When most people first experience hair loss which could occur as early as in one’s teens, the usual reaction is to try over-the-counter solutions such as prescription medications, hair loss shampoos, gels, lotions, and potions. You may already be familiar with Rogaine (Minoxidil) and Propecia (Finasteride) which are widely advertised and recommended.
As hair loss progresses in some people, particularly men, opt for hairpieces or hair systems which is a surprisingly growing market among millennials. They can be embarrassing solutions that bring various complications. For example, people that use hairpieces are very self-conscious when engaging in intimacy, when swimming, or when it rains. In addition, there is constant anxiety about how the hairpiece looks and if it has moved out of place. Thankfully, the technology in this industry has drastically improved and hair systems are far more secure and realistic than ever before. The downside is that it requires monthly maintenance which can add up to and far exceed the cost of a hair transplant every year. Additionally, these systems cause permanent hair loss as they create damaging traction or suffocate the existing hair.
The hair restoration industry has grown rapidly, there are now scalp tattoos that are performed to cover-up bald spots or revise scars. This is known as Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP). They do not look as natural as having real hair, but are often a good solution for blending thin hair. Another issue people face is the hair loss of the eyebrows which some people attempt to resolve by using permanent make-up or microblading. This method only lasts approximately 18-30 months, which may seem appealing, but it is not a permanent solution. Permanency can only be achieved with an eyebrow hair transplantation via an FUE, which allows you to artistically design your eyebrow and create your desired look, a look that will last.
Female hair loss is another market with countless temporary solutions to deal with the problem, oftentimes ineffectively. About 50 percent of women experience hair loss at some point in their lives. They are challenged in a different way as men because they are expected to always have a full set of hair and their hairloss is unpredictable as it can randomly appear in varying locations.
Now, more and more women are realizing the hope hair restoration surgery brings to their life. Neither men nor women in the present generation simply prefer an artificial solution that looks like a toupee or one that requires ongoing maintenance and expense throughout the months. People want permanent solutions so that they can invest in quality and save time, instead of engaging in the never-ending cycle of buying various products.
Recently, non-surgical solutions have emerged including, but not limited to, Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) which involves filling the thinning and balding areas with a pigment that matches your hair color. It requires two or three treatments and lasts at least five years following which a re-touch procedure may be required. This procedure is ideal for those who like to shave their hair very short. It enables them to disguise the bald and thinning spots. This method’s effectiveness may depend on your hair color, the texture of your hair, and the shade of your skin. All patients have a particular set of needs and characteristics, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to dealing with hair loss.
Another alternative is called MicroPoint which involves attaching strands of artificial hair to existing hair using a knot and locking them into place. However, since these strands fall off with hair due to natural attrition, the individual comes in every four to six weeks for additional strands much like getting a periodic haircut. The positive element of this procedure is that there is no glue, no wigs, no hairpieces, hair systems to purchase or maintain. It is still not a permanent solution and can impose on someone’s lifestyle. Not to mention, the money that you have to consider spending for the rest of your life. It is just not an effective solution to deal with hair loss.
Over-the-counter and prescription medications come as topical and oral solutions. There are products on the market such as Rogaine or Propecia that may help preserve existing hair, but are not proven to consistently re-grow a meaningful amount of hair, or eliminate hair loss all together. These are best utilized in tandem with hair transplantation. Using any chemical compound poses its own set of risks. The patient may negatively react to a certain ingredient or they may experience adverse effects such as dermatitis or sexual dysfunction.
Additionally, these methods are unlikely to solve the problem. Results vary and there’s not a clinician alive that can control the process of these products. These methods do not compare to the excellent results achieved with hair replacement surgery.
The most effective non-surgical solutions utilize autologous solutions to revitalize your hair and skin. Utilizing your body’s own healing mechanics. Alternatively, one may look to meet with a MAXIM Clinician to see if they are a candidate for a non-surgical MAXIM Scalp Rejuvenation, utilizing the most cutting edge science and technology to restore your natural hair. Both of these techniques are great options for non-candidates who are either premature or have varying issues that result in non-candidacy. They are also recommended and highly effective in conjunction with a transplant.
Hair transplantation is generally the final step in the pursuit of a hair loss solution or treatment. It doesn’t have to be this way, however. From the start, a person may opt for going the surgical route and take care of the problem immediately. It is all a matter of how comfortable a person is making the decision right away.
A hair transplant procedure involves taking existing hair from the back and sides of the head (donor site) and transplanting this hair to the thinning and balding areas (recipient site). The hair in the donor site is genetically different from the hair in the recipient site and is resistant to DHT, the hormone that produces testosterone. On the other hand, the hair in the recipient sites is sensitive to DHT which is why it falls off. Among men who suffer from male pattern baldness, DHT levels tend to be higher than normal.
A hair transplant procedure is generally performed by a clinician or surgeon with extensive training in hair restoration or dermatology. The conventional strip procedure, known as Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) requires a surgeon and entails taking a strip of hair from the donor site and dissecting the strip into individual grafts (micro-grafts) containing one to three hair follicles and mini grafts which contain three to five hair follicles. These grafts are then implanted into the recipient site. There is a linear scar at the donor site that is only visible if one looks underneath the hair that covers it.
The more contemporary and increasing popular procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) involves taking micro-grafts and mini-grafts from the donor site and implanting them directly into the recipient site. There is no linear scar in the donor site.
While some people are fearful of surgery, hair transplantation is the only known permanent solution to hair loss. Apart from follow-up visits, there is NO ongoing maintenance required. For those who want to preserve their existing, non-transplanted hair, the hair transplant surgeon can prescribe finasteride to preserve existing hair.
Recent advances in hair transplant technology have resulted in newer and more advanced options for hair restoration surgery and combination procedures that combine FUE with SMP or other combinations including, laser hair therapy and others.
Ultimately, the choice between a surgical solution for hair restoration and non-surgical treatments is yours. A consultation with a hair transplant team could help tremendously. The decision depends upon your desire for a one-time, natural, permanent solution which is a hair transplant or a non-surgical, non-invasive solution that requires repeat visits and follow-up. A hair transplant may cost more on a one-time basis but may be more cost-effective long-term.
If you’re tired of the ineffective methods out on the market and are ready to start treating your hair loss with a permanent solution, start researching information about hair restoration surgery and schedule a consultation with one of our MAXIM hair transplant physicians, clinicians or surgeons. During your meeting with the hair doctor, you’ll be able to discuss your options and get a good idea of the whole procedure individually designed for you. Our physicians use the latest robotic technology and have the experience necessary to perform the surgery safely and with the best possible outcome.
We have state-of-the-art clinics in New York City (NYC), Long Island (NY), New Jersey (NJ), Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth, Texas, Northern Virginia/D.C. Area/Maryland, Indianapolis (Indiana), Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles/Costa Mesa in Southern California for your convenience. We also have offices outside of the United States in Istanbul (Turkey), Dubai, U..A.E., Manila and Cebu, Philippines. Our locations under development include Sarasota, Florida; Miami, Florida; Austin, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Wroclaw, Poland; and Boston, MA.
We are happy to review your pictures when you send them to MAXIM Hair Restoration to find out if you are a good candidate for an ultra-natural MAXIM hair transplant. Once we view them, we will be able to provide you with an estimate for your procedure and the approximate number of grafts that would be required to give you the results you seek.
Call us today and start your path towards a great set of hair!