Many people will go to great lengths to maintain beautiful hair. Many companies have developed products to maintain natural hair or change its characteristics. However due to various factors, most people, especially men, experience hair thinning and balding at their middle ages. This has an effect on self-esteem and also regarded as a sign of aging.
What causes balding
Hair loss is also called alopecia. This takes care of all the causes of hair loss. Several factors cause hair loss. Treatments as chemotherapy (use of drugs to kill cancerous cell) leads to total hair loss although temporary. Other factors include scalp infections, stress and hormones. Numerous other processes in the body have the same effect on hair. The most common hair loss type is the female male pattern balding also known as androgenetic alopecia. This accounts for more than 90% of all hair loss cases.
Hair transplant as a mode of treatment
Many treatment procedures have been developed to stop further hair loss. However, there is no treatment that can reverse hair loss. Some creams and pills are able to grow hair as long as they are used but fail after overuse or stoppage. Hair transplant is the only mode of treatment that ensures permanent hair growth.
An ideal candidate for hair transplanting is the one that not all hair has been lost. The remaining hair would be used for grafting on the bald scalp. It is thus advisable to seek treatment before losing all hair on the head. The same procedure can be used to grow beards and thicken eyebrows. Further, those that have lost hair due to injuries, burns and infections can have their hair back.
Most of the male/ female pattern balding takes place on top of the head not on the side. This eventually forms a horseshoe hair formation on the head. Hair is grafted from these areas commonly known as donor areas. The bald areas become the recipient areas. Hair harvested from donor areas is called autograft. The ability of autografted hair to grow normally on the recipient areas is called donor dominance.
The grafts are either micro or minigrafts. Others are punch grafts, slit grafts and strip grafts. These procedures are preferred for candidates that require modest hair replacements on their scalps. Flaps, tissue expansions and scalp reduction procedures are desirable for those that require dramatic change on their heads. Follicular grafts produce fine, delicate hair that resembles natural hair growth. This creates a great hairline and increases the density of the hair.
What to expect
The general harvesting procedure involves removing a strip of scalp under local anesthesia. The formed wound is later sutured back together. The removed strip is then cut into small pieces called grafts. These grafts are then put into recipient areas. The wound left at the donor area is covered by the patient’s hair. It takes around two weeks to recover the wound. The other common methods involves the extraction of small hair punches between 0.7mm to 1.30mm in diameter. The punch is then inserted in the recipient area. This procedure minimises post surgery pain but has lower success rate.