FOURTH QUARTER 2004, VOLUME 18, NO41

A Receding Hair Line Getting You Down? There are Viable Options.

IN THIS ISSUE

To Tell or Not to Tell… That is the Question

Achieving a Younger, More Striking Appearance with Implants

Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / What’s New

A receding hair line getting you down? There are viable options

Everyday we lose between 40 to 100 hairs from our head due to the growth cycle of the hair follicle. At any given time, 10 percent of your hair may be in a resting phase; after two to three months, this hair falls out and new hair starts to grow in its place. The growing phase lasts for two to six years at a growth rate of one centimeter per month.

Unfortunately, the new growth is inhibited for two out of every three men, and one out of every five women. They suffer from receding hairlines, pattern baldness, and thinning hair.

Causes of Hair Loss

Approximately 95 percent of hair loss is caused by a condition called androgenetic alopeciaan inherited sensitivity to the effects of androgens (male hormones) on scalp hair follicles. The onset of this condition is due to factors such as genetic predisposition, the presence of the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and age.

Hair loss may also be caused or affected by pregnancy, disease, burns, accidents, and certain medications. Depending on the cause of hair loss, you will be evaluated and an optimal plan will be discussed.

Medication

Two medications that have FDA approval for the treatment of androgenetic pattern hair loss are minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil (Rogaine®) is applied topically twice a day, available for men and women. Finasteride (Propecia®) is taken orally once a day, for men only. These medications have limited effectiveness, slowing down or stopping altogether the progression of hair loss in the back of the head in less than two-thirds of all men. The only permanent remedy for hair loss is surgical hair restoration, or hair transplantation.

Surgical Restoration

Hair replacement surgery remains the most effective way to achieve hair restoration. The first step is to determine the pattern of balding: frontal baldness only; front to crown; front and mid-scalp with no thinning at the crown; and crown only balding. This is necessary to effectively plan the donor and recipient site.

The donor site is where the hair will be taken from, usually on the side or the back scalp. Your hair quality will also be evaluated. Light-colored hair and coarse-textured hair produce a look of greater density than fine or dark hair.

The most common procedures are grafting and follicular unit transplantation. Grafting involves taking a strip of hair-bearing scalp, dividing it into several hundred smaller grafts, and then inserting them into the scalp. Follicular unit transplantationa refinement of micrograftingpreserves the entire hair bearing structure (blood vessels and tissue) and under microscopic magnification, the units are inserted into small needle-sized sites in the recipient area. Grafting and follicular unit transplantation may take several sessions over several months to achieve desired results.

Over the last 40 years, hair restoration surgery has come a long way to provide patients with extensive hair grafts in very natural arrangements with extremely high success rates. Take the next step. If you would like to improve the appearance of your scalp, a consultation and open discussion will determine the procedure that might be right for you.