Common Questions about Hair Loss
Genetic pre-disposition plays a major role in hair loss. Most commonly, men and women alike inherit the propensity to lose their hair from either or both of their parents.
Unlike the way many of us experience hair loss in nightmares, one’s hair generally does not come out all at once or in thick clumps. Rather, it tends to occur progressively over time. The age of onset and the rate of hair loss vary due to a number of factors – again, the predominant of these factors is genetic.
Doctors and scientists are still in the early stages of researching and finding a “cure” for the unique events that determine the metabolism and programming of our hairs – from our scalps to our eyebrows and eyelashes. A better understanding of these and other physiological and pharmacological factors may allow us to provide more effective medical therapies in the future.
Though some local circulatory and hormonal conditions show signs of a connection with hair loss, more research is necessary if we are to understand this unfortunate phenomenon in its entirety.
While it is true that hair loss cannot yet be prevented, certain conditions have been found to aggravate or even initiate the process. These include malnourishment, use of chemicals, hair braiding, and severe illnesses, to name a few. The good news is that we can dispel some of the negative myths about hair loss right away: wearing hats or caps, excessive shampooing, clogged pores have no effect on the process.
Facts about hair loss:
- Hair loss is not clinically apparent until 50% of hair is already lost.
- Hair loss affects roughly 35 million men and 21 million women in the United States alone. Around 40% of men will have noticeable hair loss by the age of 35. Hair loss affects nearly 40% of women over 40.
- Baldness is the most common complaint among men, followed by diffuse hair loss. The inverse is true for women, most of whom register their primary grievances with the experience of diffuse hair loss.
- Preventative medical treatment (either Rogaine or Propecia are popular options) can prove effective when properly implemented. These treatments must be implemented in an ongoing fashion; an interruption in the treatment will likely result in a noticable step back.
- Hair loss is associated with hormonal causes, or androgenetic alopecia, in more the 90% of cases. The hormone most associated with hair loss is dihydrotestosterone (DHT, for short).
What can I expect from the procedure?
The procedure typically lasts 3-8 hours, depending on the case and the extensiveness of the transplant. You will receive a local anesthetic in both the donor and recipient areas. The amount of discomfort during the procedure is minimal – in fact, many patients even rate the small pinch of dental block higher on the pain index.
You will be fully awake during the procedure and can pass your time watching TV, listening to the radio, or engaging in light conversation. Of course, you are also welcome to take a relaxing nap and get up to eat or go to the bathroom, if needed.
You will have a dressing in the surgical area to keep it protected, and the doctor will walk you through all post-operative instructions. Please arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home, as you will b given medications that, while safe, may impair your ability to drive. As a matter of course – and because we value your company so much – we generally arrange for a brief check-up after a couple of days spent healing.
How many surgeries will I need?
The number of the sessions will depend on several factors, including:
- The area of the scalp treated
- The number and size of grafts used
- The patient’s desired density of hair
- The hair’s physical characteristics, e.g. coarse hair will provide a denser, more full-bodied look than fine hair
In summary, the number of sessions varies between individuals. We can arrive at an estimate during your in-person consultation.
Common questions about what causes hair loss
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Have questions or want to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation with Providence Hair Restoration Center, serving the Boston area as well as Rhode Island and southern New England? Simply call us (401) 400-8245 or complete the form on the right and we will get back to you as quickly as possible. Virtual Consultations Available!