Hair transplantation is the only effective method for treatment of complete hair loss (baldness) in men.
Male pattern baldness is a gradual conversion of hairs from the terminal (healthy, thick) to a vellus (clear, tiny) state. It is an hereditary condition that can be inherited from the mother or father.
Androgenic alopecia is caused by the effects of the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT: a testosterone derivative) on genetically susceptible scalp hair follicles that are located in the front, top and crown areas of the scalp.
Testosterone is converted to DHT by 5-alfa-reductase enzyme in hair follicle cells. The activities of both the enzyme and the hormone are increased in the areas where hair loss occurred.
Hair loss in men is progressive throughout their lifetimes. The effects tend to be exhibited in 2 key areas: Receding hairline and thinning crown. Eventually these will join up to leave the top of the head bald.
However, on the back and sides of the head, the hair follicles are immune to the effects of DHT and hair is therefore programmed to grow for life. A hair transplant procedure works to relocate those “lifetime hairs” to the top of the head in the areas where thinning or balding occured, i.e. reconstructing the hairline, crown or the top of the head.
Typical progression of hair loss in men (Norwood stages or classification): (Unclassified patterns of hair loss may be seen in some individuals)
Mild hair loss: The first sign of the onset of male pattern hair loss is when frontal recessions begin to appear in the hairline (type 1 and type 2).
Moderate hair loss:Over time these recessions become larger and much more noticeable, and the hairline moves further back. Independently or at the same time frontal recession is occurring, a thinning area may appear on the crown which will gradually increase in size. (type 3, type 4, and type 5).
Severe hair loss:The final stage is when the hair is lost completely from the crown and frontal region, and leaving the familiar horse shoe shape. (type 6 and type 7).
Hair loss may be in the form of thinning or complete baldness for each stages.
General principles of hair loss treatment with hair transplantation in men:
It is important to understand that male hair loss is in itself progressive and irreversible. We are born with a finite number of hair follicles and once they cease production of hair, that process is programmed to not resume.
However, hair loss is treatable. According to your hair loss pattern, Dr. DeYarman can recommend treatment plans tailor-made to suit your needs. These may include hair transplant surgery, medication or a combination of techniques.
Mild hair losses (type 1 and type 2):
If the hair loss is recent and men are under the age of 30, we do not recommend hair transplantation until the rate of shedding has decreased or stopped completely. These men can often successfully use an alternative medical treatment to decrease or stop the hair loss process.
If shedding of the hair has stopped or the rate has decreased and remained stable for at least 6 months, hair transplantation may be recommended and appropriate.
The transplanted hairs will be permanent. If the original hair continues to shed with increased age, a new hair transplant session(s) may be useful and necessary.
Moderate hair losses (types 3, 4, 5):
Hair transplantation is the ideal and effective treatment method. In accordance with the degree and surface area of hair loss, very successful results can be obtained with one or more hair transplant sessions.
Severe hair losses (types 6, 7):
If the desire and expectations of the person are realistic, hair transplantation can be performed.
One to two sessions with more than 3000 grafts (3000 to 4000 grafts) generally covers the anterior and top areas of the scalp. To increase the density and to cover the crown and the back areas of the scalp, 2 or 3 sessions of hair transplantation can be performed to obtain the pleasing result.
The overall density is determined by the hairs’ length, thickness, texture, and to some degree, color.
The sessions must be performed at 9 to 12 month intervals in order to see the end result of the previous hair transplantation and to give the donor area sufficient time to heal completely.
The total surface area, and more importantly, the density of the hairs in that area determine the overall density in the transplanted areas. If the donor density is high in men with severe hair losses (despite a reduced donor area), then more grafts can be obtained during each session, and therefore a better recipient area density can be obtained as well.
Even in men experiencing a very severe type of hair loss, hair transplantation may be advantageous – it will move hair to the top of the head.
Each patient‘s condition is unique and will be discussed in detail with Dr. DeYarman during his initial consultation.