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What Do I Do for Hair Restoration

Full head of hair is another important attribute of youth and attractiveness. For many men, male pattern baldness is a disappointing development. In the past, hair loss prompted many men to try various hair styles like comb overs, wigs or hair pieces, and even surgery to create a fuller head of hair. While the incidence of hair loss hasn’t changed much, thanks to some famous people, more men now just shave their heads rather than deal with frustrating hair treatments.

I think Michael Jordan was the first international star to proudly bare his head. Famous action stars like Bruce Willis also shaved their heads. The problem is, these men were good looking and had a good looking head. If you don’t have this benefit, then hair transplantation may be the best option.

Hair Transplant Process

Hair transplantation doesn’t create more hair for you. Rather, it’s taking existing hair on your head and then transplanting those hair to bald areas. We take hair from a donor strip that’s located along your temples and occiput. The reason hair transplants work is due to the donor dominance principle. Hair that’s programmed to keep growing your entire life will continue to grow even if it’s transplanted to an area that’s bald.

Even men with advanced balding will usually still have hair growing on the back of their heads. So you see, the limiting factor of hair transplants is the supply of donor hair you have. The more hair or more dense your hair is at the donor area, the more hair you have to transplant.

Because there is a limited supply of donor hair available, a crucial part of good hair restoration surgery is to plan where to place these grafts. The goal is to create a natural looking hairline that matches your age. The first priority is to create a natural hairline because that is what frames your face. Even if you have extensive balding, you don’t want to place most of the hair on your vertex because that’s not as important as the front view.

Once you’ve framed the face with a natural hairline, then you can implant the bald areas behind the hairline. A natural hairline should match your face and age. We don’t want to create a hairline you find in a teenage or 20-30’s gentleman if you’re in your 40-60’s. It won’t look natural.

Hair Transplant Techniques

There are two basic techniques in hair transplantation. The first and oldest technique is Follicular Unit Transplant, or FUT, or “strip technique.” This involves taking a strip of hair from your donor area, closing the wound carefully, and preparing the grafts from this large strip. This is my preferred technique because I have experience with this. It allows the most number of grafts, with higher survival, and is more cost effective.

The main disadvantage is it leaves a linear scar. So you need to grow your hair a bit longer to hide it. The second, newer, technique is the Follicular Unit Extraction –or FUE. In this technique, individual hair units are extracted using a punch technique. Proponents argue this leaves a less conspicuous scar and is great for men who want to keep a short cropped hair style.

However, the number of grafts that’s harvested is less than with a strip technique. In addition, it is more expensive since it is more time consuming to do. Finally, many men think they need the FUE technique because they think the scar is less visible with their tight hair cut. But many of these men had a tight haircut because they are balding. Once they have more hair, they may return to a longer hair style.

Regardless of how the grafts are obtained, the hair is prepared by technicians and then the most time consuming part is placing these grafts into the designed hairline and balding areas. Hair transplants can be done under local anesthesia with either oral or iv sedation.

Recovery is typically quite uneventful. You will experience temporary loss of the initial transplanted hair, but new hair will grow out.

For more information about  hair restoration for men, contact  Dr. Kenneth Yu in San Antonio, to schedule a consultation or please contact our Concierge Patient Coordinator at (210) 876-6868.