By Dr. Alan J. Bauman, Hair Loss Specialist
Everyone is familiar with the common signs of hair loss… crown balding and receding of the hairline in men, as well as less volume and less coverage in women with more scalp shining through. But the physical symptoms like hair in your brush or sink are actually NOT the most worrisome aspect of someone who is experiencing unwanted hair loss.
Hair loss is often considered a cosmetic problem, but surveys and studies continue to find that losing your hair can have various different negative psychological effects including lower confidence and self-esteem. Hair changes can make someone look and feel older, less healthy and feel less confident. In extreme cases, hair loss can also cause depression, anxiety and other socially-damaging emotional issues. These psychological effects can be especially problematic to women because trying to conceal their hair loss can amplify insecurities and adversely affect how they feel about themselves on a daily basis.
The negative stigma that some people associate with hair loss is sometimes strong enough that it actually prevents men and women from seeking professional help once symptoms first start. Instead, many times, they try to either ignore the signs or attempt to conceal their hair loss on their own with a new cut, or by wearing a hat or scarf. People many times end up squandering valuable time and money by trying over-the-counter products that promise to be “miracle treatments.” All of these distracting activities only worsen the problem because the longer you wait to address and actually treat your hair loss, the more difficult it can become to resolve it. Despite what many believe, hair loss is a treatable condition. Preventing and catching it early and starting a treatment sooner rather than later can make all the difference when it comes to safeguarding the fate of your follicles and maintaining your emotional well-being.
Another misguided fear regarding hair loss treatments comes from public’s misconceptions about hair transplants. Recent medical and technological advances have made hair transplant procedures virtually undetectable. Unfortunately for many, the simple mention of the “T” word (Transplant) still conjures up feelings of discomfort and images of doll-looking hair plugs as well as unsightly scars. Thankfully, today, we have minimally-invasive techniques that permanently restore the hair in a way that is safe, comfortable and most importantly, undetectable. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), 60 percent of participants could not tell or spot a hair transplant patient.
These increasingly undetectable results over the past decade are due in part to advances in FUE technology. FUE, or Follicular Unit Extraction, is an effective option for men and women that allows for a quicker, more comfortable recovery with less post-op activity restrictions. The results also avoid and completely omit the tell-tale linear scar on the back of the head that is associated with older and more invasive linear or “strip-harvest” type of hair transplants. Most important is the artistic planning for the angle, orientation and placement of each individually harvested hair follicle by the physician, which allows for a completely natural, permanent restoration of living and growing hair. FUE is also a great “touch-up” option for patients who had transplants done years ago and for those who have been told they didn’t have enough donor hair to have another restorative procedure. FUE also allows for the harvesting of beard and body hair. These “new-found” follicles can be used to fill in troublesome areas on the scalp and give the patient the ability to restore themselves back to a full head of hair.
The FDA-cleared NeoGraft FUE hand-held device can be used to extract individual permanent hair follicles from the donor areas – which are then implanted into the bald and bare areas of the scalp. This means no scalpels, sutures, or staples are used while harvesting and no long, linear scar. The FUE hair transplant technique has been available for more than a decade, but prior to NeoGraft, it was too time-consuming and expensive for most patients to utilize. Now that the FUE process can be accurately and efficiently performed, surgeons can perform the “Highest Quality” of hair transplants in considerably less time, and at less expense for patients, all with excellent hair regrowth results.
ARTAS Robotic System:
The FDA-cleared ARTAS robot is an exciting medical device that assists hair transplant surgeons by helping to safely and effectively extract hair follicles for transplantation using the FUE technique. The robot’s precision allows patients to benefit from an unprecedented level of safety; efficacy and comfort during their hair transplant procedure. The innovative ARTAS robotic FUE system uses advanced digital imagery to map and analyze the hair in natural groupings on the scalp. The system features precision robotics—utilizing special cameras and software to detect and analyze follicular units—calculating density, exit-angles, orientation and location and proceed with harvesting based on specific algorithms
pre-programmed by the surgeon.
One of the most exciting features of the ARTAS System is the ARTAS Hair Studio, an interactive software program that allows the surgeon to create a digital 3D preview image which will help “paint the picture” for patients to ensure that they have realistic expectations about their results, before going into surgery.
The bottom line is, hair loss is a treatable condition and not something you have to live with or hide and worry about. If your hair restoration physician recommends a hair transplant, don’t let unwarranted fears stop you from turning back the clock and achieving amazing permanent results. Preventing further hair loss and improving hair growth will help restore a feeling of vitality, youth and confidence in both men and women.
Dr. Bauman’s tips for keeping your hair transplant a secret:
Select minimally invasive NeoGraft FUE or ARTAS Robotic System for your transplant procedure– which leaves no telltale linear scarring, no stitches to be removed, and offers a shorter, more comfortable recovery.
Prior to your procedure, grow your hair to more than one inch in the donor area.
This allows you to easily conceal the ‘stealth-shave.’
Wear a bandana or hat for one week following your surgery to cover the transplanted areas until the scabs fall off.
Use healing treatments (like low level laser therapy, healing mist sprays, topical PRP, etc.) to accelerate skin recovery.
Choose a surgeon and staff who can create an aesthetically natural and undetectable hairline. It is important to consult a hair transplant doctor who is certified in hair restoration by the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery, recommended by the American Hair Loss Association and routinely attends the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery Annual Scientific Meetings.
air Restoration for Men and Women
#BadHairDay…? Beyond Physical Symptoms; The Psychological Impact of Losing Your Hair
By Dr. Alan J. Bauman, Hair Loss Specialist