What Are The Reasons For Hair Loss?
The most common cause of Male Hair Loss and Female Hair Loss is inheritance from either or both parents. Certain hair follicles contain receptors sensitive to the hormone ‘Dihydrotestosterone’ (DHT). This hormone is a by-product of testosterone which surges at puberty. Fortunately, in the vast majority of cases those follicles at the back and sides of the head do not contain the receptor sensitive to DHT and therefore last a lifetime even when transplanted to a different area.
FUT and FUE Treatment
Hair grows naturally in bundles of 1, 2 3 & 4 hairs per bundle. These hairs, along with their associated structures are known as the Follicular Unit.
Hair usually grows abundantly at the back and sides of the head because the hair follicles here are not influenced by the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is from these areas that ‘donor’ hair follicles are taken (i.e. from the ‘donor’ area). During FUT this healthy hair bearing tissue is removed in a strip. The donor area is closed with a fine suture. The healthy hair follicles are then identified, as they occur naturally, in groups of 1, 2, 3 and 4 hairs using powerful stereoscopic microscopes.
By meticulously dissecting and trimming the Follicular Units the doctor and the medical team ensure that the grafts are comprised of healthy intact hair follicles as they naturally occur in the scalp. This method has 2 distinct advantages:
Firstly, by transplanting grafts that contain naturally occurring follicular units (Follicular Unit Grafts – FUG’s) the doctor can ensure that, when transplanted, the grafts will produce hair which grows naturally, replicating the appearance of natural hair growth.
During the planting of the grafts single hair follicular unit grafts form the frontal hairline for maximum cosmetic and aesthetic effect (also known as ‘dense packing’). Behind the first three or four rows the surgeon progresses to 2 hair Follicular Units for increased density while maintaining cosmetic appearance. Well back from the hairline 3 hair follicular unit grafts are used to create more density while totally avoiding the old ‘dolls head’ effect.Secondly, because this microscopic method of dissection is so specific, graft damage and wastage is minimal, resulting in a 30% greater graft yield.
There are 4 steps in Follicular Unit Transplantation.
- Step 1 – Graft Removal
The donor area is ‘frozen’ (numbed) using local anaesthetic. Hair bearing tissue is removed painlessly.
- Step 2 – Slivering
The hair bearing tissue is divided into slivers approximately 1mm thick.
- Step 3 – Microscopic Dissection
The slivers are dissected using stereoscopic microscopes into Follicular Unit Grafts (FUG’s) containing 1,2, 3 and 4 hairs per graft.
- Step 4 – Placement
Tiny openings are made in the recipient area. The Follicular Unit Grafts are transplanted into these openings. Grafts containing 1 hair are placed in the frontal hairline. Grafts containg 2 hairs are placed behind these and so on to create a very natural appearance.
Old techniques of Hair Transplantation used 4mm diameter cylinders of hair bundles which cut through the healthy hair and usually led to a ‘doll’s head’, ‘corn crow’ or ‘toothbrush’ effect. These old methods are now obsolete. Follicular Unit Transplantation is an excellent procedure to repair the ‘dolls head’ effect of old punch graft techniques.
It is important to note that Follicular Unit Transplantation does not create new hair but re-distributes existing healthy hair from the back of your head (called the recipient area) to the thinning or bald area. The hair grows naturally and for life.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
Follicular unit extraction or FUE is a hair transplant technique in which a small round punch is used to extract follicular units from a patient’s bald resistant donor areas. These 1, 2, 3 and 4 hair follicular unit grafts are then transplanted into a patient’s balding areas.
Given the time consuming and tedious nature of this procedure a physician is often limited to transplanting 500 to 600 follicular unit grafts in one day. The cost per graft of FUE is also typically twice the cost of the standard follicular unit hair transplant procedure in which a strip of donor tissue is removed from the back of the head and trimmed under magnification into individual follicular unit grafts.
Female Hair Loss Explained
A man may expect to lose hair as he gets older, especially if his father, uncles, or other near relatives had male-pattern baldness. A woman does not generally expect to lose hair even if there is a history of hair loss in male or female relatives. There has been a general belief that thinning hair and baldness is a ‘male thing’.
The fact is, many women do experience hair loss at young to middle age and the incidence of the most common type of female hair loss (female androgenetic alopecia) seems to be increasing [Norwood OT. Incidence of female androgenetic alopecia (female pattern baldness). Dermatol Surg 2001; 27:53-54.].
Other causes of female hair loss include thyroid disease, low iron levels, hormonal imbalance etc.
Treatment of Female Hair Loss
Many women today recognize the reality of hair loss and choose to do something about it by seeking hair restoration treatment or procedures. It is recommended that the patient seeks the advice of a doctor who specializes in the field of hair loss.
The doctor will take a full medical history and also take blood tests to establish the correct diagnosis.
In the hands of a specialist in hair transplantation, most hair loss in women can be successfully treated either medically or surgically.
Male Hair Loss Explained
Premature balding is a disheartening condition which affects both men and women. A person’s appearance is an integral part of their identity, in both how others see them and how they see themselves. Hair loss can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for the individual. It can lower their self-esteem and their confidence in dealing with others and the public.
Wishing to restore your own, growing, natural hair should not be considered vain. A person who is losing their hair looks older because hair loss is associated with age and accentuates the signs of age including facial lines and wrinkles.
If hair loss affects your self-esteem then the decision to do something about it makes sense.
Causes of Male Hair Loss
The most common cause of hair loss is inheritance. Men and women inherit hair loss from either or both parents. Certain hair follicles contain receptors sensitive to the hormone ‘Dihydrotestosterone’ (DHT). This hormone is a by product of testosterone which surges at puberty.
Fortunately, in the vast majority of cases those follicles at the back and sides of the head do not contain the receptor sensitive to DHT and therefore last a lifetime even when transplanted to a different area.
The Claudia McGloin Clinic offer Dracula Therapy (PRP )Platelet Rich Plasma for Hairloss but we can refer patients on should they wish to have a Hair Transplant.