About 25% of patients we see for hair transplantation have had prior transplantations. Out of this 25%, half have had a prior strip method leaving a scar along the back of the head. In some cases, men will be seen just for prior strip method scar revision with grafting and “punch-outs”.
The benefits and downsides of Rogaine and Propecia will be discussed, as well as other potions or lotions that may exist. Surprisingly, only about half of the men we see take Rogaine consistently, and even less than that have used Propecia. More recently, men have been undergoing PRP therapy (platelet rich plasma) to stimulate new growth in areas of dense follicular injury. It is important to note that dead follicles will not come back to life. However, just because there are areas of baldness does not mean that the area is filled with dead follicles. Hence, understanding some of the factors that coincide with hair loss as well as the pace of hair loss become important data when developing a plan.
Lastly, a game plan will be developed with many considerations at play including finances, age and progression of the patient, “resources” available (ie. How much hair does one have to graft and how much area needs to be grafted), desires, and expectations. If there is indeed premature thinning or just gross balding, Rogaine will likely be recommended as well as Propecia with or without a plan for hair transplantation or PRP.
After the consult, inevitably one more questions will have sprung to mind. Patients are always encouraged to either email or call the office to stay 100% informed.
If you have any questions about hair loss or hair transplantation please email Dr. Neavin at [email protected]