Hair Restoration for Men and Women
Hair restoration for men and women slightly differ, but fundamentally have follicular units. Follicular units are distinct groupings of usually one to four terminal hairs. The follicular unit is thus a naturally occurring physiologic, as well as an anatomic entity. Follicular unit transplantation offers the surgeon the ability to transplant the maximum amount of hair with the minimum amount of non-hair bearing skin. In this way, recipient wounds are kept small, healing is facilitated, and with proper technique, large numbers of grafts may be safely moved per session. The use of these units helps to ensure that the cosmetic result of the transplant will appear completely natural. In contrast to follicular units, micrografts (1-2 hairs), and mini-grafts (3-6 hairs), are small grafts cut randomly from donor hair, not specifically as individual intact follicular units. These multiple units will contain extra skin that will demand larger recipient sites, which, in turn, causes more wounding to the recipient bed and may limit the number of grafts that can safely be transplanted in a session.
Although, it is hard to argue the superiority of the follicular unit technique in theory, in practice, follicular unit transplantation is tedious, demanding on the physician and staff, and requires a relatively high degree of expertise to be properly performed. All surgeons listed on this site utilize this technique and work with highly trained technicians who specialize in this procedure.
The evolution of microscopic dissection and follicular unit transplantation has been that this procedure can be practical for other parts of the body including eyebrows and eyelashes. It has also become much more viable as an alternative for female pattern hair loss which is usually more diffuse.
Medical Treatments for Hair Loss
Two hair restoration medications have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after appropriate double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials. It is important to note that only two hair restoration medications have won such approval. Many products are advertised and marketed with a claim for hair restoration, but few have ever been subjected to the clinical trials necessary to prove efficacy and safety.
Hair Additions and Replacements
A small number of people with hair loss are not candidates for surgical or medical hair restoration. For these persons, hair additions or total hair replacement may be considered:
- A person with temporary total hair loss due to radiation or chemotherapy may be a candidate for temporary total hair replacement (a wig).
- A person who is congenitally unable to grow hair may be a candidate for total hair replacement (a wig, or several wigs for different occasions)
- Hair additions may be a temporary measure for the person who wants hair loss corrected but is not yet ready to undergo hair transplantation.
- Hair additions or replacements may be considered by the person who has too little donor dominant hair for use in hair transplantation