Male hair loss is surprisingly common, affecting about 35 million men in the United States alone. Yet despite these large numbers, a relative few seek hair replacement treatments. There’s a lot of information available about hair loss and hair restoration, but it can be intimidating. Here’s a brief rundown of information, meant to open the doors to the truth behind hair loss and possible solutions.
Why do we suffer from hair loss?
Hair loss is also known as “alopecia,” and it can be caused by any number of things. Perhaps the most common cause is heredity. If one or both parents had thinning hair or became bald, the child’s chances are increased as well. Most men see balding as a sign of aging, but it really is not. It’s very possible for male pattern baldness (also known as androgenetic alopecia, which accounts for an astonishing 95% of male hair loss) to begin before a man even reaches age 21. For some, grayness and thinning or receding hair lines began before even graduating high school. Less common other causes include side effects of medications or surgeries, certain hairstyles, or even certain medical conditions.
What hair treatment options are available?
There are several options for hair replacement or restoration, from medication to hair transplant surgery. The medications offered can typically be taken either as pills or in a liquid form that’s rubbed into the scalp. These can often have side effects, however, such as scalp irritation or unwanted hair growth on hands or in surrounding areas of the face. As for surgeries, there are several options. One such option, Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), is considered one of the primary methods to obtain follicular units — naturally occurring groups of one to four hairs.
How does FUE Hair Replacement work?
During FUE Hair Transplant procedures, grafts of the aforementioned follicular units are taken one at a time and then placed back into the scalp at angles that mimic realistic hair patterns. One of the other common methods, strip surgery, leaves large scars in the back of the head. FUE only leaves small puncture scars, which are virtually invisible. FUE procedures last around eight hours or so, but they can be done in one large sitting or in several small ones. Recovery is also quicker than strip surgery, typically only lasting a few days to just under a week.