The technical name for male or female pattern baldness/hair loss is androgenic or androgenetic alopecia. Although this progressive condition typically worsens over time, the hair that is no longer growing can be restored through different hair transplantation procedures. During the procedure, follicles are harvested from the donor area by the restoration or transplantation surgeon. Donor areas are those scalp areas where a person’s hair is programmed genetically to continue growing throughout their lifetime.
3-Phase Life Cycle of a Hair Follicle
1) The Anagen phase – active hair growth lasting 2 to 6 years
2) The Catagen phase – transitional hair growth lasting 2 to 3 weeks
3) the Telogen phase – the “resting” phase which lasts roughly 2 to 3 months; the hair is shed at the end of this phase and is replaced by new hair as the growth cycle re-starts
5 Types of Hair Loss
Granted, as you grow older, your hair growth rate becomes increasingly slower. The growth is slower and the hair loss is higher. These increases with time and genetics play a roll. There are 5 different types of hair loss to be aware of including:
- Alopecia areata – this condition is characterized by the sudden onset of patchy hair loss in children, teens, and young adults
- Alopecia universalis – a unique condition wherein all body hair including eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair falls out
- Androgenic alopecia – a genetic condition that is oftentimes referred to as male and female pattern baldness
- Involutional alopecia – the natural, gradual thinning of hair as a person ages
- Scarring alopecia – permanent hair loss caused by inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and other skin disorders
Is Transplant Surgery a Cure?
Donor hairs are transplanted into the balding or thinning areas of the scalp to help restore the hair they’ve lost. One of the more common questions that hair transplant patient candidates often ask is “Will the surgery prevent future hair loss from occurring?” Unfortunately, the answer is no. While the transplanted follicles help to restore the hair that was lost in balding and thinning scalp areas, it won’t prevent the future loss of your existing or non-transplanted hair.
By understanding how this condition progresses, today’s hair restoration and transplant specialists or surgeons can create a customized hair loss treatment plan that is tailored to the specific needs of the patient. Basically, the plan helps compensate the patient for any predictable future changes as their hair loss progresses. So as you can see, hair restoration or transplant surgery is compensatory rather than preventative.
Fortunately, there are some non-surgical procedures or treatments that can help such as low level laser therapy, Propecia, and Rogaine Foam. If on the other hand, your condition is significant, a restorative or transplant procedure may be the right solution for your specific needs. With some patients, additional procedures may be required in order to experience optimum results.