General Hair Loss Information
Aside from the particulars of all of the surgical procedures involved with hair restoration, there are several foundational facts that one should consider when thinking about how the hair restoration industry has risen in prevalence. Below you’ll find three aspects of hair loss that have helped to create the advancement in hair restoration.
Hair Loss and Hair Restoration in the U.S.
Hair loss and hair restoration in the U.S. has always been a prevalent social issue, and although hair loss has not been traditionally seen as a “medical” problem that threatens the health of those who suffer from it, there are social consequences that can potentially harm the overall interests of those who have lost or are losing their hair. Countless people could tell you how they feel that they do not get the same amount of respect that they did before they lost their hair, and still others are convinced that the loss of hair has harmed their professional careers. As such, hair restoration is becoming an increasingly popular strategy to attack this problem.
Hair Loss and Hair Restoration in Minority Populations
Although there is a dearth of statistics regarding hair loss and hair restoration in minority populations, the few studies that have been completed show a clear tendency that members of these populations are just as likely to experience hair loss during their lifetimes as anyone else. The causes of hair loss remain the same, and fortunately, the available solutions know no racial boundaries.
Hair Loss with Cancer
Unfortunately, the growth and spread in number of cancer cases in the world has also led to another unfortunate result. The most popular and generally successful non-surgical manner in which to deal with cancer is chemotherapy, whereby radiation is released into the patient’s body to fight and eliminate the cancerous cells. A byproduct of this therapy, however, is hair loss, and as cancer cases have risen, so has hair loss with cancer. Generally speaking, hair restoration techniques should be avoided until the cancer treatment is completed, and many times the patient’s hair will grow back.
Hair Loss Treatment Options
As medical science has advanced exponentially, so to has the ability to treat hair loss and male and female pattern baldness. Different industries have grown as a result of these advances, and below you’ll find a brief explanation of these growth industries and new strategies.
Hair Loss Cosmetic Treatments
Hair loss cosmetic treatments have been in place for decades in one form or another, and one of the advantages of these cosmetic treatments is that they are all reversible. There are countless options for those who would prefer a non-surgical option to treat hair loss, and these include makeup, sprays, coloring and even chemicals that can give the appearance of a thicker head of hair.
Hair Loss Medical Treatments
Aside from the surgical options present and available for patients all over the world, there are other hair loss medical treatments available that are not as invasive or as expensive as hair restoration surgeries. There are several examples of hair loss medical treatments, and they include:
Rogaine is a drug that’s specifically used to treat male pattern baldness, and it was the first drug of its kind to hit the mass market. Rogaine’s medical term is minoxidil topical, and strangely enough, no one knows for sure exactly how the drug works. However, it has proven to be effective for thousands of patients.
Propecia is a drug that prevents the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. DHT is known to be involved in the development of hair loss, and Propecia has also proven to be successful in thousands of patients.
Hairpieces & Extensions
Hairpieces & extensions represent the non-drug-related strategies for concealing hair loss. These strategies do not reverse the biological process of losing your hair, but they do serve the purpose of having an immediate cosmetic effect for those who use these products.
Emerging Technology to Treat Hair Loss
As medical science in general advances resources are being dedicated to hair restoration. Some of these advances have not yet reached the market and are still in the development stages, but these advances could lead to the ultimate elimination of hair loss years from now. Below are a few examples of emerging technologies that could serve this purpose.
Early studies regarding cloning, which is a highly-controversial subject in and of itself, have shown encouraging results in regards to hair loss prevention? Doctors in different parts of the world have been successful in regenerating, or cloning, the cells present in hair follicles and then injecting them into mice. The mice injected with these regenerated cells have shown new hair growth, but at this time no human studies have been approved.
Gene therapy is another emerging medical advancement, and although gene therapy is still in its infancy stage, the promise it brings is quite exciting. Gene therapy works by having a foreign DNA substance injected into existing cells for the purpose of changing the genetic makeup of those cells. Researchers are beginning to work on the cells that they believe cause hair loss, and as the years pass, gene therapy could become quite prevalent.
Drugs and Hair Loss
Drug research is a multi-billion dollar industry, and a large percentage of that money is dedicated to the issue of drugs and hair loss. Early drugs such as Rogaine and Propecia have spurned additional research, and these advances have already shown great promises in hair loss studies around the world.
Hair Loss Restoration Research & Trends
Hair loss restoration research & trends are emerging from medical laboratories and offices all over the world, and this research is nearly unlimited in its context. Below are some brief descriptions of different hair loss restoration research & trends, and feel free to talk to a medical professional in regards to any questions you may have.
Hair Restoration Insurance – Pre Certification
As the medical world advances, the insurance industry is moving forward as well. One of the new and emerging policies that patients are going to be able to purchase is hair restoration insurance – pre certification, and this insurance will allow coverage for patients who have in effect “paid ahead” on expected hair loss.
Understanding Hair Loss and Hair Restoration
Understanding hair loss and hair restoration is an issue that’s been studied by medical professionals for years, and the result of all of this research is that new studies are beginning to identify, on the genetic level, the causes of hair loss. Any problem can not be permanently solved until its root cause is identified, and this is exactly what’s happening in regards to this issue.
Hair Replacement and Plastic Surgery
Hair replacement and plastic surgery are also emerging medical options, as the highest degree of advancement has occurred in the past 30 years. Hair replacement and plastic surgery techniques continue to be defined and refined, and the ultimate goal is to be able to provide new hair for patients while minimizing the invasiveness and recovery times involved with these procedures.
The biggest improvement in hair replacement techniques has resulted in the ability of patients to resume their long-term lifestyle without interruption. In the past, those who wore hair pieces and the like had to limit themselves from certain activities, but recent advances have created the opportunity for patients to enjoy their lives just as they would had they never had a procedure done.
Connections have been discovered between diets and hair loss. Having inadequate protein or iron in your diet or poor nourishment in other ways can cause you to experience hair loss. Fad diets, crash diets and certain illnesses, such as eating disorders, can cause poor nutrition, and this road can definitely lead to the loss of hair. Proper nutritional education could help prevent many cases of hair loss in the future.
Choosing the Right Hair Loss Specialist
When it comes to any type of medical procedure, nothing is more important than patient safety. The best way to promote patient safety is by helping people understand which questions should be asked of any doctor who offers to perform a surgery or other medical procedure. Below you’ll find a list of advisable questions that you should not hesitate to ask during your consultation.
How to Choose a Hair Loss/Hair Restoration Doctor
The best way to guide someone in regards to how to choose a hair loss/hair restoration doctor is by providing a series of questions that should be asked at each and every consultation. Below are examples of these types of questions, but if you’re thinking of asking about something that isn’t on this list, please make sure to ask it, as you can never have too much information before making a medical decision.
Questions for the Hair Loss Doctor
Questions for the doctor should, at the very least, include:
- How many years have you been practicing medicine?
- How many procedures of this type have you performed?
- What can you tell me in regards to the possible results of this procedure?
- How many repeat patients do you have?
- What board certifications do you possess?
- What other types of procedures do you perform?
- How many procedures do you perform in a typical week?
- How does your aftercare program work?
- What types of guarantees can you provide me?
- What risks are involved with this procedure?
Questions for the Office Staff
You should also ask questions of the staff, as they will serve as your liaison before, during and after your procedure?
- Who is the office manager?
- Will I be working with a nurse?
- How long have the respective staff members worked here?
- How much collective experience does your staff possess?
- What is the working environment like in this office?
- Are there guidelines in place for returning calls?
- Who is my point of contact for billing?
- Who is my point of contact for any aftercare issues?
- Are any staff members available during non-business hours?
- How accessible is the doctor when I have questions?
Again, these are merely a list of advisable questions. You should not feel uncomfortable asking any questions that you have in mind, and any doctor should be more than willing to answer them directly and in detail, as your comfort is what matters most.