Wish you could have a bad hair day?
Do you wish you could have a bad hair day? Today, there are several options for hair restoration including surgical and non-surgical restoration. One of the simplest options is simple wearing a hairpiece. There are many options for hairpieces available and some of them are quite natural appearing. The problem is that they are not permanent, will not grow, and have the possibility of detaching. So what are the other options - medications and surgery.
Medications for hair loss
Topical minoxidil (Rogaine) and oral finasteride (Propecia) are the only treatments for male patterned baldness that have been approved by the US FDA. Their use is indicated in men older than 18 years with mild to moderate hair loss. Several well controlled studies have proven the efficacy of these medications. After 3-6 months of use, slowed hair loss, stabilization, or increased scalp coverage can be appreciated with either medication and results are clearly evident by 1 year. Dense regrowth is uncommon and neither medication can regrow hair in completely bald areas. Early intervention, when thinning is first noticed and hairs are incompletely miniaturized, produces the best results. Treatment must be continued indefinitely to maintain the benefits. Stopping treatment results in a return to pretreatment status by 6 months with minoxidil and by 12 months with finasteride.
For female pattern baldness, 2% topical minoxidil is the only FDA-approved medication. Its use is indicated in women older than 18 years with mild to moderate hair loss. As always, consult a physician before starting any medication.
Surgical Option for Hair Restoration
There are many different techniques for hair restoration. The plug look of yesterday is gone and hair replacement techniques can produce a natural looking head of hair which would be difficult for barbers to detect. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon. It is also important to realize that your hair loss will continue and the procedure you have should last a lifetime, not just 5 or 10 years. Once the hair is used for transplantation, that donor area is gone for good. Using a surgeon who understands the aging process and not just the technical aspect of the hair transplantation procedure is very important.
Hair replacement candidates must have healthy hair growth at the back and sides of the head to serve as donor areas. Donor areas are the places on the head from which hair is taken. There are a number of techniques used in hair replacement surgery - from flap transfers to single follicular unit grafting. For best results, multiple techniques may be used.
Transplant techniques, such micro-grafts, follicular unit transfer, and single unit transfers are generally performed on patients who desire a fuller, thicker head of hair. These techniques produce a much more natural appearance than older techniques of plug grafting.
In follicular unit hair transplantation, a donor strip of hair is harvested excising a narrow strip of scalp from the donor area-an area at the back of the head that is resistant to hair loss. This strip of hair is then divided into individual follicular units under a microscope. Each follicular unit from the donor strip contains one to four hairs follicles.
Follicular unit transplantation is an extremely efficient manner of hair restoration because several thousand hair grafts can be obtained from one small, thin donor strip. While follicular unit hair transplantation is very simple by principle, it takes an experienced surgeon, attention to detail, an artist's touch, and micro-surgical skills for the best implementation of this technique.
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Dr. D.J. Verret is a facial plastic surgeon in the North Dallas suburb of Plano, Texas. His practice is limited to cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery of the face and neck only. For more information, call for a consultation today, 972-608-0100. Dr. Verret servces patients from Dallas, Fort Worth, McKinney, Plano, Allen, Frisco, Colleyville, Sherman, Wylie, Denton, all of North Texas, and around the world. Procedures he performs include blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), rhinoplasty, Botox, Juvederm, Evolence, Dysport, facelift, forehead lift, hair transplants, and scar revisions. Photos are models unless otherwise noted, all landscape photos were taken by Dr. Verret. Common misspellings of Dr. Verret's name are Verret, Varret, Veret, Verrette, Verrete, Varrate, Verrett, Verett, Verette, and Varrete.