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FUE Hair Transplant – The Ultimate Hair Loss Cure?

For any man or woman, the odds of enduring thinning hair are high. Eighty-five percent of men will suffer male pattern baldness by the age of 50, while 50% of women will suffer female pattern baldness by the age of forty. And with hair carrying such social and cultural weight with regard to beauty, sexuality, and success, this means that most people are searching for a hair loss cure.

In the ongoing search for this Holy Grail of cosmetic refuge, the balding will most assuredly come across various treatment options. From Rogaine to FUE hair transplant, to stem cell hair cloning, it may be difficult to decipher what really is the ultimate solution to pattern baldness.

Finding the Hair Loss Cure: Options

The ultimate option lies in what the sufferer wants to gain, aside from the obvious head of hair. Is this head of hair temporary? Permanent? Surgical? Non-surgical? The truth is, there really is no “ultimate” option—only the best option for the individual. FUE hair transplant is the best surgical option available, while Rogaine is the best over-the-counter treatment, Propecia the best prescription available. And there are also some natural remedies that may help to slightly reduce hair loss over the years, like vitamins and adequate sleep.

What Makes FUE Hair Transplant the Ultimate Surgical Hair Loss Cure

FUE hair transplant largely blossomed in the 1990’s. FUE stands for follicular unit extraction and requires individual graft excision from the donor zone; contrary to its long-time competitor FUT (follicular unit transplant) which harvests the donor hair by excising a strip of flesh from the donor zone.

With FUE and FUT being today’s leading methods of surgical hair restoration, a comparison between the two shows quite evidently why the former is a superior option. (Of course, either technique is only as good as the surgeon performing it.) FUE hair transplant leaves behind no linear scar, provides more room for hairline design due to the freedom to extract specific donor hairs, and has less downtime after surgery. It has also paved the way for the groundbreaking technique, body hair transplant, wherein donor hair can be extracted from several areas on the body rather than confined to the rear scalp.

When all is said and done, the ultimate hair loss cure depends on what the patient wants and needs. No one can determine your best treatment option but you.

Large Volume FUE Body Hair Transplant Procedures With The Help of uGraft

Real Self ( a popular site for patients to ask questions that are answered by real doctors) recently asked Dr. Umar about the phenomenal results his patients experience as a result of body hair transplant.

According to the site, most hair transplant patients who participate on Real Self say they received between 2,500-5000 grafts. But many of the individuals treated by Dr. Umar receive 10,000-20,000 grafts using hair from different areas of the body.

Body hair transplant gave excellent results in this patient

Body hair transplant gave excellent results in this patient

 

before and after images of body hair transplant procedure performed by Dr. Umar

before and after images of body hair transplant procedure performed by Dr. Umar

 

The key to being able to accomplish this lies in using the uGraft technology. This was developed by Dr. Umar himself.

The large volume results that body hair transplant  achieves using uGraft is amazing. And it offers much promise to patients with severe forms of baldness. But what is also interesting is that these procedures make excellent use of hair that is normally considered to be undesirable.  According to Dr. Umar,We seek to use a perceived disadvantage of body hair (namely thin caliber) to our advantage … to feather out what was hitherto considered a good hair transplant derived hairline … in order to give the hairline the subtlety that is expected in natural form.”

This patient video which was featured on Real Self shows the results of a patient body hair transplant procedure that used 20,000 grafts. Initially, 15,000 grafts were reinserted. And a year later, Dr. Umar touched up areas of low hair density using 5,000 grafts. The donor pool of these two procedures consisted of 5500 grafts from the head donor area and 14,500 grafts from other areas of the body: nape, beard, chest, abdomen, legs and arms.

 

The use of body hair for transplant procedures can offer wonderful results.  However there are a few considerations to be aware of. The follicles taken from other regions of the body will grow hair that has the same qualities as before:

  1. Difference in color between head and body hair.  In some patients, head hair is a different color from body hair. Once body hair follicles are reinserted into the scalp, they will continue to have the same color
  2. If non-beard hair extracted from other regions of the body are used, they will continue to grow at the same length. For example chest and leg hair will continue to be short once used on the head
  3. The texture of body hair will not change once they are transplanted into the scalp.

Body hair transplant is essentially an advanced form of Follicular Unit Extraction.  Although FUE technology like Neograft and Artas is available to help facilitate different aspects of the procedure, they are not ideal for harvesting follicles from body regions.

 

 

Treatment Options for Severe Baldness


Many people have an innate understanding of what severe baldness looks like. But there are also objective criteria, also known as the Norwood scale, which describes different progressions of baldness.  Each phase is illustrated in a diagram. Type 6 and Type 7 illustrate the clinical diagnosis of severe baldness.

The Norwood scale is used to assess  various degrees of baldness.

The Norwood scale is used to assess various degrees of baldness.

Although there are solutions that have received wide acclaim for the treatment of hair loss, most of them do not work with equal effectiveness on everyone. This is especially true in cases of severe baldness.

  1. Rogaine

Rogaine is also known as Minoxidil  which is an over the counter vasodilator that increases blood flow to the area where it is applied topically.  The exact mechanism for how this drug works for hair restoration is not clear. Initially Minoxidil was intended for high blood pressure. In research studies, hair growth was experienced as an unintended side effect. Indeed many individuals have benefitted from a twice a day application of Rogaine. But hair growth effects only occur in the crown area, and not the frontal hairline or temples.

Rogaine can be helpful for the beginning stages of hair loss by preventing the hair from further thinning. But there is no guarantee that it can restore hair in all individuals. A Rogaine treatment regimen for those with severe baldness will not work.

  1. Propecia

The generic name for Propecia is Finasteride.  Finasteride is available as a prescription with a  strength of 1mg. It inhibits the hormone DHT from affecting the follicle.  In some individuals, hair follicles are sensitive to DHT. As a result, hair shafts will fall out. Propecia can therefore help prevent further hair loss in patients with early signs of hair loss. However it cannot restore hair or be considered as a treatment for severe baldness.

  1. Strip Surgery

Strip surgery is the considered the traditional hair transplant method. It is not a viable treatment option for severe baldness because the technique requires the excision of a hair bearing strip of skin from the mid posterior region of the scalp. In a severely bald individual, this amount of donor hair would not provide sufficient coverage.

  1. uGraft- Body Hair Transplant

One of the most recent advances in Follicular Unit Extraction is the use of body hair as a donor source.  Refinements in this application have led to a follicle survival rate of 80%.  Treatment for severe baldness is feasible if candidates have ample supplies of beard hair or hair from the legs, shoulders, stomach, chest, nape, or arms.

The main concept behind Follicular Unit Extraction is to excise individual follicles for transplant. Ideally the surgeon is able to cut around the hair graft in order to extract it. But sometimes the punch may not be precisely aligned and the graft is buried instead. The uGraft is a tool that not only prevents this from occurring, it also eliminates a step in the process and shortens the overall operation time.  It’s use in conjunction with Body Hair Transplant (BHT) has produced highly successful results as a treatment for severe baldness.

body hair transplant gave excellent results as a treatment for severe baldness

body hair transplant gave excellent results as a treatment for severe baldness

 

How is A Natural Appearance Achieved In Hairline Restoration?

One of our most recent videos in FUE hair transplant featured this patient whose procedure focused on hairline and crown restoration. 10,000 grafts were extracted from the head and nape areas.

 Before and after results of FUE hair transplant with uGraft

Before and after results of FUE hair transplant with uGraft

The construction of a natural looking hairline is probably one of the most challenging aspects of hair replacement surgery. There are many details that contribute towards a quality outcome.

1. Ethnic Characteristics- Hairline restoration should be performed with the understanding of  different hair growth patterns and  nuances within  different ethnic groups.

2. Natural Hair Growth Patterns- The results should look indistinguishable from someone who has not had any hair loss. Normally, the outer edge of a hairline will have finer caliber hairs that are arranged in a relatively irregular pattern. In an FUE hair transplant  procedure, each hair graft should be spaced within close proximity. Otherwise it would be easy for people to tell that grafts were inserted.  Going from the hairline towards the back of the head, the hairs gradually become thicker. The doctor must be mindful of these natural patterns including the direction and proper angles of hair growth. Softer hairs can be extracted through techniques in FUE hair transplant from areas such as the nape or other regions of the body. Re-inserting these finer hairs also requires specialized skill to avoid trauma to the skin that could result in outcomes such as pitting, cobblestoning, poor yield and tufting.

UGraft an advanced FUE procedure enables Dr Umar to use finer caliber hair for the purpose of achieving a soft looking hairline that closest to nature. With uGraft, finer hairs from the nape of the neck or even leg hair is used in the vanguard areas of the hairline to give a feathered soft look.

Follicular units extracted through FUE usually contain a natural grouping of 1-4 hairs. For the softer hairs of a hairline, grafts with only one hair should be used to avoid the look of plugs that patients do not want.

3. Decision on the best hairline shape-In an FUE hair transplant procedure, there is also the consideration of what hairline design would look the absolute best for a particular patient.  Certain hairline shapes frame the face better than others. They should not be placed too high as this result would do a poor job of framing the face. The contour should have a visual harmony in balance with the temples. The hairline should not be too low where it might look like a hairpiece. All these different variables require the expertise and the skillful touch of an experienced hair restoration surgeon.

FUE hair transplant technology, such as Neograft, with vacuum suctioning capabilities may  cause trauma (through air drying, and hitting the sides of the vacuum tube) to delicate follicles, particularly the ones bearing finer hair. However patients can choose to have the suction turned off. during their procedures.

Artas which is an FUE robot uses algorithms as opposed to a vision of the final outcome to select each hair graft.  On a final note, Dr. Umar believes that FUE technology requires further refinement before it can even be considered for the  extraction of body hair follicles.

Naomi Campbell and Other Celebrities With Traction Alopecia

 

Naomi Campbell will be starring on her own reality show about modeling called The Face . Although she has been known as a beautiful supermodel with a bad temper, she made headlines about two years ago in 2010, drawing attention to her traction alopecia  condition on the sides of her head.

Cameras caught her off guard as a stylist was getting her ready for a photo shoot. The pictures of Naomi Campbell’s hair loss soon made their way across the web to various celebrity news sites. Without a doubt, people were quite shocked.

What Causes Traction Alopecia?

While some people jokingly commented that Naomi’s hair loss was the result of karma, traction alopecia is caused by the stress and tension from hair extensions and other styles that pull the hair such as braids, cornrows, dreadlocks and ponytails.

Many women make the mistake of wearing their extensions for months at a time. It is recommended that they should only be worn for 3-4 weeks before they are removed.

If the condition is caught early on, hair can be restored by growing back. With more advanced phases of traction alopecia, hair does not grow back because the shafts were pulled so tightly causing trauma to the follicles as well as inflammation. Infections, pustules and papules and also manifest from the follicular damage.

A few indications of traction alopecia can include:

  1. Pain after the extensions are put in place
  2. Soreness in the scalp due to extensions or wearing a ponytail
  3. Extensions break off

Other Celebrities With Traction Alopecia

Having perfect looking hair is an important part of being camera ready in the entertainment industry. This is why extensions are depended upon by many models and celebrities, regardless of their ethnicity. But most people are not really aware that loss of hair can be a consequence from prolonged use.

Famous media figures who have been photographed with apparent evidence of traction alopecia include:

  1. Victoria Beckham
  2. Rihanna
  3. Britney Spears

What Can Be Done To Fix Traction Alopecia

If the condition is discovered early and the individual works with their dermatologist, the initial signs of traction alopecia can be reversed. Antibiotics and cortisone can be administered to stop infections and inflammation that may be damaging the hair follicles.

Hair loss  from advance stage traction alopecia may have some potential for being restored through transplant procedures.

 

traction-allopecia-050

Traction alopecia is a form of hair loss that mainly affects women due to the wearing of extensions and various styling practices

 

 

 

Information On the Causes of Hair Loss

 

According to American Health Journal, 40 million men and 20 million women in the United States suffer from the loss of hair, known as androgenic alopecia or pattern baldness.

The need for solutions has spawned the development of many products and various types of endorsements which claim to stop hair from falling out and encourage the growth of new hair.

Researching information on the causes of hair loss will help you make better choices in finding the right options and knowing what to reasonably expect.

Info. On Genetic Causes of Hair Loss

Androgenic alopecia occurs differently in men and women. Genetic info for the hair loss condition is located on the X chromosome. Men have the XY pair of chromosomes. And when they inherit the genetic coding for androgenic alopecia, it is fully expressed since the Y chromosome will not mask the condition.

Women are characterized by the XX pair. If they inherit androgenic alopecia, it will be expressed only if both X chromosomes carry the genetic coding.

The genes for pattern baldness will carry info to create protein receptors on the hair follicles that will contribute to hair loss by being sensitive to the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a metabolite of testosterone.  DHT causes the follicles to release their hair shafts and shrink.

Info. On Contributing Causes of Hair Loss

Sometimes other variables can speed up the process of losing hair in those who are genetically predisposed to androgenic alopecia. These factors include:

1)      Stress

2)      Sleep deprivation

3)      Dietary deficiencies

4)      Weak blood circulation

5)      Thyroid issues

6)      Drug usage (e.g. hair loss is a side effect of some antidepressants)

7)      Infection

8)      Hormone imbalance

9)      Pregnancy (in women)

There may be causes where an individual experiences hair loss and there is no info to support a family history of pattern baldness. It is likely that these other variables are the main reason they are losing hair. Knowing this makes it possible to actually prevent further loss and restore the hair.

Info. On Hair Loss in Women

In men, family history is a reliable indication of whether or not they will experience pattern baldness.  There is more of a direct relationship between genetic info and hair loss.

In women who experience female pattern baldness, there is likely to be other variables that contribute to the condition besides genetics. Usually this includes hormonal imbalances and environmental factors which exacerbate the interaction of their sensitive hair follicles with DHT.

Women will typically experience hair thinning on the top part of their scalp which may or may not spread to other regions

 

Hair Loss Info

(image courtesy of baldingblog.com) Genetic info and other factors can contribute to hair loss and thinning in women

 

Final Note:

Educating yourself on hair loss info  is a valuable undertaking as you work to find the right treatment options.  It is nevertheless important to work with a doctor in pinpointing the causes that pertain to your situation.

 

 

Why Botox Is Being Researched As A Cure For Hair Loss

 

If you are researching different methods that are intended to restore hair, you may have come across Botox as an off-label treatment.

Most medical experts are still skeptical. While some research has supported a correlation between Botox  and its ability to reverse hair loss, the outcomes are not conclusive in verifying the injection as a cure.

Why Do Some People Think That Botox May Be A Hair Loss Cure?

A doctor in Beverly Hills was trying to treat his mother for migraines using Botox. She was a cancer patient who had lost much of her hair due to chemotherapy. As a result of the Botox injections, he noticed that her hair started to grow back.

From this experience, he performed additional tests on volunteers to see if Botox could be a possible cure for hair loss. According to his reports, Botox, (along with a regimen of vitamin supplements) was able to offer positive results for many of these individuals.

However part of the skepticism generated in response to these anecdotal claims is due to the lack of photographic evidence and publications in the form of peer reviewed articles.

Research On Botox As A Hair Loss Cure

A team in Canada organized a formal research study to learn more about the effects of Botox on hair loss. Fifty subjects were observed with different levels of baldness (Norwood scale II-IV). They were given 300 units of Botox over 24 weeks.

To see if Botox made a difference in the hair loss, researchers measured growth progress on an area of the treated scalp measuring 2cm. The loss of hair was monitored quantitatively by collecting hair from each of the subject’s pillows. The objective, of course, was to see if the number of hairs decreased over time.

Was Botox found to be a cure for hair loss? Actually, the study did show a positive correlation. Results found that the number of head hairs increased by 18%. Hair loss decreased by 39%. And the response rate to using Botox was 75%.

The researchers believe that Botox works in a manner similar to Rogaine, by enhancing the supply of blood to the hair follicles. Since Botox relaxes muscles, this would decrease the constriction around the blood vessels. The increased oxygenation helps prevent the breakdown of testosterone to DHT. DHT causes follicles to shrink in individuals whose follicles are sensitive to this metabolite.

Botox cannot be considered to be a cure for hair loss, despite the results from this research. Keep in mind that this study only found a correlation. This not the same as a causal relationship.

There are still many variables that need to be investigated further before considering Botox to be an official hair loss cure.

Botox as a Hair Loss Cure

Many people are interested in a cure for hair loss which is a progressive and permanent condition.

 

 

Is There Such Thing As A Cure For Hair Loss?

The most common type of hair loss that individuals seek a cure for is pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia.

In the truest sense, a cure would treat the root causes of baldness in order to stop the hair loss from progressing and restore the hair. With pattern baldness, the ultimate cause is genetic. Genes carry instructions for creating proteins, including the protein receptors on hair follicles.

In those who have androgenic alopecia, these receptors are structured in way that renders them incapable of defense against the follicular damage caused by DHT (dihydrotestosterone) , which is a breakdown product of testosterone and an enzyme, (enzyme 5-alpha-reductase). DHT causes these follicles to shrink and release the hair shafts.

As of now, there is no medical intervention that can cure hair loss by changing DNA programming.

The Perspective of FUE Hair Transplant As A Cure For Hair Loss

Although genetic treatment for hair loss is not currently available to patients, the next best option would be hair transplant using techniques in Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).

FUE hair transplant procedures can be viewed as a hair loss cure

because of the results that are achieved. In this context, the word cure has to do with fixing the issue as it has manifested. This would be the next best approach to take for baldness since DNA treatment is currently not available to patients.

Although FUE cannot treat the underlying causes of hair loss, it can permanently restore the hair in patients whose hair loss has stopped progressing.

This is why it is important for younger patients (25 and under) to wait before seeking a cure for hair loss through a transplant procedure. If surgery attempts to treat individuals who are continuing to experience hair loss, they will end up with cosmetically unacceptable results. It will be plain to see the fully restored regions along with odd patches of missing hair. Inevitably they will need another surgery to correct this.

As a cure for hair loss, Follicular Unit Extraction can result in outcomes that permanently reverse the manifestations of baldness, almost as if it had never occurred at all. Please keep in mind that the quality of the end results really depends on the expertise of the hair restoration surgeon, and not the fact that they offer FUE. There are many cases of patients who have received less than ideal results as well as those who received the best outcomes possible.

Follicular Unit Extraction can even help hair loss patients as a cure, so to speak, for severe baldness and those with limited donor supplies. With new techniques in body hair transplant, the doctor is able to carefully select each hair graft from areas such as the beard region, chest, arm, leg, nape and hairline around the ears.

 

Hair Loss Restoration

Severe forms of hair loss can be treated with FUE which offers the results of a cure for the condition

 

In searching for the right hair loss cure, always consider the probability of the end results instead of the initial allure of different claims and

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rogaine and Propecia- Do They Grow Hair?

Rogaine and Propecia are both well known pharmaceutical products that many people turn to, mainly  when the causes of hair loss are genetic.  They are not cures for baldness. So it is important to understand what to reasonably expect if your objective is to grow hair.

Rogaine

Hair Growth with Rogaine

Rogaine has been shown to grow hair in clinical studies. But growth is not guaranteed across all individuals. (image courtesy of www.drugstore.com)

 Rogaine is also known as Minoxidil.  It is available over the counter as a topical solution which must be applied morning and night.  Full effects are usually evident within a four month timeframe.

Rogaine is a vasodilator that helps increase blood supply to hair follicles. It can be used for androgenic alopecia (pattern baldness) and alopecia areata (caused by autoimmune disfunction).

The exact mechanism behind how the medication works is not clear. It was originally intended to treat high blood pressure. However, one of the side effects noticed in clinical studies was hair growth.

The ability of Rogaine to help grow hair  is not consistent across everyone. 85% of the male subjects in a 16 week study experienced hair growth. 60% of female subjects were able to grow hair after 32 weeks.

Hair growth from this product only occurs in the crown area and not the hairline. However Rogaine’s effectiveness is in preventing further loss.

Propecia

Propecia and Hair Growth

Propecia is available by prescription. It’s ability to grow hair differs across individuals.(image courtesy of: www.franklindrugcenter.com)

Propecia is also known as Finasteride, which is available as a prescription in pill form.  Effects can be seen in 3 months to about a year. This medication works by inhibiting DHT, which is a breakdown product of testosterone. Patients with androgenic alopecia, or pattern baldness have hair follicles that are sensitive to DHT. Their hair shafts fall out as a result.  Propecia cannot be taken by women.

Like Rogaine, Propecia can only grow hair in the crown area, if at all. However it also prevents the progression of baldness.  So discontinuing either product will worsen the condition of hair loss.

 

Using Supplements to Help Grow Hair

 

 

Hair Growth Supplements

Image courtesy of www.fitness.com-Vitamins and minerals can optimize and regulate body functions that help hair grow

 

Individuals suffering from loss of hair might be interested in the topic of using supplements to grow hair. However this may or may not be a viable solution for everyone. The effectiveness of supplements depends on the causes behind the loss of hair.

Genetic and Environmental Causes of Hair Loss

1)      Androgenic alopecia  (pattern baldness) is primarily hereditary. This is when follicles are sensitive to the presence of androgen hormones in the blood stream, causing the hair shafts to fall out. With a genetic condition using supplements to grow hair will probably not result in the type of hair restoration that the individual hopes to see.

2)      Environmental causes of hair loss can include stress, malnourishment, iron deficiency reaction to medications. According to Dr. Umar, Hair follicles can be one of the first areas of your body to respond to stressful life situations.  They enter a resting phases which can precipitate the loss of hair. If stress or medication is the primary cause of hair loss, limiting the exposure to these factors can be helpful.  If nutritional deficiencies are the main reason, then vitamins and supplements can certainly be used to grow hair.

Nutritional Supplements To Grow Hair

If you are wondering what types of vitamins and minerals can be taken to make hair grow, here is a list to consider.

Vitamins To Help Grow Hair

  1. Vitamin A is used to build new red blood cells which are needed to carry oxygen and nutrients to areas like the hair follicles
  2. B Vitamins contribute to circulation, metabolism and cell division. In particular Biotin and folic acid (synthetic form of folate) are particularly helpful for hair growth.
  3. Vitamin C supports collagen synthesis which is needed for healthy scalp tissue.  It also protects from free radicals
  4. Vitamin E supports blood circulation and the absorption of oxygen

Minerals To Help Grow Hair

  1. Iron is found in a structural protein within your hair follicles called ferritin. When your iron intake is low, your body will attempt to use iron sources from “less essential” regions like the hair follicles.
  2. Zinc helps with basic functions of the body that are needed to grow hair. These include cell production, proper balance of hormones, protein synthesis and vitamin absorption.
  3. Copper plays an important role in the production of melanin, the pigment that gives hair its color. It also stimulates the follicles to function at its best.
  4. Silica is needed for the overall health of the follicles and scalp. It also contributes to hair length and strength.
  5. Selenium is a micronutrient that enables the body to metabolize certain proteins, which are processes important for hair growth.

 

Vitamins and supplements are not a cure for baldness, but contribute to the healthy functioning of your body. This helps to optimize the ability of your hair to grow at a healthy rate. Ensuring an abundant supply helps to encourage and maintain this process.

If you are interested in taking vitamins and supplements to help grow your hair, be sure to speak to your doctor about which ones to take as well as dosages.