Hair Transplants and Why They Are So Popular Now
A hair transplant can help you beat hair loss and thinning locks. Are you a candidate? Is it worth the fuss? Today, we break it down for you.
RELATED: Hair Care Tips for Men Over 50
Hair Transplant Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Hair Transplant?
A hair transplant is a cosmetic surgical operation that may help correct hair loss. It could also be performed on the eyebrows and upper lips to treat traumatic alopecia.
After 35, two-thirds of men will have noticeable hair loss. And by their 50th birthday, around 85% of men will have considerably thinning hair.
There has been a taboo surrounding how much men are allowed to care about their appearances. Men are expected to carry an aloof attitude about their looks, but the truth is hair loss negatively affects men’s self-esteem.
But with more and more people openly talking about the importance of self-care and hair restoration methods, the popularity of hair transplants is on the rise. A celebrity you may know might have had a not-so-secret hair transplant procedure done.
The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery reported 29% more hair restoration surgeries in 2019 than in 2016. Note, however, this number is just how many surgeries they performed within the society. Still, it’s a testament to the growing popularity of hair transplant procedures.
With a more open mind to metrosexuality and more discourse on male pattern baldness, it’s easier for men to get help on hair loss.
And you wouldn’t be on this page if you weren’t already interested in hair transplants.
How Do Hair Transplants Work?
Hair transplants can be done in two different ways.
Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) is the older of the two types. It involves taking small sections of hair follicles and transferring them to the hairless area. Surgeons usually graft scalp on the back of the head because hair is typically fuller in this area.
The downsides of this procedure? The procedure could take hours, and recovery could be problematic. The scars at the back of the head and the incisions on the new hair follicles could be visible.
It may be difficult for the patient to take care of the two surgical sites. If you’re impatient and expect immediate results, then you may have to manage your expectations.
The Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) method is born out of the snags of FUT. It may result in the same fuller, natural-looking head of hair, but without the hard-to-manage wounds, scars, and long recovery period.
In this method, your surgeon will take hair follicles from a hairier site and plug them into small incisions on the balding area. It may take more time than the FUT method, but it will be much easier for the patient to deal with in the end.
Either method may result in fuller hair.
Which Is Better for Hair Loss? Medication or Hair Transplant?
Forget the snake oil your local merchant is selling you. There are only two FDA-approved medications for hair loss—finasteride and minoxidil. Important to note that finasteride is only FDA-approved for men.
Finasteride is an oral prescription drug that may boost hair count during your hair’s growth stage. On the other hand, minoxidil is an over-the-counter topical treatment that stimulates blood circulation during your hair’s growth stage. It may take four to six months of continuous use before the results begin to show. And the hair benefits will stop once you stop taking medication.
Hair transplants could take thousands of dollars and two procedures to get the results you want. You may also have to wait three to six months to see the changes in your hair.
But neither methods are foolproof and permanent. Finasteride and minoxidil, no matter how effective, can only revive a fraction of your hair. Hair transplants are not permanent, and your hair may still thin over the years.
However, hair transplants are generally more successful and have advanced so much over the past decade. Some clinics even use machines that give you unmatched accuracy and a natural hairline. And taking finasteride or minoxidil after your surgery may help lock their hair in place and stimulate its growth.
So a combination of treatments may actually be the best way to address your hair loss. A hair transplant may give you a dense hairline and some medication could help maintain thick locks.
Ultimately, the person that stands between you and thick locks is a skilled surgeon or dermatologist.
RELATED: What Causes A Receding Hairline?
Who Should I Go to for a Hair Transplant?
Visit your dermatologist at the first sign of thinning hair (which you may notice in your late 30’s). Your dermatologist will first determine the cause of your hair loss.
- male pattern baldness
- female pattern baldness
- hair treatments
- traction alopecia
- alopecia areata
- hormonal imbalance
- scalp infection
- scalp psoriasis
- scarring alopecia
- cancer treatment
Based on your diagnosis, your dermatologist may help you come up with a prevention or treatment plan. You may also ask if you’re a candidate for a hair transplant.
Am I a Candidate?
You are a candidate for hair transplant if you:
- have enough healthy hair, and
- can still grow hair in your balding area
Your dermatologist will be able to tell you if you’re fit to get hair transplant surgery. And if you are, trust only a skilled and experienced hair restoration specialist. Your surgeon’s skill level will decide if you will get the head of hair of a Greek god or the dreaded hair plugs look.
Check out this video for hair care tips to keep your hair healthy and full:
Hair transplants are an excellent option for men and women that have thinning hair. Medication (and its possible side effects) is not for everyone. It may interact with other medicine you’re taking or may not be ideal for those that want to start a family.
You don’t need anyone’s permission to get a hair transplant (except maybe the advice of a specialist). Your hair is your crown, and you should be able to take pride in it—full and luscious or bold and bald.
Do you think a hair transplant is an answer you have been waiting for? Is there anything else you would like us to discuss? Let us know in the comments section below.
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