For years the mainstay of hair restoration was standard hair transplantation. Today, we not only have different options for achieving a hair transplant, but also a variety of nonsurgical ways to prevent and correct hair loss.
With follicular unit extraction (FUE), we can now remove hair grafts from the back of the head without a linear scar. This technique, however, is a much longer procedure than traditional follicular unit transplantation (FUT). Now with the Neograft® device, we can perform follicular unit extraction almost as easily and quickly as a standard hair transplant procedure. This device performs two important steps, the incising of the graft and the extraction of the graft, in one quick movement. In addition, patients will notice less swelling and downtime than the traditional hair transplant. Patient who have had FUT appreciate that there is no uncomfortable stitching with the Neograft® procedure.
Our nonsurgical techniques have improved as well. We now have two new options; platelet rich plasma (PRP) and Light therapy. PRP uses the patient’s own plasma to stimulate hair growth. This is done by drawing a small amount of blood, spinning it down to achieve a platelet rich plasma that is high in products that promote hair growth. This is then injected into the thinning areas of the scalp. Treatments are done here in the office with minimal downtime. Although formalized protocols are still being developed, PRP is typically done as a series of treatments followed by maintenance every few years.
Light therapy is another new form of treatment. While still very much in the developmental stage, most patients see a significant increase in hair thickness and number with treatments. We utilize laser caps which can be worn at home. The caps are initially worn 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes. Utilizing low level light therapy (LLLT), we are able to stimulate hair growth. Light therapy is ideal for diffusing thinning in woman who are not usually good hair transplant candidates.
Medical therapy greatly improved with the introduction of finasteride (Propecia). While it is the best medication to prevent and regrow hair, it is unfortunately only for men. That said, nine out of ten men that take Propecia either keep the hair that they have or regrow hair- an excellent statistic considering the challenges of male pattern hair loss. Propecia is a medication that requires continued use for maintenance. In addition, there has been some controversy regarding side effects which we discuss with all patients prior to starting.
At the present time there is extensive research into possible future treatments including stem cell technology and hair cloning. These treatments hold promise for those who may not be candidates for the treatments we have today or who need more substantial rejuvenation.
While hair transplantation remains the most predictable and effective treatment for hair loss, there have never been more options for those looking to alternative treatments or just wanting to further enhance procedures that have been done.
Contact Hamilton Facial Plastic Surgery today to book your Hair Transplantation treatment.