Baldness: What is the permanent treatment?
Stages of hair growth, miniaturization
Hair is made up of the hair follicle and the shaft. In the hair bulb, located at the base of the follicle, cells divide and grow to produce the hair shaft, which is made from a protein called keratin. Papilla that surround the bulb contain tiny blood vessels that nourish the hair follicles and deliver hormones to regulate the growth and structure of the hair.
Hair follicles, much like all cells, have cycles. A natural part of the cycle involves shedding around 50 to 100 hairs per day.
Each follicle produces hair for 2 to 6 years and then takes a break for several months. While the hair follicle is in its rest phase, the hair falls out. There are around 100,000 follicles on the scalp, but because each follicle rests at a different time and others produce hairs, hair loss is usually unnoticeable. More noticeable hair loss occurs when there is a disruption to the growth and shedding cycle, or if the hair follicle is obliterated and replaced with scar tissue.
Scientists now understand that pattern baldness occurs through a phenomenon known as miniaturization. Some hair follicles appear to be genetically oversensitive to the actions of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a hormone that is converted from testosterone with the help of an enzyme held in the follicle’s oil glands.
DHT binds to receptors in the hair follicles and shrinks them, making them progressively smaller. Over time, the follicles produce thinner hairs, and they grow for a shorter time than normal. Eventually, the follicle no longer produces hair, leaving the area bald.
What is FUE ?
Follicular Unit Extraction, sometimes referred to as follicular unit transplantation, is the modern technique of hair restoration. FUE is a more advanced method of hair transplants than previous techniques like strip harvesting transplantation or FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation).
How it works ?
During an FUE transplant, a highly experienced doctor extracts hair follicles from the donor area, typically the back of the neck, using a specialised extraction instrument less than 1mm in diameter. Follicles are then transferred to the recipient area on your scalp and implanted using a powerful stereo microscope in groups of one to four hairs, just as they grow in nature.
This is a Minimally invasive,surgical procedure so you will remain fully conscious the whole time as only local anesthetic is required. Recovery time is short and the risk of complications is low.
After the procedure we will provide you with clear instructions on aftercare, as well as medication and topical treatments to give you the best result possible.
Good candidates for a hair transplant include;
-men with male-pattern baldness
-women with thinning hair
-anyone who has lost some hair from a burn or scalp injury
Hair replacement isn’t a good option for;
-women with a wide-spread pattern of hair loss throughout the scalp
-people who don’t have enough “donor” hair sites from which to remove hair for transplant
-people who form keloid scars (thick, fibrous scars) after injury or surgery
-people whose hair loss is due to medication like chemotherapy
Follicular Unit Extraction Advantages
- Virtually invisible scars
Instead of making a linear scar on the back of your head, like FUT, FUE involves making very small, round punches to the back of your head. Each punch consists of a follicular unit (a group of one to four hairs). These punches leave small dot-shaped scars on your head, unlike the long linear scars from FUT that are harder to hide. You’ll be able to easily conceal these FUE scars, even with short haircuts. Just be aware that your scar may be visible if you completly shave your head.
- Minimal pain after your procedure
Since small punches are made into your skin, pain after your procedure is minimal. During FUT, an elliptical incision is made into the skin down to where the hair bulbs reside. This incision requires sutures or staples and can cause discomfort for several days. For FUE, you typically won’t even need pain medication post-op. However, all patients are given medication to ease the pain.
- Less downtime
Along with less pain, the small punches require less time to heal than linear scars. No stitches or scalpels are used, so the donor wounds will heal within just a few days.
- Ensures a natural-looking hairline
Both FUT and FUE leave you with a natural-looking hairline and thicker head of hair. Advancements in transplant technology ensure that your transplanted hair looks completely natural. Neither procedure produces “plugs.”
- Less risk of complications
Follicular Unit Extraction Disadvantages
- Must shave the entire donor area
For most FUE procedures, you will have to shave the entire donor area, which is basically the entire sides and back of the scalp. If you aren’t already wearing your hair in a short style, we recommend getting a “transitional” haircut that is shorter than your usual style in order to prepare for the time after your procedure when the hair is growing back. If you are having a small or medium-sized FUE treatment (<1000 grafts), you may be able to keep your hair longer prior to the procedure. Longer hair will cover up the donor area as it heals and the hair grows back.
- Larger donor area
The donor area for FUE is typically larger than for FUT. While the back of your scalp is typically harvested during FUT, your surgeon may tap into the upper, lower and side portions of your donor area in order to get the right amount of grafts for FUE.
- More fragile and transected grafts
The grafts that are extracted during FUE tend to be more fragile than those during FUT. Grafts include the hair follicle, bulb and a small amount of surrounding tissue. These grafts can be more fragile because they typically contain slightly less of the protective dermis and fat than an FUT graft, which is microscopically dissected by hand.
- Typically more expensive
The results of an FUE hair transplant;
What makes FUE so remarkable is the way hairs are implanted: experienced specialists carefully map your hair growth before implantation so they know where and on what angle to place each follicle. It’s an exacting process that takes a lot of experience and expertise, but we believe the result is worth it: with a successful FUE transplant, donor hair grows, moves and feels the way it used to. This is the highest-quality hair transplant available. As this is your natural hair, just moved from place to place, it will grow exactly as normal hair and is permanent. There is no need for pills and potions, just enjoy your natural hair.