Hair Loss

The average adult has 90,000 to 150,000 hairs. Most grow about one inch every two months. Loss of anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs per day is normal. Hair loss beyond this rate may be due to:

  • Genetics and hormones. These are the most frequent cause of hair loss. This predisposition to balding is referred to as male pattern baldness, common baldness or androgenic alopecia.
  • Stress brought on by traumatic experience, nutritional deficiency or severe illness.
  • Medication side effects.
  • Other medical conditions such as anemia, under-active thyroid or fungal infection of the scalp.
  • Improper hair care caused by harsh chemicals or dyes, too frequent shampooing or combing or vigorous toweling.

Why treat hair loss

Hair loss is a particularly distressing condition that can lead to extreme emotional, social and professional issues.

What you need to know

Most hairs emerge from the scalp in groups of two or three. About 15 percent of hairs emerge as single hairs and another 15 percent in groups of four or five hairs. These small groupings of hairs are called Follicular Groups or Follicular Units (FUs). FUs are the building blocks of most modern hair transplanting. They are typically obtained by sectioning with the aid of a 6x-10x magnifying “stereomicroscope,” an 8mm- to 10mm-wide strip of skin that is excised from the donor area.

The advantage of transplanting exclusively with Follicular Unit Transplanting (FUT) is that a single session in a bald area or an area that is destined to become bald will result in a perfectly natural appearance. The donor site is sutured closed leaving only a narrow scar when the wound is completely healed in seven to 10 days. The donor scar also is usually excised within any subsequent transplant donor strip(s), so only a single scar is present in the donor area no matter how many transplants are carried out.

Do's and Don'ts

Do...
  • Dry hair gently.
  • Keep hair short (for men). Longer hair styles accentuate baldness.
  • Act sooner rather than later to deal with hair loss.
Don't...
  • Use a bristled brush for styling.
  • Comb over to the side to hide hair loss.
  • Use too many hairstyling products
  • Towel off too briskly.
  • Purchase unproven products.

Hair loss questions to ask a dermatologic surgeon

Hair Loss Questionaire

  1. Which hair loss procedure is the correct one for me? (What are the options?)
  2. What is the estimated cost of the procedure?
  3. How long is one appointment?
  4. How often will I need to receive treatment?
  5. How far apart are the treatments?
  6. What are the common side effects or complications associated with the procedure?
  7. How can I prepare for the treatment/procedure?
  8. Do the treatments hurt?
  9. What are my pain management and anesthesia options?
  10. How long is the recovery time associated with my procedure?
  11. Do you have before-and-after patient images to help to prepare me for what to expect?
  12. Will someone walk me through the process before going in for treatment?
  13. What are the risks?
  14. What should I expect after the procedure is performed? (i.e., short-term and long-term effects; activity restrictions; expected recovery period)

General questions to ask before hair loss procedures

  1. Is a doctor on site?
  2. Is the doctor board-certified in dermatology or in another specialty with equivalent training and experience?
  3. Was my medical history taken?
  4. Was I given an initial evaluation to determine if the technique or procedure is appropriate for my skin type?
  5. Did the doctor show me before-and-after photos?