Hair Implants


2004-10-27 20:53

The most common cause of hair loss in both men and women is genetic. In fact, heredity accounts for 95% of all the cases of alopecia (baldness) in this country. The remaining 5% of the cases can be due to a number of things including diet, stress, illness, and/or medications.

The most common cause of hair loss in both men and women is genetic. In fact, heredity accounts for 95% of all the cases of alopecia (baldness) in this country. The remaining 5% of the cases can be due to a number of things including diet, stress, illness, and/or medications.

Specific factors that can cause hair loss:

  • Medications, vitamins, or minerals : medications used to treat high blood pressure, heart problems, depression or gout; chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer patients; and in some cases, unusually high levels of vitamin A or low levels of iron or protein. For women, birth control pills can cause hair loss.
  • Illness , including thyroid disease, severe infection or flu; fungus infections, such as ringworm of the scalp.

For women, childbirth may cause temporary hair loss as well due to the changes that take place in the body. In some cases, adults or children may have a condition known as trichotillomania, where there is a compulsion to pull out hair on the scalp; eyebrow hair or eyelashes.

What are the treatment options for hair loss?

Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride) are the only drugs approved by the FDA to treat pattern baldness (baldness as a result of hereditary causes).

Rogaine is a topical solution that is applied by directly rubbing it onto the scalp where hair growth is desired. Only 10% to 14% of the people who try this lotion experience hair growth. However, 90% of the time, Rogaine lotion can help to slow hair loss.

Propecia is the first pill that can treat male pattern hair loss. Like all prescription products, it should be given under a physician's care. While effective, if treatment is discontinued, results may not be maintained.

Permanent hair loss can also be treated by hair replacement procedures, such as micro-grafting, slit grafting, punch grafting and scalp reduction. The type of hair loss as well as the patient' s circumstances and desires determine which hair replacement procedures are most suitable.

Who is a candidate for hair replacement?

  • Men with male-pattern baldness
  • Some women with thinning hair
  • A person who has lost some but not all hair as a result of burns or other scalp injuries

Who is not a candidate for hair replacement?

Hair replacement is not recommended for the following people:

  • Women with a diffuse, or wide-spread, pattern of hair loss;
  • Those who do not have sufficient "donor" sites (hair-bearing portions of the head from which hair-bearing skin is taken);
  • People who form keloid scars or thick fibrous tissue that can result from trauma, burning or radiation injury;
  • Those whose hair loss is due to medication.

Common hair replacement procedures

Grafting : Grafting is an outpatient procedure performed in the dermatologic surgeon's office. Micro grafts contain only 1-2 hairs per graft, while slit grafts contain between 4 and 10, and punch grafts hold 10-15 hairs. Local anesthetic is injected into the scalp and sedation is available, if needed for relaxation and comfort.

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