When speaking to my clients, hair loss is probably the one thing that causes them the most anxiety more than anything else to do with their appearance. From a receding hairline to the arrival of the bald patch; hair loss can have a dramatic affect on a man’s confidence and self-image.
Some men are genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness. It is the presence of the enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, that transforms testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
The hormone DHT has an adverse affect on hair follicles, which causes hair to gradually miniaturise becoming thinner and weaker. In addition, the length of the anagen growth phase becomes shorter, therefore resulting in hair loss.
Hair transplant is one available option to remedy hair loss. Surgery is carried out under local anesthetic in some cases. Hair from the back of the head is transplanted to the bald patch. The hair will continue to grow as if it were from the donor site.
Hair transplants can be broadly divided into two main procedures:
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and the Strip Surgery (FUT). Both involve redistributing hair from one area of the head to another. With traditional Strip surgery, patients are left with a permanent scar at the back of their head, which can be difficult to disguise. In my experience it is harder to disguise the scar by cutting the hair too short at the back and sides because of the unsightly scar in the donor area. This method is the most common practiced within the UK. The cost of the strip method is approximately £1.50 per hair follicle.
With a FUE procedure, there are no scars and the healing is very rapid. The surgeon uses a specialized tool that extracts individual hair follicles one by one from the back and the sides of the scalp. The donor area is usually found at the back of the head. This section of the head does not have the genetic code for balding (DHT) and will never fall out. When the hair from the donor area is removed and transplanted to the balding or thinning area it retains its own genetic characteristics and will grow naturally.
- A surgeon cannot transplant hair into very thin hair they can only implant into areas where they are empty gaps for the best results. This is because the new hair and the thinning hair would fight for blood supply the thin hair would die and the results will be not so effective.
- When the hair is thinning all over it is advisable to use hair preservatives Minoxidil, Propecia and Viviscal Professional. Preservatives are also recommended after hair has been transplanted, this is to prevent any further hair loss. A good surgeon will always put a plan in place for future hair loss.
- Not every patient is suitable for a hair transplant procedure there has to be a large enough donor area to ensure and rectify problems if there is any further hair loss.
- Transplants do not stop the hair loss process.
- Body hair can be used as donor hair however it does have a different morphology with about 50% success rate. A surgeon would only use this type of hair on the crown.
- With the FUE method of hair transplantation a surgeon would perform transplant of 4,000 to 5,000 hairs in a day and 8,000 over two days. Expect to pay within the region of £15-£20,000 for a top FUE / unshaven U-FUE procedure.
Products to try:
Thickeningand stimulating shampoo can make the hair feel fullerand stimulates the follicles.
Nutrasome Thickening Shampoo
Viviscal Gentle shampoo
LA Science Hair Follicle Stimulating Shampoo
Nanogen Thickening Treatment Conditioner for Men
For a quick cosmetic coverage of thinning hair try a hair loss concealer
Hair concealer Fibres are applied quickly and without mess by simply shaking the container over thin or thinning hair. Releasing thousands of microscopic colour-matched hair fibres, they bond to your own hair, creating a natural looking and natural feeling density.