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Frequently Asked Questions about Hair Loss & Hair Restoration, Dr. Shelly Friedman, DO

Frequently Asked Questions About Hair Loss & Hair Restoration

 

What causes hair loss?
There are many causes of hair loss in both men and women, but approximately 98% of all hair loss is due to Androgenetic Alopecia, also called male or female pattern hair loss. Androgenetic Alopecia involves the genetic sensitivity to the male androgen (hormone) Dihydrotestosterone or DHT. Each scalp follicle is either sensitive or insensitive to DHT. If a follicle is susceptible to DHT, over time the follicle gradually dies resulting in the growing phase (anagen) shortening and the resting phase (telogen) lengthening. This phenomenon is called miniaturization.

Can hair really be transplanted and grow in a new location?
Hair can be moved and transplanted any place on the scalp and will maintain the color, characteristics, texture, curl, and growth rate from that particular donor area. As long as the hair being transplanted is from the same individual, there is no reason for the hair not to grow.

Are hair transplants painful?
Most patients have the wrong image in their mind concerning hair transplants. They assume that hair transplants must be painful, but are totally surprised by the fact that they do not experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure. We routinely premedicate or sedate all our patients with Valium (as long as they have someone driving them home following surgery). Once sedated, we numb or anesthetize the scalp using a local anesthetic similar to what a dentist uses to numb the mouth. Most patients are so comfortable during the procedure they either fall asleep or watch television. Post-operatively, the only area of slight discomfort is the donor region where the strip was removed and closed with sutures. We provide an oral pain medication such as Hydrocodone that can be taken if the discomfort does not resolve with Extra Strength Tylenol. Most of our patients do not need post-operative pain medication after the first night.

How much time do I need to take off work?
You can return to work the day following surgery, after your hair has been shampooed in our office the next morning. For a period of two weeks following surgery we recommend avoiding any heavy lifting, exercise, or sports. This allows the grafts and the donor region enough time to heal thoroughly.

What is the cost of a hair transplant?
Hair transplant fees are calculated on a per follicular unit graft basis. Depending on the surface area planned for transplantation, will dictate how many grafts can be placed within the recipient area. The more hair and grafts we transplant, the more the surgery will cost the patient.

How many procedures will be required?
The number of procedures depends largely on the size of the surface area planned for transplantation, the number of grafts that can be safely harvested at one time, and the subjective density the patient hopes to achieve. Although many patients are completely satisfied after one procedure, approximately 60% of our patients return some time in the future for another procedure to either cover more surface area or try to obtain more density.

How many grafts can be transplanted in one surgery?
The number of grafts which can be safely transplanted is determined by:

  1. The density of follicular units per square centimeter within the donor region. This can be visualized pre-operatively with a densitometer. The more follicular unit grafts per square centimeter, the more grafts we can obtain from one donor strip.
  2. The elasticity of the skin over the donor region. The more elastic or loose, the wider the donor strip that can be harvested. The width of the strip cannot be greater than the skins elasticity and the ability to close the incision with little tension on the skin edges. The average strip measures 1.0cm-1.3cm in width.
  3. The larger the scalp the longer the strip that can be removed. The average donor region measures 28cm-31cm in length.
  4. How much the patient wants to spend in any given procedure. Since our charges are based on a per graft price, the more grafts transplanted, the higher the cost of the surgery. Since each person requires a certain number of grafts, it is prudent to try to transplant as many grafts as possible to reduce the number of surgeries overall.
  5. The number of grafts transplanted also depends on how many hair technicians are working on you, and their skill and experience. This is another reason why you need to go to a full time hair transplant office rather than going to an office that performs hair transplants once or twice per month. The technicians’ credentials are as important as the surgeon’s qualifications.

When will I see the grafts growing?
Growth is contingent on the individual, but most patients will begin seeing new growth in four months, yet it can take as long as twelve months for all the grafts to grow. We have noticed that due to fibrosis under the skin, the grafts transplanted during a second surgery may take longer to grow. Once the grafts start growing, they grow at approximately 1/4 -1/2 inch per month.

How long do I need to wait between hair transplant procedures?
It is prudent to wait until all the grafts have grown from the first surgery before performing a second procedure. Typically, a second procedure can be safely performed in 9-12 months.

What medications are FDA approved for hair loss?
Propecia (Finasteride)
Propecia is a medication for men that has been available by prescription only since 1998 in the United States. Propecia is a pill which is taken orally once daily. The drug is not available to women due to the potential for birth defects. Propecia has been shown to stop hair loss in approximately 90% of patients, but the results will be reversed if the medication is stopped.

Rogaine (Minoxidil)
Rogaine is available over the counter for men and women. The medication is offered in either liquid or foam, and is applied to the scalp twice daily. Rogaine has been shown to slow hair loss in men and women, but similar to Propecia, any benefits derived from the drug will be lost when the medication is terminated.

If my original hair stopped growing, why will the transplanted hair grow in the same area?
The transplanted hair is harvested from a safe donor area that is genetically programmed not to be sensitive to the hormone that causes hair loss, Dihydrotestosterone. As long as the transplanted hair is taken from the permanent donor fringe, the hair will grow indefinitely.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FROM OUR HAIR TRANSPLANT BLOG

 

What is the success rate of low level laser for hair loss and hair loss prevention?

Do hair transplant doctors still implant “hair plugs”?

Scalp Tightening After Hair Transplant Surgeries

Do Hair Vitamins Make Hair Grow Faster?

Does Saw Palmetto or Chili Powder Stop Hair Loss?

After Hair Transplant Surgery, Can I Wear My Hair Short?

What is the average hair transplant price?

Who is most vulnerable to hair transplant shock loss?

Do hair transplant doctors specialize in African-American hair?

Will one hair transplant procedure require me to get more as I get older?

Will one hair transplant procedure require me to get more as I get older?

Can a hair transplant cover the scars of a face-lift

How painful is a hair transplant procedure for men?

Is shock loss more prevalent among men with less hair?

Do Hair Transplant Doctors Help Prevent Hair Loss?

What is the process that occurs during the hair transplant surgery?

Can I improve the appearance of my hair transplant donor scar?

What tests exist for female hair loss?

How Big is a Hair Transplant Donor Strip?

Can a hair transplant cover-up a scar?

What is the best method for harvesting a large number of hair grafts?

Should I wait to get a hair transplant?

What is the best topical treatment for the re-growth and thickening of hair loss for a female around the age of 40?

How long after my hair transplant procedure will my new hair be fully grown?

Can I cover a scar on my eyebrow with a hair transplant?

If I start laser therapy for hair loss, will I have to keep using it?

After hair transplant surgery, can I wear my hair short?

Can hairs be transplanted to the face?

I overplucked my eyebrows, can hair grafts help me?

Can a bad hair transplant from the 1990s be made to look better in 2017?

Can body hair or chest hair be used as donor hair for hair transplantation?

Best advice for a young man, 21, with hair loss.

Can hair grafts be transplanted into scar tissue?

Does laser therapy grow new hair?

How long does it take after getting hair transplant to heal so no one will notice?

How many sessions of laser therapy do I need before it starts working?

Can hair transplant surgery give me sideburns?

What is the best type of hair transplant for a 67 year-old male?

Can a hair transplant correct facelift scars and raised hairline?

If I get hair transplanted into my mustache area, will it grow differently than the surrounding hairs?

Hair Transplant Question from African-American Female

I am 35 and losing hair, should I get a hair transplant now or wait?

Can I take Propecia and Rogaine at the same time?

Why did Rogaine stop working for me?

At what age do young men begin losing hair?

What is the difference between old hair plugs and follicular unit extraction?

I have crown hair loss, when should I get a hair transplant?

Will laser therapy help a 45 year-old woman with thinning hair?

What are the side-effects for women who use low level light therapy to regrow their hair?

I am 45 and overplucked my eyebrows when I was younger. What are my options for getting them back?

How long does it take for women to see noticeable, new hair growth results from laser therapy treatments?

I am losing hair after giving birth, what can I do to stop it and regrow new hair?

What is the best solution for scalp itch after hair transplant?

My wife has a small bald-spot on her head, what caused it and what can be done?

Can Treatment for “Low-T” lead to increased hair loss? – Find out why Testosterone Replacement Therapy WILL lead to increased hair loss.

Will Rogaine foam help faster hair growth after hair transplant surgery?

Why do some hair loss doctors choose not to prescribe dutasteride for hair loss?

See Also:
Understanding Hair Transplants
Follicular Unit Hair Transplants
Follicular Unit Extraction
Typical Procedure in Eight Steps
Frontal Hair Transplants
Crown Hair Transplants
Facial Hair Transplants
Hair Transplants for Women
Eyebrow Hair Restoration
HT Questions & Answers
Patient Reviews
In-Depth Hair Transplant Info

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