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Crowning glory

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Non-surgical treatment is the first line of defence against falling hair, but if it doesn’t work, try hair transplants, says Dr Mohan Thomas

The biggest concern for most people, and predominantly males, is hair loss. Hair is an important determinant of physical attractiveness and means of expressing one’s feeling and individuality. Although female pattern hair loss is also very common, few women consider taking treatment as it is thought that oiling will improve hair. Hair loss often affects a person’s self-image, esteem and their quality of life.

Non-surgical hair treatment is the only way to retain the present state of hair, both in terms of number and coverage. Everyone, whether young or old, with dark hair or grey,  male or female, benefits from this treatment if they are actively losing hair.

This first line of treatment will also improve the quality of the hair growth along with stimulation of the dormant hair follicles to grow. This treatment includes supplements of specific minerals and vitamins to nourish the hair follicles, applications like Minoxidil to increase the blood flow in the skin, oral medications to block the effect of Di-hydro testosterone and injections of Platelet rich plasma infused with growth factors so as to stimulate dormant hair follicles to grow. This treatment plan provides a 25-50% improvement in the number, quality as well as the texture of the hair in 90% of people. The only area which may not show an improvement is the hairline.

For areas which are resistant to improvement with non-surgical treatment, a hair transplant is the only solution. The basic principle of a hair transplant includes transferring healthy hair from the back of the head (everyone has a crown of hair on the back of head) to the area of necessity. It is to be noted that the transplanted hair displays the same characteristics which it had in the donor area. It means that hair harvested from the back of the scalp will retain the ability to grow till old age.

 There are two basic techniques of hair transplant which are based on the way the hair is harvested, namely FUE and FUT.

FUE, or Follicular Unit Extraction, involves using punches to core out the hair along with its root from the back of the head. This is done without making any cut or involvement of sutures. The most important care of this procedure is to extract the hair along with its root, failure of which will cause the loss of the graft. Many physicians and technicians use this technique as it is simple but the outcomes are dependent on the experience of the operator.

FUT, or Follicular Unit Transection, involves harvesting a strip of hair of hair from the back of the head. The grafts harvested through this technique are superior and hence yield good results. The only concern in most people is the presence of a thin line scar on the back of the head.

FUET is our combined technique which is used in people having a significant hair loss and requiring large number of grafts for the best results.

A combination of treatments is required so as to prevent hair loss in the first place and add hair grafts in areas where hair has been lost. This is the only way to achieve a consistent growth and cover of hair for the best outcome.

Dr Mohan Thomas is Senior Cosmetic Surgeon, Cosmetic Surgery Institute

Short Takes

For areas which are resistant to improvement with non surgical treatment, hair transplant is the only solution. 

Hair harvested from the back of the scalp will retain the ability to grow till old age.

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