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The Basics of Hair Transplant Surgery

Clinical Methods for Hair Transplantation

Hair transplantation or hair surgery as it is more fondly called, is the medical procedure that extracts individual hair follicles from a particular area of the body. The extracted follicles are then surgically planted on the affected area, more particularly, an area on the scalp that is no longer able to propagate and produce healthy hair growth. Hair surgery is a last course of action in a solution treatment of male pattern baldness. The concept of hair surgery lies on the concept of transferring healthy hair follicles that are not genetically prone to male pattern baldness, this minor surgical procedure involves extracting the hair follicles, not necessarily coming from the head but other parts of the body that has healthy hair growth.

Since the scalp is also a part of our skin, other hair growing in our body can also grow on our scalp. The only difference is that other hairs on our body are not genetically prone to male pattern baldness unlike those that are growing on our head. Therefore, it was conceded that male pattern baldness was not a matter of the scalp being genetically prone to male pattern baldness but that of the hair follicles that grow on our head. Hair surgery is not limited to the hair on top of our heads, it can also be applied to restore eyebrows, eyelashes, chest hairs, beard hairs and even pubic hair as a result of any unfortunate accident.

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The concept of hair transplant is quite different from that of skin grafting as the later involves an extraction of the epidermis and dermis. Hair usually grows by 1 to 4 groups of follicles on a single area, by this arrangement, a hair surgeon can mimic the almost natural condition that hair should look like on a normal, healthy scalp and is called by hair surgeons as Follicular Unit Tranplantation (FUT). There are two kinds of common procedures that hair surgeons use when performing FUT.

Strip Harvesting:

Strip harvesting involves a procedure that necessitates the removal of a strip of hair growth tissue from the scalp which is no affected by male pattern baldness. These strips of tissue with healthy hair growth are then planted on the recipient side of the head, which is of course, the balding part of the head. The extracted tissue of healthy hair growth can be described as a row of corn in a corn field. The area in which the healthy hair growth tissue were extracted will be sewn together that will eventually leave a pencil line like scar. The donor area in which the tissues were extracted, which are located on the back part of the head, would heal naturally and will be unnoticeable due to hair growth. Recovery period from this kind of hair transplantation surgery usually takes about 2 weeks.

Follicular Unit Extraction:

FUE harvesting as commonly addressed by hair transplant surgeons, this procedure involves the individual extraction of follicle groups of between 1 to 4 groups of hairs, under localized anesthetics. It is a microscopic removal procedure that requires surgeons to use binocular type microscope. These microscopic patches of hair follicles measure to about 0.6 mm to 1.0 mm in diameter, no bigger than that of a pin head. The extracted follicles also include the surrounding scalp tissues, and are inserted by the surgeon on tiny sites on the affected scalp by the use of a placement tool. Puncture woulds are usually the result after this surgery and pain and inflammation is reduced to a minimal after post operation procedure, recovery period could be as long as a week (7 days). Some surgeons however disclose that the chances of Follicular Unit Extraction to be successful is very low, and that a number of sessions would be needed to arrive at a satisfactory result.

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The History of Hair Transplantation

During the 19th century, the first crude attempt to cover a balding man’s head was done by using the scalp band, which was a particularly large amount of scalp tissue that contained the original veins and blood supply. This procedure meant literally exposing the top part of the cranial plate, hence exposing the skull itself. In the early 1930′s, in Japan, modern surgical techniques were incorporated when surgeons used small tissue grafts even to the point of follicular grafts, to repair some portions of a damaged eyebrow and it was not originally for the purpose of male pattern baldness. Unfortunately, their efforts were not received with enthusiasm during those time and the onset of World War II further delayed their pursue of advancing their methods for another 20 years.

The arrival of modern post war technologies and advancement in science and medicine, had paved the way for the western world in the later part of the 1950′s. In the United States of America, particularly in New York, a dermatologist named Norman Orentreich, started to work on the principles of donor grafting of follicular growth and transplanting them to affected areas, that would later be used as the standard procedure of hair transplantation. During the early years of the conceptualization of hair graft transplantation, it was thought that hairs that were taken out from a healthier area on the head would survive and propagate as normally as it would from the area that it was taken from.

The principle of donor transplant was further supported by Dr. Walter P. Unger, who defined the principle that extraction of healthy hair follicles for transplantation on the recipient site, said that from the most potential part of the area of the head, a donor healthy donor follicle would survive and thrive just as well and just as long as it would in it’s original place. Even as today, these are the same principles used by hair transplant surgeons and dermatologist. For the following 20 years, work continued to improve a refined and effective method of propagating and implanting follicular tissues. In the 1980′s, an American doctor named William Rassman was successful in using “micro grafts”.

Since the introduction of microscopic procedures continued to improve, doctors were having trouble in effectively performing these surgical operations. It was not until the late 1980′s that Dr. Limmer, created a specialized binocular type of microscope that can be worn on the face as an attachment to the spectacles or eye glass. Further improvements of the methods of follicular hair transplant became more refined as improvements on both the methods and equipments also gave practicing surgeons a chance to refine their approach on the proper procedure. The sizes of the surgical tools became smaller that allowed a faster and more precise surgical incision that left very little post surgical scars. So refined was the improvement in surgical tools and procedure, that it enabled the implantation of over 50 grafts in a single square centimeter area.

Improvements in the procedure concerning the angle and orientation of implants provided a natural way on how the newly planted follicles would grow out to create a seemingly natural growth pattern. Veering away from the traditional direct downward implantation plane of trajectory, surgeons were now adopting a lateral slit implantation technique since the early years of 2000. This enabled surgeons to create a brushed effect when the follicles grew out after fully recovering from the surgery, providing an angle that covers an ample amount on the area of the affected scalp region. Of course, even in the advent of modern techniques and procedures, there are always disadvantages that come out of any surgical procedures. Lateral incisions tend to destroy the veins on the scalp, causing less blood irrigation to the newly planted follicles.

Procedures of Hair Transplantation Surgery

Her is a simplified method on how the basics of hair transplant surgery works, as to give a simple point of view on how the procedure takes place from beginning to post surgical recovery. The primary concept of hair transplant surgery was originally for follicular restoration of damaged hair that covers portions of the body particularly the eyebrows and head, and was not meant for male pattern baldness to begin with. It all starts with initial consultation with a hair surgeon to evaluate the affected span of the damaged area. The doctor will make the proper diagnosis to the patients scalp to make valid decisions on the proper procedures that will not compromise the end result. The doctor will give the patient his honest opinion on the expected result in view of the procedures that will be made.

Even days before actual surgery, the patient is strictly refrained from engaging in the use of alcohol, smoking and any counter indicated prescription medicines that may induce hemorrhage during the surgical proceedings.

Surgical Proceedings

Usually, hair transplantation is considered as minor surgery and that it is considered an outpatient procedure that only involved mild sedatives, which is optional, to relax the patient and localized anesthesia, as such surgery can last up to as long as 6 hours. The scalp is washed clean with an antibacterial shampoo. After the administration of a mild sedative, the scalp is then subjected localized anesthetic prior to follicular extraction. The surgeon then proceeds to to harvest a portion of the scalp tissue from the posterior area which is composed mostly of good hair growth. The strip of follicular tissue usually measures about 1 to 1.5 by 15 to 30 centimeters. After the extraction, the surgeon will close up the wound where the follicular tissues were taken, while this is being done, the extracted tissue will then be cut up into strips, prior to implantation.

The extracted strips will then be cleaned from any excess of fibrous fatty tissues while avoiding to incur any unnecessary damage to the follicular area. The latest surgical method called “trichophytic closure” ensures surgical recovery that will only result to pencil line scars. As compared to the olden days of the procedure, today’s modern methods disregards the use of large areas of the scalp nor the need to initiate bigger surgical incisions. The modern use of micro blades and ultra fine surgical needles to make puncture wounds for surgical implantation, the surgeon does all the proceedings from start up to the point of making the final puncture points in where to plant the donor follicular tissues, while implantation technicians are the ones that put the follicular tissues in their final places.

Post Operative Care

Semi-permeable dressings are finally applied to the area, which allow the seepage of excess blood and albumin. Daily change of clean dressings are needed in order to maintain a good hygienic state as to ensure that there will be no post operative onset of infection. The affected area must be shielded from direct contact from sunlight as it may cause unnecessary growth of bacteria that may infect the fresh wound. The application of bacteriostatic shampoo is needed in order to keep bacteria from causing any chances of growth and maintain a favorable scalp pH balance that will stave down any possibilities of irritations. During the process of healing, scabs will naturally adhere to the hair follicles that may make the newly implanted follicles to fall off, and this is during the first 7 to 10 days after the operation.

The newly recovering scalp will experience post operative trauma or shock that eventually fall off, fortunately, after two to three months after the operation, hair will begin to grow and as expected, it will grow normally and will continue to improve on it’s growth for the next six to nine months after the surgical procedure. The first two to three months will evaluate on the chances of the surgery to succeed or not as some cases would imply, failed to produce adequate or positive results, requiring them to undergo subsequent surgical proceedings for the second time. Nowadays, DNA test are first made to ensure that the patient’s follicle compatibility is viable for follicular tissue transplantation in order to make a predictive outcome of the surgery. Guess work is usually decreased as to know the possibilities of a favorable outcome in order for the surgeon to recommend any alternative procedures that will be of favor to the patient.

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Male Hair Loss Patterns

In 1975, Dr. O’tar Norwood, published a standardized definition establishing a world wide classification in naming the two most common patterns in male pattern baldness. Along with this, he also named several other less common types related to similar conditions predominant to male pattern baldness as well. It is within these classification that hair specialists and doctors that deal with certain hair conditions, base their over all evaluation and approach prior to addressing the proper procedure of applying the needed clinical treatment in regards to male pattern baldness and hair loss.

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Class I – This condition is related to adolescent or juvenile receding hairline conditions. It does not necessarily mean an immediate progress resulting to baldness at this stage in the case of the hairline starting above the beyond normal position in regard to the age of the individual.

Class II – This can be easily be indicated with proportion to the eye brow’s crease measuring at a fingers length up to the present position of the hairline. This is usually a condition that starts between the age of the early 30′s and the early 40′s for males. This is normal according to specialists and does not classify as the start of male pattern baldness.

Class III – This is considered as the first sign of clinical baldness. It can be defined as the real start of the manifestation of hair loss and can be determined by the loss of hair or the deepening of the temporal regions of the hairline. The temporal region are the opposite end of the hairline and are the first to manifest the signs of hair loss. As hair loss progresses, the temporal regions deepen further upward, going towards the backside of the head. This can be seen as like that of the letter “M”.

Class III Vertex – This is another Class III condition that involves the onset of hair loss on the top most part of the crown (Vertex) of the head. Unlike the first case condition, it can not be easily visible at a first glance since it usually begins on the top most part of the head and you may need an extra mirror to see the actual condition.

Class IV – This classification is best described as an apparent disappearance of most of the hairs on the top most crown of the head. Its characteristics imply a remaining growth of strands from the original vertex (crown) that still exists, giving it a sparse evident appearance of baldness.

Class V – This condition is the progression from the Class IV condition in which the remaining sparse strands of hair have totally receded. The obvious manifestation of the visible balding area of the crown and the hairlines are almost viewed as one,

Class VI – This condition can be defined as the total loss of all remaining hairs on the crown. The crown has totally lost all visible growth of hair, thus exposing the whole front and top most region of the head. The only visible hair growth that remains unaffected at this point will be that of the sides of the head.

Class VII – This is the final stages of male pattern baldness which can be defined as the total disappearance of all remaining hair from the front, crown and to some extent, as far as the backside of the head. The remaining hair growth on the sides of the head may well be sparse as well.

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Dr. O’tar Norwood based his classifications in regards to the most common patterns found in men with male pattern baldness. However, there are also diffused unpatterned hair loss conditions that do not fall within his published clinical studies. The genetic cause of hair loss in men that contributes to male pattern baldness is very hard to determine in regards to finding the adequate solution for clinical evaluations since it is not easy to make constructive diagnosis from clinical data such as these.

Diffused Patterned Alopecia and Diffused Unpatterned Alopecia are both predisposed genetic condition, most of the time hereditary in origin. It is the first imperative to fully understand the origin of it’s symptoms before proceeding to any sort of medical treatment. Diffused Patterned Alopecia (DPA) falls under Dr. O’tar Norwood’s classification. However, Diffused Unpatterned Alopecia (DUPA) has no predictable pattern to begin with and could even start to manifest just about in any part of the head.

DPA and DUPA patients that would want to undergo hair transplant are faced with certain issues regarding the procedure’s chances of being successful. DPA candidate are often times successful when undergoing hair transplant as opposed to DUPA candidates. DUPA face an uncertainty in regards to hair transplant procedures for reasons of their unstable genetic disposition.

 

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Treatment Options for Thinning Hair

Thinning hair remedies can help in many different, often surprising ways. Whether you are a a male or a female, figuring out why your hair is thinning is the first step in learning to slow or reverse the effects. Here are some different treatment options that could be available to you and tips on which ones will work best for different causes of thinning hair. Also included is a quick rundown of some things you can check for to help you and your doctor decide what exactly is causing this problem.

 

Things to Check for

 

Your first step in this process will most likely be to evaluate your hair loss and gather information that can help the doctor decide what is causing your thinning hair. Look at yourself in the mirror and examine the areas where your hair grows the thickest. Also try to figure our, which areas are the thinnest. Using a comb, check just how much hair you are losing at a time. Have this data ready when you visit your doctor so they can use it to diagnose your hair loss.

 

Different Causes Require Different Treatments

 

One of the most common causes of baldness is male pattern baldness. As men age they begin to lose hair because of genetics. There is no cure for this type of baldness but many things can be done to help slow, or even stop the hair loss from continuing. Starting treatment at an early age when the thinning and balding begins is one of the best ways to minimize the damage that is done. Thinning hair remedies are as individual as the patient and no treatment will work the same way for two different people.

 

More Causes

Although male pattern baldness is the most common form, thinning of the hair can be caused by medication that you are on, hormones, not taking care of your hair and scalp, poor diet, or stress. If the problem is occurring because of medication you are on, the best course of action is to talk with the doctor who prescribed that medication. Maybe there will be an alternative to what you are on that does not have that side effect. Most of the time when the medication is taken away the problem will go away soon after.

 

Hormones can complicate the situation a lot. A test from a doctor can show that your body has too much of certain hormones which may be the cause for your thinning hair. The doctor can give you a few different things that can help change this. Adding additional hormones or taking medication to change how much of the current hormone is in your body is the usual route taken.

 

Poor Hair Care and Improper Diet

If you have spent long years not taking good care of your scalp and hair, it may be thinning because of that. There are shampoos and conditioners that are meant to help make your scalp and hair healthy again. Use these in combination with a scalp moisturizer once a week. Massaging those products into your scalp can help to stimulate your hair follicles.

 

Poor diet for extended periods of time can have bad effects on all parts of your body including your hair. Starting to eat better and taking vitamins can help to reverse some of the damamge done. Protein, vitamins, and minerals are all crucial to hair growth.

 

Stress

 

Stress can cause your hair to thin and fall out as well. Working to reduce your stress with the help of medication or therapy can result in your hair getting thicker and can stop it from falling out. Try to keep yourself calm at all times if possible. There is medication that has recently been tested on mice that gives promising evidence of stopping and reversing the hair loss caused by stress. However, the easiest remedy for thinning hair is to relax and try to avoid whatever is causing the stress.

 

More Drastic Measures

 

If your hair loss is past the beginning phase, you may need to take more drastic measures to fix the damage done. Surgery is available to take healthy growing hair from other areas and transplant it in the places where the hair is thin or has fallen out completely. In many cases, the hair will then start to grow again. It may take many sessions to fix it completely, but it is a step in the right direction.

 

If you have thinning hair or are starting to go bald completely, there are many options available to you. Contact your doctor as soon as you see the issue arise and take care of it as soon as possible. This will help to ensure that you still have full hair as you grow old.

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What Kind Of Treatment Is Effective For Hair Loss?

People that suffer from hair loss often feel overwhelmed by the options and advice available to them. With many different types of hair loss and just as many opinions on how to treat it, finding the right way for you can get difficult to say the least. Thats why we made a list with simple steps to take when you start experiencing hair loss. This will make your treatment easy to understand and you’ll know exactly where to start.

Step 1:

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Try to understand your hair loss. Look at your self in front of the mirror and try to figure out which spots are starting to get  thin the most. Use a comb and see how much hair you lose. This is important so you can clearly describe the situation to your doctor. Look at possible causes for your thin hair. Could nutrition be the reason for you hair loss?? Are you under a lot of stress? Are you a man and male pattern baldness is running in your family? If you understand what’s causing your thin hair then it will be easier for you to treat it as well.

Step 2:

Visit your doctor or another specialist to get the full picture. A doctor will be able to tell you the exact reason for your hair loss and can help recommend the best treatment for thinning hair. Describe what you have identified so far. Reasons can include a hormonal imbalance which can be treated. It is important to take this step to rule out any health issues.

Step 3:

Follow the treatment plan your doctor provides. You might be required to take a vitamin, change your diet or help your hair with biotin. It is important that you follow each and every step. Your physician knows what he’s doing. So make sure you take his advice.

Step 4:

Change your diet. Make sure your diet is rich in protein and vitamins. Eating healthy can do wonders for your hair. It is also a good idea to start using the right shampoo for thinning hair. Proper hair care is absolutely essential.

Step 5:

Get a hair cut. See your hair stylist and specifically mention your thin hair. He or she will be able to make your hair look fuller just by cutting it. Check out our hairstyles for thinning hair section to find out more about how haircuts can help.

Step 6:

Use a scalp moisturizer. A dry scalp can cause your hair to fall out. Make sure you keep it moist and healthy at all times!

Step 7:

Massage your scalp. Massaging your scalp can help improve blood flow. This will stimulate hair follicles which are responsible for hair growth. Massaging your scalp for a few minutes per day can work wonders and feels great!

The steps above are general tips and tricks to help treat thin hair. None of the steps will help a balding man to have a full head of hair within a week but combined they can certainly help stop or reverse your hair loss and make thin hair look thicker. You really can’t go wrong here so just give it a try and let us know how it’s going!

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Shampoos that Prevent Women’s Hair Loss and Thinning

There are a small percentage of women that have a problem with hair loss and thinning as it is not a common problem compared to that of men. One of the most probable solutions is choosing a shampoo and other hair care products that can help this sort of problem. Matching the right kind of shampoo formulation or other products for your thinning and hair loss problems would take the help of a specialist to determine the root cause of your problem. Different kinds of hair loss and thinning problems require different solutions in regards to choosing the right product.

 

 

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It is of the utmost importance to seek out the cause of the problem of hair loss that may require a number of treatments as well as a combination of products as well. Determining the proper treatment method for your specific hair loss and thinning problem can be best determined by taking into account three basic points on how to find the best solution to your hair loss problems.

 

  • Finding the exact root cause of thinning hair loss and the most appropriate plan of how to treat it.

 

  • Find the proper shampoo, vitamins or any hair loss thinning products that can best tackle and produce the adequate solution to your hair loss problems.

 

  • Seek out the best supplementary treatments that will prevent the further acceleration of your hair loss problems as to arrive at a definite fixed solution that will not deviate from the expected treatment benefit.

 

Find the cause of your thinning hair loss problems and how to adequately treat it

Male pattern baldness is a common problem with men and is the sole cause of hair loss and thinning. For women however, hair loss can be traced to some natural biological occurrences such as menopause, lactation, pregnancy, menstruation or dirt and chemical changes that go along with the natural cycle that affects the roots and follicles of the hair. Hence, hair loss shampoo for women are formulated differently from those used by men.

 

Other causes of hair loss and thinning could be traced to stress, poor diet and adverse side effects medicines for in the treatment of illnesses. It is the utmost importance to determine the cause of your hair loss whether that be from heredity, environmental or health. The main idea here is to focus on the root problem itself, in the case of male pattern baldness, sebum and other dirt and toxins embedded in the scalp are cleaned and removed. Nutrition also play an important factor in determining the adequate intake of the much needed vitamins and minerals to help the follicles grow and improving blood circulation to the scalp.

 

 

The best products that will treat the problem of hair loss

Selecting the right product is as important as finding the root cause of your hair loss problems. The chances in succeeding with your hair treatment is based upon the product that will address your problems. First thing to consider in a hair loss treatment product is the beneficial effect of making the roots and follicles thicker and healthier. A product that can guarantee this specific effect is a must in your checklist. Secondly, besides making your roots and follicles healthier and stronger, it also put body and thickness to your hair as most hair loss treatment products nowadays do both.

 

Most shampoo for women’s hair thinning and hair loss have topical vitamins and minerals that prevent the penetration of ultraviolet rays (UV) while it nourishes the roots and follicles of the hair. These topical vitamins and minerals provide added external nutrition that help the scalp to circulate the proper blood flow and promote healthy roots and follicle propagation.

 

Such treatments that use Vitamin B complex, specifically B12, B6 and B3 (biotin), Amino Acids and Niacin, which are more of a supplementary method to the deficiency of these important vitamins and minerals, not to mention the use o Minoxidil as well, have all been clinically proven with positive results.

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Dealing with thinning hair

About the author

I am 53 years old and live in Miami. I have two kids, one boy and one girl with my wife Linda. My son Jon is now 19 years old and in College. My daughter Jennifer is 14 and still in High-School. We also have a dog. When I don’t work in the marketing department of a health company, I like to spend time outdoors with my family and friends. I don’t do as much sport as I should but my family and me go on a skiing vacation at least once a year.