There has been a significant increase in interest hair replacement over the past several years. With the increase in technological advances; there are many surgical and non surgical options available. Ideal candidates for all options have a healthy growth of hair and the back and sides of the head. For surgical procedures these will serve as the donor area where grafts and flaps are taken from.
Here are the primary types of surgical hair replacement methods:
- Scalp reduction: This procedure is used to cover the bald areas at the top and back of the head. It involves the removal of the bald scalp with sections of the hair-bearing scalp pulled together to fill in the bald area.
- Hair transplants: During this procedure, the surgeon removes grafts of hair from either the back of the scalp or the sides. These grafts are then dissected into single follicles and divided into groups based upon how many hair follicles are in each sliver. The surgeon then places the sliver into different areas of the bald spots based on how many hair follicles are in each to create a natural distribution of hair.
- Tissue expansion: A device called a tissue expander is placed underneath a hair bearing area that is located next to a bald area. Several weeks later, the expander will cause the skin to grow new skin cells. Once that has occurred, another operation is required to place the expanded skin over the neighboring bald spot.
- Flap surgery: This method is ideally used for covering large balding areas. A portion of the bald area is removed and a flap of hair-bearing skin is place onto the bald area while still attached at one end to its original blood supply.
- NeoGraft Hair Transplant: Neograft is the most advanced method available. This state-of –the-art method provides amazing results with no scalpel cut, no suture and no linear scar. In this surgery, single hair follicles are taken from hair-bearing areas and placed in the bald areas. This is the least invasive method of surgeries.
As with any surgery there are always risks. Some of these include; infection, grafts not taking, bleeding or wide scars and patchy hair growth.
There are several non surgical options for hair replacement.
- Propecia is the first drug available in pill form to treat baldness. It has been in use since 1997. It works by blocking an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. This is the enzyme responsible for the formation of dihydrotestosterone in a man’s body. The enzyme converts the testosterone to DHT and it is believed that DHT is a key factor in males pattern baldness. The propecia decreases the concentration of DHT in a man’s scalp. This drug is available by prescription only.
- Minoxidil or Rogaine, has been in use since 1988. This is an over the counter drug and readily available in various stores. This topical solution must be applied by an applicator twice a day to the balding area everyday. If the application is decreased to once a day, some hair loss will occur. Discontinuing the application causes regression to pretreatment baldness.
- Haarklinikken hair restoration extract is individually formulated for each patient. Available only through Haarklinikken clinics; this innovative product helps restore hair loss, reduced hair quality, dandruff, fungus, cradle cap and irritated / dry scalp in both men and women. The plant based extract is applied to the scalp daily. Hair care products are used in conjunction with the individually formulated serum. This innovative product is the newest product in the line of products.