Surgical Hair Restoration

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Valerie DeBenedette, Senior Medical Editor

Valerie DeBenedette is a science writer who specializes in keeping people informed about medicine and their health. She has more than 20 years of experience writing for newspapers, magazines, and websites and has written about most areas of medicine. For many years, she was a contributing writer to Cosmetic Dermatology and to Drug Topics, the leading pharmacy trade magazine. She also was a contributing editor to The Physician and Sportsmedicine for many years. She has written about most fields of medicine, including dermatology, sportsmedicine, ophthalmology, general surgery, orthopedics, and women's health; as well as public health policy and the pharmaceutical industry. In addition, she is the author of Caffeine, a book for young people. She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers.


November 28 2007

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The Benefits Of Hair Restoration

According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), the number of hair restoration procedures in the United States climbed more than 13% between 2004 and 2006. Worldwide, the number of procedures has grown by more than 30%. Hundreds of thousands of individuals are taking advantage of the benefits, convenience, and affordability that surgical hair restoration offers.

The Benefits of Surgical Hair Restoration

Obviously, the biggest benefit to having hair transplants is the aesthetic change. You get a good head of hair that you can style the way you want. Most men and women want to have a fuller, thicker head of hair.

But, the benefits do not stop there. Having a good head of hair can build self-esteem, ease insecurities, and increase a person's willingness to participate in more social activities.

Many men and women who suffer hair loss become self-conscious and may feel they are less attractive. According to a recent consumer survey, more than 75% of those asked admitted that men sporting a full head of hair were sexier. Most people believe that hair loss would affect their social life or career. Two-thirds of people responding to a survey by the ISHRS said that they would be concerned if they were dating and were experiencing hair loss. Three-quarters said that they would be concerned if they were just starting their career and were experiencing hair loss.

Hair replacement procedures have been performed for nearly half a century and have an excellent record of safety and success. Thanks to continually advancing technology and practices, hair transplants look extremely natural. Today, doctors use follicle grafts that contain only a few hairs. These smaller grafts are then strategically placed to recreate a natural head of hair. Since they are the recipient's own hair, the transplanted follicles will continue to grow throughout the individual's life.

Who Is At Risk for Hair Loss?

It is estimated that more than 70% of men will have some type of hair loss during their lifetime. Typically, significant hair loss doesn't begin until middle age, but thinning hair can start as early as adolescence. Women may start to experience hair loss at any age. In women, a common pattern of hair loss is diffuse thinning over the entire top of the head. Regardless of at what age it occurs, hair loss can be a devastating experience—but not one without a solution

Hair loss happens for a variety of reasons, including genetics, age, autoimmune disease, and stress. However, hair replacement or hair transplants are the only permanent way to restore hair. Convenient and affordable, surgical hair restoration is a preferred method of treatment.

Medical hair restoration procedures are usually done in convenient outpatient surgery centers or in a doctor's office surgical suite. A local anesthetic and mild sedative ensure no pain during surgery. While postoperative discomfort varies depending upon the person and the extent of the procedure, oral pain medication can control it. Many hair transplant recipients do not even require bandages and can return to their normal activities within 24 hours. Within three months of the hair transplant, the donor hair will have begun to grow at a normal rate. The hair grows, looks, and feels completely natural, which is the biggest benefit of all.