Why do men lose their hair?

The primary type of male hair loss is male pattern baldness, which is caused by the adverse effects of a breakdown product of Testosterone called Dihydrotestosterone or DHT. DHT is a natural appearing hormone that is present in all men. Some men have hair follicles on the top of their scalp that are sensitive to DHT. Those men that do will have hair loss at some point in their life. This hair loss can begin at an early age or later in life. Men can lose their hair secondary to a variety of medical conditions.

Can women lose their hair?

Yes, many women suffer from hair loss. Hair loss in women can be caused by the same medical illnesses that effect a man. Women can have hair loss similar to men. However, it is a more diffuse thinning of the entire scalp rather than just the top of the scalp. Women that wear their hair in tight braids, cornrows, or ponytails can lose hair from the constant traction and pulling of the hair from the scalp. They can also have hair loss problems because of harsh hair products used over extended periods of time.

Do women have hair transplants?

Women can have a hair transplant just like a man, however it must be carefully planned since the loss of hair is diffuse and it is difficult, if not impossible, to thicken the entire scalp. With proper planning, a treatment program can be designed to target the areas of most concern and create healthy and natural hair that will enhance her looks.

What are the different procedures for hair transplant?

There are several different procedures for hair transplantation. They all center on removing hair follicles from the donor site (the back and side portions of the scalp), that are not sensitive to DHT, and moving them to the areas of baldness. When these follicles are moved to the top of the scalp they continue to be resistant to the effects of DHT and thus remain permanent hair-producing follicles. The most common method used is called the Strip Method. In this procedure, a "strip" of tissue is taken from the back portion of the scalp and the follicles are dissected into groups of single-hair and multiple-hair follicles that are then transplanted into the areas of bald scalp. The procedure is done under local anesthesia with oral sedation. After transplantation, the donor area is closed with sutures and is completely hidden from view by the overlying hair. Another method of hair transplantation is the FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction method in which the follicles are removed one at a time using a hand punch or a machine designed to remove the follicles using a drill type punch. For this procedure, it is necessary to shave the back of the scalp where the donor follicles will be harvested. New on the technology horizon is the robotic computer driven system that removes the donor follicles completely by robotic punches driven and monitored by a computer and the surgeon.

What type of anesthesia is used?

Most surgeons will use a pill taken by mouth (oral sedation) that causes relaxation and sleep combined with local anesthesia (numbing medicine) to the areas of the scalp used for donor follicles and for the recipient sites. Some will provide intravenous sedation based upon their personal practice experience and preference. I prefer oral sedation with local anesthesia as it provides complete anesthesia of the scalp, allows the patient to be awake enough to use the rest room or have a snack during the procedure, as well as walk out of the clinic after the procedure. It also prevents the hangover effect that often lingers for 24-48 hours after intravenous sedation.

How long does a hair transplant take?

The length of the procedure varies depending upon several factors including the type of procedure and the size of the balding area to be transplanted. FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) takes longer to harvest the follicles for transplantation. Therefore, it is generally a longer procedure than the Strip Method. The average transplant will take 4-6 hours when transplanting 1000-1500 grafts.

How long do I need to take off of work?

Most people take off work the day following the procedure for recovery. You can return to normal activities within a few days with the exception of heavy lifting or strenuous activity, which should be avoided for 5-7 days.

When does the hair begin to grow?

The transplanted follicle will shed the hair that is present at the time of the transplant. It will then develop new hairs that will take approximately 3-4 months to grow. This new group of permanent hairs in the transplanted grafts will be fully developed in 6-8 months.

Is the transplanted hair permanent?

Hair follicles from the back portion of the scalp that are transplanted to the top of the scalp result in permanent hair growth. They are not sensitive to the effects of DHT. Therefore, transplanted follicles will continue to grow for your entire lifetime.

What is the average cost of a transplant?

Cost obviously depends upon the size of the balding area to be covered and the type of transplant that is chosen. FUE is generally about twice the cost of strip method transplants. We charge $3 per graft for the strip method transplant. Most transplant sessions are between 1000 and 1500 grafts. Beware of those that charge per hair as this can result in a much higher cost for the same number of grafts.

Do you provide financing options for patients?

We have arrangements with CareCredit to provide financing options for potential patients. If you would like to consider financing, we will assist you in contacting a representative from CareCredit. They will work with you to develop a payment plan for your procedure.

What is the follow-up procedure?

You will need to have your sutures removed from the donor site after 10-14 days. If you are local, we will remove them in our clinic. If you are from out of town, your primary care physician can remove your sutures. We will be available 24hrs/day for questions or concerns that might develop in the immediate post-operative period.

Can I receive a consultation via the Internet and telephone?

Many of our patients are out of state and initiate their contact with us via the Internet. If you would like a free consultation via the internet we will simply need you to fill out a questionnaire and provide photos of your hair loss. We will review your situation, determine if a transplant is appropriate in your case, and make recommendations on the number of grafts that you will require. For our out-of-state patients, once you chose to proceed with a transplant, we will provide convenient airport pick up and assistance with hotel accommodations.