Although male hair loss is a natural process, when we lose more than 60 hairs per day it is considered abnormal. In most cases, male hair loss is considered an aesthetic problem, but it can be caused by many conditions and diseases, so it is always important to study this symptom to determine the real cause in each case.
Men can experience both diffuse and localized hair loss. However, the most common patterns in men are the localized ones, caused by the androgenetic alopecia.
According to the severity of the baldness, a man may need different treatments. For example, men who are starting to lose hair can use medical treatments to delay the hair loss process, but men who have a moderate-severe androgenic alopecia may need to undergo a male hair transplant.
WHAT IS A MALE HAIR TRANSPLANT?
A hair transplant is considered a type of plastic surgery that uses hair grafts to fill some scalp areas with thin or no hair. These grafts are obtained from other areas with an adequate amount of hair in the scalp of the same patient.
This type of surgery has been performed in the U.S. since the 50's, but the techniques have been constantly improved to guarantee a more natural result.
HOW IS A HAIR TRANSPLANT FOR MEN PERFORMED?
The hair transplant for men is usually performed as an outgoing surgery in the plastic surgeon's office. Once the patient's scalp has been properly cleaned and numbed with local anesthesia, the plastic surgeon starts to obtain the grafts from the donor areas (usually the back and sides of the head) to later place them in the receiving area (usually the upper part of the scalp).
The surgeon uses a special needle to move the hair follicles without causing any damage to the structure. Likewise, the patient does not feel any pain during the procedure.
Nowadays, the surgeon can choose between 2 common methods called follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) and follicular unit extraction (FUE).
The FUSS technique consists in removing a strip of the scalp in the back of the head with a size of approximately 6 or 10 inches, to later divide it into 500 or 1000 tiny grafts, each one of them with an individual hair or a couple of hairs (please follow the link to read more on Hair Transplant 2000 up to 4000 Grafts). For patients with mild hair loss, one stripe may be enough to perform the procedure.
On the other hand, the FUE technique consists in removing the hair follicles one by one from the back of the scalp and, lately, inserting them in the receiving area one by one again. The surgeon must be more careful during this procedure and it may take more time to be completed.
The plastic surgeon decides which method is the best for each patient according to the distribution of the hair in the donor site and the hair characteristics. However, the patient can also decide which method he/she prefers.
HOW MANY GRAFTS ARE USED IN A MALE HAIR TRANSPLANT?
The number of grafts used during a male hair transplant is not constant, the plastic surgeon will recommend the approximate number of grafts that a patient may need to cover the areas without hair. The most common system to determine the number of grafts is the Norwood Classification system.
In most cases, 1000 grafts are enough to fill the alopecic areas and provide the patient a natural look. Between 1000 and 2000 grafts are required for patients with receding hair and hair loss in the vertex (collet). However, it is only an estimated number and the patient may need less or more grafts.
The procedure usually takes between 4 and 8 hours. However, the time widely varies according to the number of grafts that the plastic surgeon is using. A 1000 grafts hair transplant for male usually takes 4 hours.
DOES MALE HAIR RESTORATION WORK?
The current techniques used to perform a male hair transplant really work and offer a permanent solution and a very natural result. However, it is important to know that results are not immediately, approximately 2 or 3 weeks after the procedure, the transplanted hair falls out and starts to grow again as it usually does.
60% of the transplanted hair grow again between 6 and 9 months and the final results can be noticed in approximately 1 year. Likewise, some patients may need a second procedure some years later if they continue losing hair or want to have a thicker hair.
HOW MUCH DOES A MALE HAIR TRANSPLANT OF 1000 GRAFT COST?
Although the number of grafts is an important factor in the final cost of a male hair transplant, other characteristics must be considered. For example, the method that will be used to perform the hair transplant, the difficulty to obtain the grafts, the amount of areas that will be treated, among others.
The price for such number of grafts starts as of 3000 $ in USA and below 1000 € in some Clinics like Greece in Europe or India.