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Ultimate Guide to Hair Replacement

Hair loss can be devastating to both genders. Men and women typically feel more attractive with a full head of hair, which is a sign of health and vitality. Hair loss, on the other hand, is commonly associated with aging and poor health, which can make it difficult for individuals experiencing hair loss.

While hair loss and baldness can be caused by a variety of factors, hair replacement is a safe, effective solution for many seeking the look of a full head of healthy hair. With this ultimate guide to hair replacement, we’ll cover everything from the common causes of hair loss to the numerous treatments available to address the issue.Anatomy of Hair

Anatomy of Hair

Hair is part of the integumentary system of the body, along with the nails and skin. It is primarily composed of keratin, a type of protein, which is produced in follicles, or tunnel-shaped structures.

Within the hair follicles is the hair bulb, which is composed of cells that contain keratin. Melanin is also found within the hair bulb, which is what gives hair its color. The bulb is found beneath the skin, but the hair that comes through the skin is the shaft. The hair shaft is composed of dead keratin fiber cells.

 

Hair Growth Cycle

The hair cycle has four primary stages:

  • Anagen: This is the growth phase and typically lasts three to five years, during which the hair grows about a half an inch each month. At its full length, the hair from the anagen phase may be between 18 and 30 inches long.
  • Catagen: This a regression phase and is the precursor to shedding. During this phase, the follicle detaches itself from the papilla, which refers to the vascular process of connective tissue extending into and nourishing the root of the hair. This halts hair growth and typically lasts 10 days.
  • Telogen: During this phase, the hair is dormant until it detaches itself from the follicle.
  • Exogen: This is the shedding stage. After the hair sheds, the follicle will stay inactive for roughly three months before the cycle starts again.

Hair Growth Cycle

Though all hairs on the body go through this cycle, they can all be in different stages at the same time. This keeps hair constantly replenishing itself on a healthy individual, since 50 to 100 strands a day are considered normal shedding. The different stages of the hair cycle are also why hair loss often occurs gradually and progressively, before becoming noticeable.

Typically, hair loss and hair thinning occur during the anagen phase or the telogen phase. During normal aging, the anagen phase decreases and the follicles receive less nourishment, leading to weak and thin hair. The hair may also enter the telogen phase too early, or the catagen phase is too short, leading to excessive shedding.

The normal length of each hair cycle phase can be disrupted as well, which leads to hair loss and thinning. This can be caused by everything from diet to stress to illness.

Hair Loss

Hair loss is a catchall term that may refer to balding, thinning, excessive shedding or the total loss of hair. However, these terms are designated to different hair loss conditions and different causes.

Hair Loss

These are the most common types of hair loss:

Androgenic alopecia

Androgenic alopecia is caused by the male hormones. Testosterone on the scalp converts into dihydrotestosterone, which causes the follicles to shrink and inhibit the hair growth, ultimately causing baldness. Because there is less testosterone on the sides and back of the head than on the crown, hair loss tends to be concentrated in this area.

Androgenic alopecia is characterized by hair loss that begins at the crown of the head, usually forming a horseshoe shape. This is usually referred to as “male pattern baldness” . It is more common in men that women. It is usually caused by genetics and the natural aging process. Though it’s most common in middle-aged men, it can begin as early as the 20s.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata differs from androgenic alopecia in that it has a patchy appearance, rather than a set pattern. Individuals with this condition experience smooth bald patches all over the scalp, often circular in appearance. These can be small or large, but often starts with only a few and progresses to multiple spots all over the scalp.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder, which means that the body’s immune defenses mistakenly attack its own tissues. In this case, the immune system attacks the hair follicles, leading to hair loss.

Alopecia Totalis

Alopecia totalis is a skin condition that causes hair loss, beginning with small patches that spread over time. It is also believed to be the result of an autoimmune disorder that attacks the hair follicles. Unlike alopecia areata, however, alopecia totalis causes complete baldness of the scalp.

Alopecia Universalis

Alopecia universalis is a rare disorder and more advanced form of alopecia areata. It is also believed to be the result of an autoimmune disorder, though a combination of genetic and environmental factors may play a role in the condition.

Alopecia universalis causes total hair loss on both the scalp and body. Individuals with this condition also experience symptoms of the skin and nails, such as atopic dermatitis and pitting of the nails.

Cicatricial Alopecia

Cicatricial alopecia is a type of hair loss that may be caused by a variety of skin disorders found on the scalp. These disorders may cause scarring of the hair follicles or scalp that prevent regrowth. Individuals with this condition experience small bald patches with noticeable redness.

Involutional Alopecia

Involutional alopecia isn’t caused by an underlying condition, but it does affect the hair growth cycle. It is characterized by a longer dormant phase of telogen than anagen. While there are many potential lifestyle causes of involutional alopecia, the cause and progression of the condition are difficult to identify and predict.

Nonmedical Causes of Hair Loss

Nonmedical Causes of Hair Loss

In addition to medical conditions that cause hair loss, some hair loss is caused by environmental or lifestyle factors that act as a trigger or worsen an existing condition.

Traction Alopecia

Unlike the previous conditions, traction alopecia isn’t caused by an underlying health condition. It occurs as the result of constant pulling on the hair, which damages the follicle or loosens the grip on the scalp, causing it to fall out.

Traction alopecia is more common in women, due to tight hairstyles and chemical processing.In African AMrican women, tight corn row hair styles are a frequent cause of traction alopecia.

Diet

Hair growth relies on proper nutrition, so nutrient deficiencies or surpluses can trigger hair loss. Keratin production requires adequate protein, iron and B vitamins, and inadequate supply of these nutrients can result in a short anagen phase or a long telogen phase.

Certain foods can worsen hair loss as well. Sugar is known to trigger the overproduction of androgen, a male hormone, which causes hair follicles to shrink and halts hair growth. Fish high in mercury can also weaken the hair shaft and cause hair to fall out.

Stress

Stress from emotional or physical trauma causes many issues in the body, including hair loss. This is more common in women than men, and the hair loss is usually temporary.

Medication

Several medications can interfere with physiological processes and cause temporary hair loss, such as blood thinners, though chemotherapy is the most common cause of medication-related hair loss. This type of hair loss tends to be progressive and slow, though the hair usually grows back when the treatment is finished.

Hair Care

Hair is strong and resilient on its own, but aggressive treatment of hair can result in hair weakening and loss over time, as well as scalp damage.

Excessive brushing and combing, tight hairstyles, rough massage and scratching can weaken the hair and cause it to stop growing to its normal length. Hair dye, permanents, relaxing, bleach, hair spray, gel and other hair treatments not only contain chemicals that damage the scalp and cause the hair shaft to break, but they can also disrupt the natural hair cycle.

Routine shaving can also cause ingrown hairs that scar, which affects future hair growth.

Hair Loss Treatment

Hair loss is devastating, but fortunately, there are many hair loss treatments and cures on the market. Some are designed to treat temporary conditions, while others offer a permanent cure.

Minoxidil

Commonly known as Rogaine, minoxidil is a medication that’s used to treat alopecia areata and male pattern baldness. It is a topical, over-the-counter drug that comes in either a foam or liquid form, and comes in a 2-percent or 5-percent dosage. It is most effective for those with more recent baldness and smaller bald spots. Most who use minoxidil experience mild to moderate hair regrowth with continued use.

Minoxidil is not a permanent solution, however. It can work in up to 80% of individuals that use it regularly. However,, when its use is stopped, often due to patient frustartion, the hair follicles revert to their original genetically programmed state of loss.   Side effects include mild irritation, excessive dryness and hair growth on areas other than the scalp.

Finasteride

Finasteride, commonly known as Propecia, is a medication for male baldness that comes in pill form. It’s designed to slow hair loss while promoting hair regrowth by preventing the enzyme, type II 5-alpha reductase, that produces the androgen, DHT. It has been found effective in 80 percent of men when taken on a daily basis.

Side effects of finasteride MAY include a decreased sex drive and temporary impotence. Women are unable to take finasteride, due to a high likelihood of harm to an unborn fetus, resulting in birth defects.

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are medications that suppress the immune system, making it an effective treatment for autoimmune-related hair loss conditions. Steroid use can successfully suppress the immune system.  Thus the hair follicles may no longer suffer attack, which allows new growth.

Liquid corticosteroids can be injected into the scalp every four to six weeks, or corticosteroid creams can be applied directly to the bald patches. The most common corticosteroids for topical use are hydrocortisone, mometasone and betamethasone. Side effects include dryness and thinning of the skin, as well as an increase in acne.

Contact Immunotherapy

Diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP) is a topical, experimental drug used in contact immunotherapy. With this treatment, the DPCP is applied to the scalp once a week and slowly increased until an allergic reaction occurs. Though it is generally considered safe, it is still experimental and may cause skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes.

Hair Transplant

Hair transplant is a surgical treatment for permanent cases of hair loss. This treatment uses existing hair to implant into the bald areas of the head, which is harvested by graft or follicular sample of the areas of the head with hair.

Hair Transplant

There are two types of hair transplants:

  • Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT): With this procedure, a larger patch of skin on the scalp is extracted and turned into small grafts. Transplant sites on the bald patches are created with small needles and local anesthetic, and the grafts are implanted. This procedure is preferred for those with large bald areas, and the recovery rate is slower.
  • Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE): With this procedure, small, individual follicle grafts are removed with a machine and transplanted onto the bald areas. This procedure is preferred for those with small bald patches,areas of thinning, and is quite useful in the treatment of women with diffuse thinning.

Other than the size of the grafts and the treatment area, these two procedures are similar. Once the grafts are ready for transplantation, the transplant locations are cleaned and anesthetized. Small incisions are made with a needle or scalpel, and the grafts are transplanted. Hair transplant surgery can take several hours.

Hair Transplantation

In the two to three weeks following surgery, the transplanted hair stubble will fall out, but the follicles are still viable. Because of this, new hair growth from the transplanted follicles is expected to appear around four or five months post surgery, with the maximum growth in six to nine months.

Hair transplant surgery is generally recommended for significant and permanent causes of hair loss. Individuals under the age of 25, those with continued hair loss, or patients with poorly regulatedhealth conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, are not good candidates for hair transplant surgery. Individuals with scalp disorders, skin disorders or those who suffer from psychological conditions that cause them to damage their own hair are also poor candidates for hair transplant surgery.

Hair transplant surgery has minimal side effects. The most common include swelling of the face or scalp for a few days following the procedure and mild discomfort. The hair removed from the donor area of the scalp is more likely to continue growing over the course of your life, however, since it isn’t as influenced by male pattern baldness.

Though hair transplant surgery is routine and safe, it’s important to consult an experienced and qualified physician. Achieving lasting, natural-looking results depends on the skill of the surgeon, so be sure that you’re choosing a physician you’re comfortable with and be certain that all your questions are answered thoroughly and completely.

Visit Vegas Valley Hair Restoration

Hair loss can be upsetting to experience, but there are many options to prevent and treat hair loss in both men and women. From lifestyle changes to hair transplant surgery, many individuals suffering from premature or noticeable hair loss can enjoy a full head of hair with the right treatment.

If you’re considering a hair restoration procedure, it’s important to choose a qualified physician with plenty of experience. The natural orientation and patterns of hair growth, as well as the quality of the hairline, can affect the final look of your hair transplant surgery. Because of this, you’ll want to work with a physician with the experience to give you attractive, realistic results, such as Dr. Simon at Vegas Valley Hair Restoration.

Check out this video to learn more about Male Pattern Baldness:

We’ll be happy to meet with you for a free consultation to discuss your hair treatment options, so contact us today to see how we can help!

hair loss

Hair Loss Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Hair Thinning?

Healthy individuals can lose about 100 hairs a day. Though this may sound like a lot, it’s not usually enough to cause a noticeable thinning of the scalp hair, since new hair is growing in at the same time. For hair loss to occur, there must be a disruption of the cycle of hair growth or the hair follicle must have been destroyed and replaced with scar tissue.

Hair loss is commonly caused by one or more of the following factors:

  • Heredity: Most hair loss is hereditary, which is known as male-pattern or female-pattern baldness. This typically occurs gradually with the aging process and follows a predictable pattern. For men, this pattern is a receding hairline and bald spots, whereas women tend to get overall thinning hair.
  • Hormonal changes and medical conditions: In both men and women, many conditions can result in permanent or temporary hair loss. These can include thyroid issues, alopecia, scalp infections, trichotillomania or hormonal changes related to aging or pregnancy.
  • Medications: Hair loss can be a side effect of drugs used to treat arthritis, cancer, heart conditions, depression, high blood pressure, gout and other health conditions.
  • Radiation: Radiation therapy near the scalp may cause hair loss or a change in the growth patterns.
  • Stress: Following extremely stressful situations, many people experience a temporary thinning of the hair that recovers in time.
  • Hairstyles and hair treatments: Tight hairstyles can cause traction alopecia, which is a specific type of hair loss that occurs in the areas where hair is often pulled. Hot oil treatments, excessive chemical styling and other processing can also cause inflammation of the hair follicles that leads to hair loss.

What Is Male-Pattern Baldness?

Male-pattern baldness is a hereditary balding pattern that usually starts in the twenties with receding hair at the temporal peaks or thinning at the crown. Over time, this can progress from the top of the head to the crown, which leaves a ring of hair around the sides and back of the scalp.

Can Hair Loss Be Caused by Hats or Hair Products?

Though it’s a common belief that hats and helmets cause hair loss, that myth has been long debunked. There’s no evidence that wearing a hat or a helmet can cause or contribute to hair loss.

Can Hair Loss Be Caused by Hats or Hair Products

As far as hair products, it’s generally rare, but some products have been known to cause hair loss. This isn’t specific to shampoo, conditioner, hairspray or any general product, but more the result of use of a specific brand that has had claims of hair loss from customers.

There’s also no evidence that washing your hair too often can cause hair loss, though rough washing, brushing and combing, as well as wearing certain hairstyles can contribute to hair loss. These include tight braids, ponytails, cornrows and other hairstyles that pull the hair tight, which damages the follicle over time.

What Are the Symptoms of Hair Loss?

Hair loss appears in different ways on different individuals, depending on the underlying cause. It may appear gradually, or it may start with large chunks of hair missing, and it could be temporary or permanent.

What Are the Symptoms of Hair Loss

The symptoms of hair loss include:

  • Gradual thinning on the top of the head: This is most common in both men and women, though men are more likely to experience a receding hairline in an M pattern. Women are more likely to have a widening part in their hair.
  • Patchy bald spots: Some individuals experience hair loss in smooth, circular bald spots on the scalp, beard or eyebrows. This may also be accompanied by pain or itchiness.
  • Loose hair: Extreme stress can cause the hair to loosen at the root, which may cause handfuls of hair to come out during washing, combing or brushing. This type of hair loss is usually over the entire scalp, not individual bald spots.
  • Full-body hair loss: In individuals undergoing chemotherapy, there may be a total loss of all body hair. This usually resolves once the treatments stop.
  • Scaly patches: With ringworm, individuals will experience scaly patches all over the scalp, as well as redness, broken hair, swelling or oozing.

What Are the Risk Factors for Hair Loss?

What Are the Risk Factors for Hair Loss

Many factors can impact hair loss, such as:

  • A family history of balding on either the paternal or maternal side, though male-pattern baldness is more likely to come from the males on the maternal side.
  • Age.
  • Extreme weight loss.
  • Medical conditions, such as lupus.
  • Extreme stress.

How Can I Prevent Hair Loss?

Though genetics are the predominant factor in hair loss, there are many types of  hair loss that can be avoided.

How Can I Prevent Hair Loss

Here are some tips to prevent hair loss:

  • Avoid tight hairstyles.
  • Avoid twisting or pulling your hair.
  • Be gentle while washing and brushing your hair.
  • Avoid heat processing and chemical processing.
  • Avoid medications that are known to cause hair loss.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Protect your hair from ultraviolet light.

Though these methods won’t prevent all hair loss, they can help prevent or slow certain types of hair loss.

What Can Cause Rapid Hair Loss?

While a small amount of hair loss or thinning hair is normal, and may even be temporary, a sudden loss of excessive amounts of hair may indicate a serious health problem.

With sudden, rapid hair loss, there may be an underlying internal or systemic disease or condition. Alopecia areata, for example, occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles. Lupus and diabetes can also cause sudden hair loss, due to changes in the immune system or hormonal fluctuations.

If you’re experiencing sudden hair loss, it’s important to consult a physician to identify and treat the underlying condition and prevent further hair loss.

What’s the Difference Between Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Universalis and Alopecia Totalis?

All of these types of alopecia are autoimmune disorders, which means that the body’s own immune system is mistakenly attacking the hair follicles, triggering hair loss. The main difference between them is the pattern and extent of hair loss.

With alopecia areata, there are smooth, circular patches of hair loss. With alopecia totalis, there’s total hair loss on the scalp. With alopecia universalis, there’s hair loss all over the body, including the eyebrows and eyelashes.

What Helps Thinning Hair?

The first step in treating thinning hair is addressing the underlying condition. For many people, the cause of thinning hair is temporary and treatable, such as extreme stress levels or hormone imbalances. If you’re experiencing thinning hair, your physician will be able to help you rule out serious medical conditions, hormone imbalances or nutrient deficiencies so that you can address the cause of your hair loss.

What Helps Thinning Hair

If the hair loss is permanent, treatment options like Rogaine are something to consider. Rogaine, the only FDA-approved over-the-counter treatment for hair loss, is applied topically to the scalp to encourage hair growth. Propecia, a prescription hair loss medication for men, is also an option.

Regardless of whether your hair loss is permanent or temporary, it’s best to eliminate possible causes to slow or prevent future loss. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, minimizing stress and avoiding tight hairstyles and heavy processing will preserve the hair that’s left.

How Can I Regrow My Hair?

Regrowing lost hair depends on the underlying cause. With androgenic hair loss, or hereditary hair loss, the focus is primarily on halting the current hair loss to preserve what’s there.

With factors that cause temporary hair loss, such as poor diet, lifestyle choices, stress, traction alopecia or medications, hair loss can be reversed by correcting the underlying condition. Over time, you will notice that the hair you’ve lost will grow back with proper care and maintenance.

There are also remedies and topical treatments that may help your hair grow back, such as multivitamins designed for hair growth and minoxidil, which is better known as Rogaine. While these treatments have promise, the results vary.

The most promising option for men and women with permanent hair loss is hair restoration. This procedure uses full, healthy hair from other areas of the body that match the hair on your scalp, which is then transplanted using “micrografts.” Each of these individual hair follicles are surgically implanted into the scalp and grow normally to provide a natural, full head of hair.

How Is Hair Loss in Females Treated?

Though female-pattern baldness doesn’t get much attention, it affects a significant portion of the population and comes with devastating psychological effects. Fortunately, hair loss in women could be caused by a variety of short-term factors, such as pregnancy, menopause, stress, medications and other factors, so the hair will grow back when the event has passed.

How Is Hair Loss in Females Treated

If the hair thinning is a result of a medical condition, such as hormone imbalance or a thyroid disorder, treating the underlying cause is the first step toward halting further hair loss and giving the hair a chance to grow back.

If the hair thinning is a permanent type, there are still options. Rogaine for women is a possible treatment, as well as spironolactone, which is a drug that’s used to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions. Off-label, spironolactone is used to regulate hormones and treat acne and hair loss.

In more extreme cases, or if the condition doesn’t respond to less invasive treatments, follicular unit extraction (FUE), or hair transplantation, is a viable option.

How Do Hair Transplants Work?

Hair transplants have been around since the 1950s, but the techniques and technology have changed significantly over the years. Now, there are two types of transplant surgeries: follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) or follicular unit extraction (FUE).

With FUSS, the surgeon takes strips of skin from the scalp, which is then divided into thousands of tiny micrografts, each with an individual hair follicle. The number and type of grafts you need depend on your hair type, color, quality and the area that requires a transplant.

With the FUE procedure, the back of your scalp is shaved, and the follicles are removed individually. The sites of harvest are hidden by surrounding hair as it regrows its length..

Beyond that, both procedures are similar. After the grafts are prepared, the recipient area is cleaned and numbed.  Small incisions are created with a scalpel or needle, and the grafts are transplanted into each of these sites.

How Do Hair Transplants Work

The process can take several hours, depending on the size of the transplant area. If you still experience hair loss in the future, the procedure may be repeated as long as the donor site is still thick enough..

Following surgery, you can expect your scalp to be tender and you may be prescribed pain medication, antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs. You will also wear bandages over your scalp for a few days, but you can usually return to work within a week of the procedure.

After two or three weeks, the stubble of transplanted hair will fall out, but the transplanted follicles are still alive.  New hair growth will typically appear about four to five months post procedure. Most people experience the greatest hair growth after six to nine months.

Does Hair Transplant Surgery Result in Permanent Hair Growth?

Hair removed from the donor area of the scalp is genetically programmed to continue growing over the course of your life, without being impacted by male pattern baldness. As a result, transplanted hair will continue to grow.

Will Hair Transplants Bring Back Normal Hair Thickness?

Based on what can be borrowed from the donor region, it is not always possible to restore hair to its original thickness. However, individuals with thick hair outside of the pattern of baldness may be able to achieve noticeably thick, full hair after transplant. Density and coverage vary from person to person.

Will My Hair Transplant Look Obvious?

Natural-looking hair transplants are an art.   Many surgeons who are unskilled or are using outdated techniques may cause unnatural implants, or the “plugs” of the past. Because of this, it’s important to choose a clinic with skilled professionals who have experience with hair transplant surgery.

Will My Hair Transplant Look Obvious

Though it’s routine, hair transplant surgery still carries risks, both in health and the psychological impact of the results, so it’s important to be sure you’re choosing a reputable clinic with experienced staff members.

Is a Hair Transplant Painful?

Hair transplant surgery uses a local anesthetic to eliminate the discomfort during the surgery itself. Following surgery, you may feel minor discomfort during the healing phase, but you’ll be prescribed pain medication to keep you comfortable. For most patients, the pain subsides within a few days.

What Are the Risks of Hair Transplant Surgery?

There are risks to any surgery, such as infection, scarring or bleeding. The risks with hair transplant surgery are rare, however, especially when performed by a skilled surgeon.

The other risks to hair transplant surgery involve the final look and expectations of hair restoration. Because of this, it’s important to thoroughly research your hair transplant surgeon, ask questions during the consultation and be sure you and your surgeon are on the same page as far as your goals and expected results. The best hair restoration is one where no one can tell you have had a hair restoration.

Is It Better to Have Hair Transplant Surgery As Soon As Hair Loss Begins?

Deciding to undergo hair transplant surgery is an individual decision that takes many factors into account. However, the best time to begin preventative treatment would be at the onset of symptoms.

Is It Better to Have Hair Transplant Surgery As Soon As Hair Loss Begins

Unfortunately, baldness is progressive and unpredictable, so it’s difficult to determine when the best time is for transplant surgery without a thorough evaluation. With young patients, a concern is running out of donor hair and limiting surgical options, as well as insecurity or immaturity that may impact goals and expectations. In this case, it’s up to the surgeon to consider all the options for a particular patient to be sure that it’s in their best interest and offer guidance about the decision.

Individuals experiencing hair loss may also have panicked feelings, believing that they need to stop hair loss and restore the lost hair immediately. This can lead to unrealistic expectations for what hair transplant surgery can do. Ideally, a hair transplant patient is making an informed decision and demonstrates the patience necessary to enjoy the benefits of hair restoration.

Visit Vegas Valley Hair Restoration

If you’re facing hair loss and considering hair transplant surgery, visit Vegas Valley Hair Restoration. We’re proud to be the only NeoGraft provider in Southern Nevada where services are provided by a board-certified surgeon, Dr. Simon.

We offer NeoGraft Hair Restoration, a minimally invasive, FDA-approved hair treatment with no incisions, sutures or scars, and hair transplant and restoration surgery to restore your own living and growing hair. Regardless of your level of hair loss or the area affected, we can provide you with natural-looking results that restore your confidence.

If you want to learn more about our hair restoration options and find out more about Dr. Simon, visit Vegas Valley Hair Restoration. Read more about our services, check out some before and after photos and contact us to schedule your consultation today!

hair restoration preparation

Preparing for Your Hair Restoration

One of the most common cosmetic concerns for men is male-pattern baldness. Men with receding hairlines and balding can become self-conscious about their appearance, but, fortunately, recent developments in hair restoration procedures can end this problem using your own natural hair.

If you’re interested in a hair restoration procedure to correct your hair loss, you may be wondering what happens next and what to expect leading up to and on the day of the procedure.

In this guide, we’ll give you some advice and tips that will be helpful in preparing for your hair restoration procedure. Learn more about the science behind hair restoration and what you can expect from the procedure, from the consultation to post-operative care.

What is Hair Restoration?

Each strand of hair grows from a hair follicle. It is often called a follicular unit. The follicle can grow one to three strands of hair–occasionally even 4 or 5. Hair restoration is the process by which areas of thinning or even absent hair, are replenished or replaced by the transplantation of multiple hair follicles. The typical donor zone of hair follicles lies on the back of a man’s head, from ear to ear. For reasons we still do not understand, the balding man is often left with a thick zone of hair that is resistant to aging and the detrimental effects of testosterone and its metabolite–dihydrotestosterone or DHT. Whenever these resistant hair follicles can be obtained, preserved and transplanted, it creates a natural look for replacing thinning hair.

In traditional hair restoration, a strip of hair from the donor zone back or sides, where it tends to be thicker and more abundant, is removed. The site of the strip harvest is sewn or stapled closed. Eventually this leaves a long linear scar–hopefully hidden by nearby unharvested hair. The harvested strip of skin is segmented into individual grafts that are then placed where the hair is bald or thinning. Hundreds of individual follicular units are arranged with microscopic precision to match the patterns of natural hair growth.

Rather than leave a painful and unsightly scar at the harvest sight, Dr. Simon employs a minimally invasive technique to harvest individual follicular units. By harvesting these units one at a time, a process known as individual follicle unit extraction (FUE), the hundreds and sometimes thousands of individual follicles can be harvested leaving no visible linear scar. In previous years, the harvest was limited to several hundred grafts in a given day because of the slow and tedious nature or harvesting individual grafts.

Today, at Vegas Valley Hair Restoration, NEOGRAFT technology allows for the harvesting of 1500 to 2000 individual follicle units within hours. When planned, even 2500 to 3000 grafts may be harvested with NEOGRAFT FUE technology and reimplanted to the desired areas in a single day. These individually harvested grafts are transplanted to the desired recipient sites, thickening or replacing the areas of baldness and thinning hair. Over time, the implanted hair grows, creating dense, thick and natural hair growth.

Consultation

The first step in a hair restoration procedure is the professional consultation. During this appointment, your doctor will give you an overview of the procedure and explain the process in depth. He or she will gather important medical information from you, such as your medical history and current medications. Your doctor should have before-and-after photos and can discuss the specifics of treatment for your unique hair type, pattern of hair loss and desired results.

Your doctor will also discuss which medications are safe to continue taking and what ones should be stopped. Your doctor will also inform you which substances to avoid during your hair restoration process, such as alcohol and nicotine. Your doctor will likely also give you a list of recommended vitamins and supplements.

If you have any questions about your upcoming procedure, this is the time to ask them. While hair restoration is safe and minimally-invasive, it’s still a surgical procedure, so it’s important that you’re completely aware of the process and expectations.

Weeks Leading Up to Your Procedure

One to two weeks before your hair restoration procedure, your doctor or his staff will contact you to discuss the instructions for the day of surgery and answer any remaining questions you may have. It’s important to make note of this information to be sure that you’re fully prepared for your procedure.

You will be asked to adhere to the following:

  • Take vitamin C as instructed to boost the immune system.
  • Stop using nicotine, including cigars, cigarettes, nicotine gum, nicotine patches, electronic cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Nicotine restricts the blood vessels and impacts the healing process.
  • Stop using alcohol, including wine, liquor and beer. Alcohol thins the blood and can create complications.

You will be asked to arrange a ride from a family member or friend to drive you home following the procedure. A mild sedative is used, so it won’t be safe for you to drive yourself. You will be given a general timeframe for the preparation and the procedure, but it’s important to stay flexible with time.

The Morning of Your Procedure

On the morning of your planned procedure, you are welcome to shower, brush your teeth and go about the rest of your morning routine. It is important to avoid using hair products like gel, hair spray or conditioner. You may be asked to use Hibiclens soap just once as a shampoo.

You are encouraged to eat a light breakfast. Patients do better with something in their stomach. SInce general anesthesia is NOT to used, there is no reason for the patient to be fasting after midnight.

The procedure will be done with local anesthetics, so you’ll be reclined and relaxed throughout. Many patients bring music to listen to and pass the time. We make music of the patient’s choice available to them so they do not have to bring their own device.

Oral sedatives, (typically Valium), are prescribed in advance and you are expected to bring your medicines to the office on the day of the procedure. Your doctor will advise you when to take any such medications. This is particularly important for patients who have difficulty sitting for long periods or who are feeling anxiety about the procedure.

Following Your Procedure

The recovery time from hair restoration is minimal. Typically, patients are free to return to work within two to four days after the procedure, and though there may be some mild scabbing, it usually only lasts seven to ten days. Some patients experience mild redness for a few days as well. It’s important to avoid any strenuous activity in the week following surgery. Going to the guym is a no-no until cleared by your doctor.

Patients can also experience mild insomnia following the procedure, due to the change in sleep position. Your head must be elevated by two to three pillows for the first 2 nights, which can be an uncomfortable sleeping position for some.

New hair grafts may experience a shedding period for two to three weeks following the procedure. New hair growth can be expected after three to four months.

Learn More About Hair Restoration Procedures at Vegas Valley Vein Institute

Hair restoration is a natural, permanent solution to male-pattern baldness and thinning hair. While it may seem like a simple idea, the natural patterns and orientation of hair growth, along with the placement and quality of the hairline, shouldn’t be left up to just anyone. This is as much an art as a science, so finding a qualified hair restoration specialist who can give you the most realistic and aesthetically-pleasing results is essential.

If you are considering a hair restoration procedure, Dr. Simon and the team at Vegas Valley Hair Restoration can help. Dr. Simon will be happy to meet with you for a free initial consultation to discuss your options and suitability for hair restoration. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation!

fue vs. fut

Follicular Unit Extraction vs. Follicular Unit Transplantation

As we age, our genetic code may exhibits errors as it replicates within us to create new cells. One of the more annoying errors is the one that causes balding. Furthermore, expression of the genetic code, particularly as it pertains to males, is affected by the effects of Testosterone being converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  If you start to experience hair loss, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on your hairstyle. Procedures are available that can grant you your full head of hair, despite your genetics.

Two of the most popular treatments are follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT/ STRIP). Either method can be effective when it comes to restoring your hair.  Find out which works better for your needs using this handy FUE vs. FUT comparison.

Follicular Unit Extraction

Follicular Unit Extraction involves harvesting individual follicles without disrupting surrounding  skin on your scalp. These hair follicles are extracted from donor zones where patients have dense hair. They are carefully transplanted to places where follicle density is weak or even nonexistent.   Removal of individual follicles from areas of significant density, still leaves significant density. Removal of the individual follicles leaves no visible scarring. No linear scar is formed. Regrowth of the hair from untouched follicles within the donor zone leaves an area where the harvest is  unnoticeable, granting the patient a more cohesive look.

Since this method leaves behind no linear scar recovery is easy. Small puncture marks from the FUE harvest typically heal  within a few days to a week. This method requires a lot of concentrated effort, so you can expect the procedure to take longer than its alternative, but the results speak for themselves.

Follicular Unit Transplantation-a.k.a. STRIP HARVEST

With the  Follicular Unit Transplantation method or this method, one or more  strips of skin will be removed from the donor zone in the back of the patient’s head.  The donated hair follicles are then extracted from this strip and transplanted to the thinning areas. Since tissue is actively removed from your scalp, you can expect more discomfort from this method.

The most substantial side effects of this method is the linear scar left behind on the back of your head. It’s typically small and can be concealed by most hairstyles.  However, while many men desire hair restoration, they often chose to wear their hair short. Hence a scar in the back of the head may remain visible–even throughout life.  The scar may fade with time. However it may widen with time. It can remain painful or numb, STrip harvest patients often require stronger pain medication to deal with the pain and discomfort that strip harvest removal may cause.

FUE vs. FUT:STRIP

When it comes to choosing which type of hair loss treatment is right for you, there are two main differences to remember between FUE and FUT.

The first is procedural pain and recovery pain.  FUT can be significantly more painful than FUE because FUT involves removing strips of skin from your scalp. The harvest site is closed with sutures or surgical staples. This can be painful, and tight during the recovery period.  In the long run, the donor scar may remain numb or painful.  Meanwhile, FUE instead removes individual follicles from your donor zone leaving minute circular sites that typically heal with little or no pain.  FUE procedures may take a bit longer, but are typically less painful.

The second difference to consider, and perhaps most important is the aesthetic result of each method. Transplanted follicles will typically grow in your troubled or recipient areas no matter which method you choose.  However FUT will leave you with a linear scar on your head at the site of the donor harvest. This scar will be visible, particularly in any man that wears his hair styled short, as so many men chose to do. FUE leaves behind no visible  or linear scarring, a major advantage over the FUT or STRIP Method.

FUE at Vegas Valley Hair Restoration

If you’re looking for follicular unit extraction treatment you can count on, Dr. Simon at Vegas Valley Hair Restoration has the knowledge, experience and skills you seek. With his Board Certified expertise, you can typically achieve your desired hair restoration in just one session. Hence the FUE vs. FUT question is easy to answer. Dr. Simon performs FUE with the state of the art NEOGRAFT system.  Contact us to learn more about what we can offer you, and schedule an appointment today.

Vegas Valley Hair Restoration

2450 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway STE 100
Henderson, NV 89052
(702) 472–9892

Vegas Valley Vein Institute

Our office also provides vein treatment procedures.
(702) 341–7608

Dr. Irwin B. Simon

Main phone number.
(702) 735-2305

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