Hair loss can be scary, and damage one's self-esteem. Male hair loss is a significant problem in today's society and is usually caused by a genetic predisposition or inherited sensitivity to DHT, a byproduct of testosterone.
It may also be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, or by certain medical conditions. There are many types of male hair loss which can include receding hairlines, male pattern baldness, and even alopecia.
Luckily, there are several ways to treat male hair loss. Hair transplants, also called hair grafts, are a reliable option for many patients who suffer from male pattern baldness.
A hair transplant involves taking healthy hair from an area of the scalp that has not suffered from male pattern baldness and implanting it into the area where hair is thinning. This is a reliable treatment option, but it is important to consider all of your options before moving forward with a transplant.
What is a Hair Transplant?
A hair transplant is a surgical procedure that involves removing healthy hair from an area of the scalp that is still thick with hair, and implanting it into an area of the scalp that is thinning. During this procedure, the surgeon will first remove small strips of skin from the donor site. The surgeon then creates tiny incisions along the border of the thinning area of the scalp and places these skin strips into the incisions. The skin is then stitched together, and the area is bandaged.
The transplantation process is a delicate one, and a skilled surgeon is a must. The process can take up to 8 hours and is a very precise procedure.
How is a Hair Transplant Performed?
The first step in a hair transplant is to go over the patient's medical history and to perform a physical exam. The surgeon will closely examine the patient’s medical history to determine the cause of the hair loss. The physical exam will determine whether the patient is a good candidate for a hair transplant. The age of the patient will be considered, as well as the extent of the hair loss.
The next step in the process is the harvesting of the donor’s hair. The healthy hair is harvested from the back and side of the head. The surgeon will then prepare the recipient site by removing small strips of hairless skin. The donor’s hair is then implanted into the recipient site.
What is the Recovery Process Like?
The recovery process is as important as the procedure itself. The patient must be careful not to rub or touch the surgical site, which can cause a serious infection. The patient must also avoid going outside in the sun, and must keep their head elevated for a week.
How Much Does a Hair Transplant Cost?
The cost of a hair or hairline transplant varies depending on the type of procedure, the extent of the hair loss, and the area in which the surgery is performed. The price of a hair transplant can range anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000, and it may require multiple procedures. The cost of a hair transplant is a significant investment, and it is important to consult with a surgeon who is experienced.
Can There Be Complications?
As with any cosmetic surgery, there is always the possibility of complications. The most common complication is an infection. Infections can be especially dangerous in the scalp because of their high levels of nutrients that draw in bacteria.
The most serious complication is called donor site scarring, in which the donor site scars severely. The scarring can cause the hair to fall out.
Other complications are less common, but are still possible. These complications include poor re-growth, unnatural hair texture, and asymmetry.
Alternatives to Hair Transplants for Men
1. Hair Plugs
Hair plugs were once the most popular method of hair restoration. The surgeon will transplant hair plugs from the back of the head. The hair plugs are applied to the hairless area, and the hair will continue to grow. The patient will have hair in the bald area, but it will be obvious that the hair is not growing from the patient's own scalp. Hair plugs have become less popular due to their unnatural appearance.
2. Wigs and Wigcaps
Wigs are worn by balding men. Wigs are made to look like the man's natural hair, but they are made of synthetic or human hair. There are two types of wigs: one type is called a "hairpiece," and the other is called a "hair system." Hairpieces are made of real hair base, and the hair is attached to a mesh cap. Hair systems are made of synthetic hair, and it is made to look like the patient's natural hair.
3. Hair Loss Drugs
Hair loss medications are also an option for men who are balding. The most popular type of drug is Finasteride, which is marketed under the name Propecia.
Finasteride works by inhibiting the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, which is responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Finasteride also works by preventing hair loss in the hair's anagen phase, which is the hair's growth phase.
The results of Finasteride will become effective after a few months of usage, as hair loss will have stopped. After a year of usage, the majority of parents even experience hair regrowth in the areas that they lost it.
Finasteride + Minoxidil
When Finasteride is taken in conjunction with Minoxidil, it has even better results. Minoxidil can be purchased over the counter. Minoxidil is a vasodilator, which means it widens the blood vessels. When the blood vessels are widened, more blood flows to the scalp, which increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients to the scalp. The more oxygen and nutrients that are reaching the scalp, the better the hair growth will be.
4. Herbal Remedies and Lifestyle Changes
a. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil and fish oil, affect hair growth. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the amount of DHT in the scalp, which results in less hair loss. Omega-3 fatty acids also increase metabolism, and they promote collagen and elastin growth, which results in thicker and healthier hair.
Biotin is a popular vitamin that helps with hair loss. Biotin helps to prevent hair loss by having the body increase the production of keratin. Biotin also plays a role in cell regeneration. Biotin helps improve the quality of the hair by having the body produce more healthy cells.
c. Vitamins B, C, and E
Vitamins B, C, and E are known to improve hair growth. Vitamins B, C, and E are antioxidants that are known to prevent hair loss. A deficiency in any of these vitamins can lead to hair loss.
d. Diets High in Plant Based Whole Foods
A diet high in plant-based whole foods can promote hair growth. Foods containing high amounts of vitamins and minerals will result in a healthy scalp with a good blood flow, which is a huge factor in determining whether a person will grow a full head of hair.
Exercise has been shown to have a positive effect on hair growth. Exercise increases the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the scalp, which positively impacts hair growth. Exercise also increases overall health and well-being, which helps prevent hair loss.
Take Control of Your Life
Hair loss can feel scary, but there are many things you can do to stop it, and for some men, even reverse it. Finasteride is a hair loss solution that’s only available through prescription. Phoenix Health’s telehealth platform has doctors ready and waiting to help you, and you don’t even have to turn your camera on.
Make an appointment today to be back on the path of confidence.