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Male Hair Loss Overview

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Statistics indicate that hair loss, usually in the form of male pattern baldness, affects two-thirds of all men by the time they reach the age of 50. Fortunately, since their inception in the 1970s, hair replacement methods have evolved and improved over time.

Experts say that for the most noticeable results in the least amount of time, the most logical choice is surgical hair restoration or hair transplant surgery.

Most hair transplant procedures require multiple surgeries. Depending on the desired look and the health of the donor hair area, several thousand different hair follicles can be transplanted, over time, from the back of the scalp to the top or front, as are needed to restore the hair.

Some Insights into Hair Transplant Surgery

Surgical hair replacement involves transplanting healthy hair from the back of the subject's scalp (known as the "donor hair" area) to the balding areas (called the "recipient area") on the top and front of the head. The healthy donor hairs are used to create hair grafts, or "small replacement hairs that are placed in balding areas throughout the scalp."

Cosmetic surgeons ask those considering hair transplants to grow hair long in the back before the hair restoration surgery. This allows for a larger donor area. Hair transplant surgery largely depends on a healthy and plentiful donor area from which to harvest. In simple terms, the greater number of healthy and transplantable donor hairs, the more options doctors have to fill in balding and thinning areas of the scalp.

After a brief healing period, the transplanted grafts take root and can eventually become permanent masking a significant degree of hair loss.

The hair follicles that grow in the back of the head regenerate more easily than those on the top or front, which is why the back of the head serves as the donor area during a hair replacement procedure. Much like replanting a tree, for example, the healthy root of the donor hair is placed in the recipient or balding area of the scalp. After a period of 2-4 months, the transplanted recipient hair falls out and then starts to re-grow using the root from the donor hair.

When the same process is repeated several hundred even several thousand times and the recipient hairs begin to grow, the balding areas become masked. The resulting look can greatly diminish the appearance of hair loss.

Is Hair Transplant Surgery Safe for Everyone?

Hair transplant surgery is a generally low-risk procedure, but men considering surgical hair restoration must first consult with a physician. Men who are prone to skin infections or anemia and those taking beta blockers (medications generally prescribed for cardiac arrhythmias and hypertension) are not considered good candidates for hair transplants. Also, males who drink large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis are not ideal candidates.

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