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How Do Hair Transplants Work?

Thursday, January 21st

How Do Hair Transplants Work?

By the time they reach the age of 35, roughly 40 percent of all men will have noticeable hair loss. Women are not immune to hair loss - by age 60, nearly 80 percent of all women will suffer from some form of visible hair loss as well.

There are plenty of options when it comes to putting the brakes on the balding process. However, depending on the reason why you're going bald, even a boatload of Rogaine won't fix it.

Often referred to as "male pattern baldness", the most common type of hair loss among men is androgenic alopecia. It accounts for over 95 percent of all cases of hair loss in men. Women also can suffer from this kind of hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia is caused by a combination of genetics and hormones. In this type of hair loss, the hair follicle - which is necessary for producing new hair growth - shrinks and ceases hair production. This type of baldness generally starts at the hairline and recedes. The hair will become shorter, thinner and finer on the top and sides of the head, eventually forming a "U" pattern on the head.

While it is true that there are a number of reasons why a person can lose their hair, for most hair-loss sufferers, the only culprit responsible is heredity. In cases of inherited hair loss, hair follicles are sensitive to Dihydrotestosterone, also known as DHT. DHT-sensitive hair follicles will shrink, which shortens the lifespan of each hair follicle that is affected. The eventual result is a complete lack of new hair growth.

Numerous options are available for this kind of hair loss. Some 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor drugs, such as Propecia, can be used to help reverse hair loss in cases of androgenic alopecia. Some sufferers of this type of hair loss also have experienced success with the topical usage of minoxidil - known by the brand name Rogaine - which is available in many over-the-counter products.

If all else fails, hair replacement/transplant technology may be another viable option.

So how do hair transplants work?

Those who suffer from "male pattern baldness" are the best candidates for a hair transplant. While hair loss occurs near the front and sides of the head with this condition, there still are working hair follicles in the back of the head.

During a traditional hair transplant procedure, surgeons remove skin from the back and/or sides of the head which still contain working hair follicles. Those pieces of skin are then grafted to the front areas of the scalp, where the hair loss is occurring. These hair follicles, which have not been affected by the hormone DHT, will begin to grow hair in their new location.

Most surgeons place the greatest concentration of skin grafts at the front and top of the head, which provides the best aesthetics for new hair growth.

While hair transplantation is a great option for those suffering from "male pattern baldness", it is not a permanent solution. Hair loss in the non-transplanted areas will continue to occur, which will cause areas of "patterned" baldness to reappear. Transplant patients who use a drug like Propecia following their procedure often are able to slow the loss of additional hair, making another transplant unnecessary.

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Hair Loss Product FAQ

Hair loss products are shampoos, serums, creams, foams, or supplements used to stimulate the regrowth of hair. They come with different instructions for application, but they all work to fill in areas of patchiness or total loss of hair. Hair loss products are a much less expensive alternative to surgeries or other medical procedures to try and reverse hair loss.
Most hair loss products range anywhere from $25 - $70 per tube or bottle. You'll have the option to buy a supply that will last you a few months. Buying in larger quantities usually comes with discounts and makes it so you don't run out or need to make frequent online orders.
Yes! Hair loss products are safe. If you're buying from a reputable company, they will list all of the ingredients in their products. You can review the list to make sure you aren't allergic or trying to avoid anything in their formula. Many hair loss products are full of vitamins and other nourishing ingredients that are good for your skin and hair follicles.
Hair loss products work to do a few different things to stimulate growth. Some are effective in cleaning out clogged hair follicles that may have been stunted due to excess oils or thick hair products. Other formulas work to block the hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone), primarily responsible for male pattern baldness. Some hair loss products stimulate blood flow in the areas where your head needs help regrowing hair. Products differ in how they target hair loss and it is best to select one based on the type of baldness you're experiencing.
There are many causes of hair loss. Some are the result of genetics, while others are hormonal imbalances, hygiene issues, or lifestyle choices. If you have healthy hair follicles intact where no hair is growing or hair is thinning, you will be able to stimulate new hair growth with the right products. Determining your type of hair loss will help you know how to select a product that will be effective for you.
As nice as it would be if hair loss products worked overnight, this is not the case. Most supplements, gels, creams, and serums take 4-6 months before you get visible results. Hair grows slowly whether or not you are using products to help the process, so it takes a while for your body to regenerate new growth.
Absolutely! Hair loss products are not only intended to regrow hair that has been lost, but also to prevent future hair loss as well. By nourishing and stimulating hair follicles, you are less likely to have stunted hair growth in the future. You aren't 100% guaranteed never to lose any hair again, but hair loss products work to at least slow down the process.
Both men and women can suffer from hair loss. Most people would do just about anything to get a full, thick head of hair back. Luckily, hair loss products are formulated to help men and women alike. Some products are marketed toward just men or just women, while others will benefit anyone suffering from hair loss. There are options out there for everyone!
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