About Hair Transplant
Most people take their thick and lustrous hair for granted during youth until one fine day they realize that they are gone, and they need to do something about getting them back. For most of these people looking to get back their full or at least a fuller head of hair is not an impossible task today.
- The most common cause of hair loss is genetics in both men and women and accounts for 95% of cases of alopecia or hair loss.
- Diet, stress, medications, and illness are the other causes for loss of hair. Medications such as drugs which have been prescribed for high blood pressure, depression, heart problems gout or chemotherapy; vitamins such as very high doses of vitamin A or low levels of protein or iron also lead to hair loss.
- Illness such as thyroid, flu or severe infection and fungus infections like ringworm of the scalp are some other causes for loss of hair.
- Hair transplantation methods offer a permanent solution to hair loss. Hair transplant is a surgery where hair, which a person already has, is moved around to fill up areas where there is no hair or thinning hair.
- Hair transplantation is also carried out to restore eyebrows, eyelashes, chest hair, pubic hair, and beard. This procedure also helps in filling up scars caused due to accidents or surgery like previous hair transplants and face-lifts.
Indications for the Transplant Procedure
Hair replacement surgery is performed to treat hair loss in male pattern baldness which may be due to genetic or hormonal reasons.
- In male pattern baldness, the hair grows in a horseshoe shape around the back of the head. In hair transplant surgery for men, hair taken from below the top of the ear from the head is transplanted to the frontal hairline. The hair is not affected by further balding.
- Most of the female pattern baldness, which is rare, is characterized by the thinning of the hair on the entire scalp although some female pattern baldness mimics the male pattern baldness. Women do not have donor sites which can be used for transplantation to treat their baldness. Even if the thinning hair follicles are removed from donor sites and transplanted on the recipient sites, they are not stable enough to grow.
Even then a small group of women are good candidates for hair transplant procedure and include:
- Women suffering from hair loss due to non-hormonal factors such as mechanical or traction alopecia
- Women with hair loss pattern resembling that of male pattern baldness – recession of the hairline, vertex thinning on the crown of the scalp and a donor site which has been unaffected by androgenetic alopecia
- Women whose loss of hair is due to some trauma like accidents and chemical burns or women who are victims of burning
- Women who have alopecia marginalized.
- Women who have undergone plastic surgery and are worried about the loss of hair around the incision sites
- Hair replacement surgery is also done to restore hair loss due to other factors such as injury, burns or disease of the scalp.
Contraindications to Hair Transplant
Although hair transplant is a comparatively risk-free procedure but still there are a few factors which are contraindications to hair transplant: -
- The person has ongoing hair fall and is less than 25 years of age.
- The person has a heart problem, multiple medical conditions, hypertension or uncontrolled diabetes.
- Women with widespread or diffuse pattern of hair loss
- Individuals who do not have enough donor sites
- People who have a tendency to form keloid scars which can result from surgery, trauma, radiation injury or burns
- A person with undiagnosed hair fall is not a suitable candidate for hair transplant. Conditions for any prevailing itching, burning or rashes on the scalp have to be identified and corrected before hair transplant is considered.
- People suffering from Trichotillomania – pulling out of own hair frequently, are also not eligible for hair transplant due to their psychological issue.
- Individuals with a low density of hair at the back of their heads will not be able to produce the required follicles for transplantation and so, are not capable candidates for the procedure.
- Certain skin diseases such as lichen, discoid lupus, psoriasis, planopilaris and active phase of alopetia areata are contraindications.