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HAIR RESTORATION: HOW PERMANENT IS IT?

Millions of men suffer from male pattern baldness. In many men, the onset of hair loss signals the end of youth and virility; however, many products have been created specifically for hair loss treatment. Some people may even turn to increasingly popular hair transplant procedures. Each of these methods of dealing with hair loss requires time to work, investment, and repeated or permanent use of a product to gain permanent results. How permanent are these hair restoration treatments?

MEDICATIONS
  • Minoxidil – This product is commonly marketed under the trade-name Rogaine. It asserts the ability to rejuvenate the hair follicle and stimulate hair growth. The product expresses the need to start treatment prior to losing hair in a whole area. Minoxidil is available in several forms: foams, gels, and serums. Each means of application requires a minimum of four-months treatment before projected hair regrowth. Furthremore, the product doesn’t reduce the prominence of a receding hairline, nor does it work for men with a family history of hair loss. While it has shown promising results in the regrowth and strength of hair through increasing the blood flow available to hair follicles, it must be used constantly. If someone chooses to stop using this medication, he risks the loss of any associated growth and possible increased hair loss in the treated area.

  • Finasteride – Marketed as Proscar, or Propecia, this product was designed to treat alopecia, also known hair loss. This product has been used primarily in men; it works by decreasing the conversion of testosterone into ditestosterone in men. Ditestosterone is one of the hormones known to cause balding in men. This medication also has implications for men suffering from an enlarged prostate. As such, extra care must be taken to avoid drug interactions. This product also requires individuals to continue use throughout their lives. Similar to the Minoxidil caveat, if you stop using the medication, you risk losing any regrowth or a worsening of the hair loss

IS SURGERY A PERMANENT SOLUTION?

The answer to this question depends upon the quality of the surgeon and the amount of hair loss experienced. The following points address the issues found in hair transplant surgeries.

  • Since this involves a surgical procedure requiring general anesthesia, the patient will be at risk for the routine possible complications: blood clot formation, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia.

  • The basic principle of this surgery involves hair plugs, which describe the surgeon removing the entire follicle from a donor area, which is typically the back lower hairline. If a large amount of hair has been lost, the physician may be unable to place an adequate number of hair plugs into the recipient region of the scalp. The plugs may be visible or look unnatural.

  • Unfortunately, the biological processes causing the initial hair loss will carry-on and often affect the integrity and viability of the transplanted hair; therefore, many must undergo repeat surgeries.

Many men face the challenge of dealing with premature hair loss, and modern medicine appears on the edge of discovering a definitive means of permanent hair restoration. Only time will tell, but the current options of medications or surgery don’t appear to show the success rates men desire.