Hair Restoration - Process and Procedure

The Process

A number of treatments for hair loss exist. These may include topical medications such as minoxidil, oral medications like Propecia, both of which limit the amount of hair loss and may stimulate a modest amount of hair regrowth, especially in the area of the crown of the head. However, some patients experience hair loss too severe to be helped by medications; also, many patients lose hair at the frontal hairline. The frontal hairline typically does not respond as well to medications, and recession of hair in this area takes away the normal hair boundary that helps frame the face.

The Procedure

Surgical restoration of the hairline can be done a variety of ways. These include hair transplantation, scalp reduction or scalp flaps. Hair transplantation has made great strides since the days of "doll's hair" or "corn row" results. We transplant hair from the genetically favorable area at the back of the head to areas of baldness as single hairs or units of 2-3 hairs. This results in a natural hair density and pattern. Usually, the transplanted hairs fall out soon after placement, leaving the living root of the hair. Usually, new hair begins to regrow 3 months after transplantation. Several sessions may be necessary to fill in the transplanted area.

Scalp reduction can be performed if the balding is limited to a discrete area, usually at the vertex (top of the head). The bald area is removed, the wound closed and the scar hidden within the hairline. Results are more immediate than with hair transplantation.

Scalp flaps are portions of hair-bearing skin (usually from the sides of the head) that are partially elevated and turned to fit across the frontal forehead. Flaps from both sides meet in the center of the forehead, providing an "instant" frontal hairline. More rigorous hairstyling is necessary to camouflage scars.