Hi, I’m 24 years old with thin and receding hair. What can I do?

CaptureYour first step should be to consult with a dermatologist or hair restoration physician about medical hair loss treatments. Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride) are the only two clinically proven and FDA approved drugs for the treatment of androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness). Starting these drugs early can help save a lot of hair that would otherwise be permanently lost. You may even regrow hair that you’ve already lost, although medical treatments are not known to be effective on a receding hairline. This is typically treated surgically.

You may not be a candidate yet for hair transplant surgery. However, a skilled, experienced and ethical hair transplant surgeon can assist you in formulating a long-term plan that may eventually include surgical hair restoration.

To view our criteria for recommending hair transplant surgeons, click here.

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David (TakingThePlunge)
Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
To share ideas with other hair loss sufferers visit the hair loss forum and social community.

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What is best treatment for frontal baldness (receding hairline)? Most products only work on the crown it seems.

receding hairlineUnfortunately, there are no non-surgical hair loss treatments proven to regrow a receding hairline. Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride), the only two clinically proven and FDA approved medical treatments for male pattern baldness, work best on the crown.

The only sure way to restore a receding hairline is through hair transplant surgery. However, not all hair loss sufferers are candidates for surgical hair restoration. If you would like to learn more about hair transplants and find out if surgery is right for you, I suggest contacting one or more of the pre-screened, quality hair transplant surgeons recommended by the Hair Transplant Network.

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David (TakingThePlunge)
Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
To share ideas with other hair loss sufferers visit the hair loss forum and social community.

Technorati Tags: , , Rogaine, , Propecia, , , , hair loss, ,

This question, from a member of our hair loss social community and discussion forums, was answered by Coalition hair transplant surgeon Dr. Glenn Charles:

Three months ago, I underwent Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS) and I need to return to work. I haven’t told anyone at work about the procedure and I would like to keep it to myself. Because of this, I’m looking for ways to camouflage my healing hair transplant scar. Any suggestions for hiding the scar? Also, is it safe to use concealers 3 months post-op?

hair loss concealersAt 3 months post-op there should not be any harm caused by using cover-up products (concealers) on the donor area. However, I do recommend cleaning area daily.

As far as actually camouflaging the scar is concerned, DermMatch – or another cream-based product like COUVRe- might work a little better because you can carefully place it directly on the scar.

If you are going to use a microfiber product - such as Toppik or Nanogen Fibres  - you will also need the holding spray (locking mist). However, either type of concealer will likely provide you with decent coverage and allow you to keep the procedure to yourself.

Dr. Glenn Charles
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Blake – aka Future_HT_Doc

Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Hair Loss Learning

Center, the Hair Loss Q&A Blog, and the Hair Restoration Forum

Follow our community on Twitter

Watch hair transplant videos on YouTube

This question comes from a member of our hair loss social community and discussion forums

It’s been around 12 months since I had my Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS) and I’m now ready to start cutting and styling my hair differently. Part of this new styling involves shaving (“buzzing”) my head in the donor region, and I’m afraid the strip scar is going to show. How short can I shave the back of my head with a hair transplant scar?

FUSS scar fixedAltogether, it will vary and depends on a number of factors. For example, individuals with a thinner scar, higher density in the donor region, coarser, curlier hair, and hair similar in color to the scar tissue will be able to shave to a closer guard.

However, in general, it seems like most hair transplant patients shave to somewhere between a “4″ and a “6″ guard (also known as a “number 4″ or “number 6″) without issue. Others may shave closer, but this seems to be where most strip scars are thoroughly camouflaged. What’s more, those concerned about visible scarring in the donor region or patients who desire a closely cropped haircut may want to consider Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). Although there is still scarring with this procedure, many believe the small, circular extraction scars are less visible under shortly shaved hair.
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Blake – aka Future_HT_Doc

Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Hair Loss Learning

I have taken 1mg of finasteride for several years and am now in my mid-fifties.  Surprisingly, I have maintained decent coverage despite poor genes.  Recently my hair has changed significantly in texture and volume.  This has seemed to coincide with a bout with a kidney stone.  I was unable to keep anything down due to nausea including meds.  My hair wasn’t a priority and my finasteride dose was sporadic for almost a month. I have resumed my daily dose but fear that irreversible damage has been done.  Could this interruption have such dramatic effects on my hair health?

Propecia BoxStopping Propecia (finasteride) for one month can result in noticeable thinning. Unfortunately, no one can predict if restarting the drug will regrow hair that is lost during this period. The only way to find out is to start taking it again and wait for new hair growth. This can take up to 6 months to become noticeable.

It’s important to remember that hair grows an average of 1/2 inch per month. The hair shaft is made of dead keratin proteins. Because this visible hair is already dead, its texture doesn’t change quickly without some sort of external influence like chemical treatments. Instead, texture changes happen slowly over time as older hair is replaced with newer hair growth. That change can take several months to become noticeable.

This question comes from a member of our hair loss social community and discussion forums:

I’m looking into hair transplant surgery, and wondering what type of density is achievable with the procedure? Can I achieve the density I had before experiencing androgenic alopecia (male pattern hair loss)? What is the maximum density achievable with hair transplant surgery?

chrisdavNormal hair density – in individuals not suffering from hair loss – is somewhere between 80-100 follicular units per square centimeter of scalp. Thinning is not visually obvious until approximately 50% of the native density has shed. This means transplanting between 45-55 follicular units per square centimeter during hair restoration procedures is normally sufficient.

Implanting at densities of 80-100 follicular unit per square centimeter (“normal” hair density) is usually never done. This happens for several reasons: 1. because it is not necessary and wastes finite grafts; 2. because implanting at this density may overwhelm the blood supply and cause shock loss in the surrounding native hairs; 3. because severe damage or diversion of the scalp blood supply can potentially cause necrosis or other serious issues.

Because of this, the maximum density achievable with hair transplant surgery is usually somewhere below natural hair density. While most surgeons will transplant somewhere between 45-65 grafts per square centimeter, some will implant at slightly higher densities. These surgeons will only do so when they are certain they will not overwhelm the scalp blood supply or cause excessive shock loss.
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Blake – aka Future_HT_Doc

This question, from a member of our hair loss social community and discussion forums, was answered by Coalition hair transplant surgeon Dr. Glenn Charles:

I have male pattern baldness (MPB) and my sides and back are thinning too. I got my blood checked and everything was okay except a little low vitamin D. What causes thinning hair in the hair transplant permanent zone on the sides and back?

Dr. CharlesSome patients have diffuse hair loss in all areas of the scalp. Generally, these patients are not good candidates for hair restoration surgery. However, you should visit a hair transplant surgeon to determine if you are in this category.

Dr. Glenn Charles
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This question comes from a member of our hair loss social community and discussion forums

I’m undergoing Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS) and my hair transplant physician claims he will close the strip extraction wound with staples instead of sutures. Should I ask that he use sutures instead of staples? Which one is better?

FUT staplesThe whole “suture versus staple” debate really boils down to physician preference. Some doctors believe sutures provide better closure and reduce the chances of scar stretching. Other hair restoration physicians like using staples in the scalp, and believe this creates the best post-operative scar. Most experienced doctors have likely experimented with both and came to their own conclusions.

In the hands of an expert, it is probably best to go with the method they use most frequently and consistently.
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Blake – aka Future_HT_Doc

Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Hair Loss Learning

Center, the Hair Loss Q&A Blog, and the Hair Restoration Forum

Follow our community on Twitter

Watch hair transplant videos on YouTube

Technorati Tags: hair loss, Follicular Unit Strip Surgery, , hair transplant, hair restoration

This question, from a member of our hair loss social community and discussion forums, was answered by Coalition hair transplant surgeon Dr. Michael Beehner

I’m undergoing a Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) procedure and I’m wondering if I should ask the surgeon to use body hair grafts (body hair transplant (BHT)) as well? When should body hair grafts be used in hair transplant surgery?

Dr_Beehner_photoIn my opinion, beard and/or chest hair should be the last resort in looking for donor hair. The only time beard hair might be a first choice would be in the instance of transplanting a mustache in someone missing an area from burns or heredity.

Scalp hair, however you can get it, is always the first choice for transplanting the scalp, simply because its texture, diameter, curl, etc are all exactly the same as what was there before. We have done over 30 cases of harvesting beard or chest hair (in 6 cases we harvested both). Beard hair has the advantage of growing fairly long with a longer anagen (growth) phase. Chest hair only grows to around 1 1/2-2 inches at most in length. Neither one can be used at the hairline or at the rear border, as they are likely to “stick out” like a “pig in the poke.” They should only be placed centrally for “fill.”

This question, from a member of our hair loss social community and discussion forums, was answered by Coalition hair transplant surgeon Dr. Glenn Charles:

Is chest hair or beard hair better for body hair transplantation? Beard hair is coarse and curly unlike scalp hair. Yet, chest and leg hair is fine and straight.

Dr. CharlesIt really depends on the type of hair the patient has on their scalp to begin with.

I still think body hair transplants (BHT), in general, are more of a last resort when there is no scalp hair available for hair restoration surgery.

Dr. Glenn Charles

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David (TakingThePlunge)
Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
To share ideas with other hair loss sufferers visit the hair loss forum and social community.

Technorati Tags: hair loss, hair transplant, , , ,

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