There are many unwelcome changes to your appearance that can accompany getting older, but perhaps the most devastating for men and women alike is the gradual thinning or complete loss of hair. While there are countless aesthetic options for addressing concerns with aging skin, trying to hold on to a full head of hair can often feel like an uphill battle without many solutions available. The truth, however, is that there are many advanced therapies and treatments available today that can restore your hair, and your self-confidence, to its former glory.
Androgenic alopecia, or male and female pattern baldness, is estimated to affect millions of individuals every year. At Marotta Hair Restoration, a division of Marotta Plastic Surgery Specialists, we specialize in cutting-edge procedures that put an end to the detrimental effects of hair loss and give patients their lives back. Dual board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Marotta is a top recognized hair restoration surgeon in Long Island as well as an associate member of the International Society of Hair Restoration. His years of expertise and know-how can help you stop hair loss in its tracks with natural and aesthetically pleasing results.
What Causes Hair Loss?
While the risk factors that cause hair loss are not yet fully understood, the leading cause of androgenic alopecia is being genetically predisposed to the condition or having a family history of baldness. Hair loss may also be caused by certain medications, stress or a more serious medical condition. However, genetic hair loss is believed to be triggered by increased levels of the sex hormones known as androgens, which play an essential role in regulating hair growth in men and women.
Every hair on the head has a growth cycle that begins beneath the skin in structures known as follicles. Healthy hair will grow for several years before entering into a resting phase, then will eventually fall out to repeat the cycle and produce a new hair. In androgenic alopecia, high levels of androgen in hair follicles will slowly lead to a shorter growth cycle as the hair follicle shrinks, resulting in shorter and thinner strands of hair. Eventually, the growth cycle for these follicles are cut off, and no new hair is able to grow.
Male pattern baldness most commonly affects adult men, but in some cases may start as early as your teen years, with the likelihood of developing the condition increasing with age. Gradually, the hairline will begin to recede above the temples and begin to form a distinct “M” shape or will start to thin near the top of the head. Often this will progress until the head is partially or completely bald. While female pattern baldness rarely leads to complete baldness, hair can gradually become thinner over the entire head, especially after menopause.
Hair Transplantation Options
While there are no known ways of preventing androgenic alopecia, advancements in the field of hair restoration and the techniques used for hair transplantation have allowed thousands of patients to successfully regain natural-looking hair growth without the obvious “doll head” or hair plug appearance of the past. Hair transplantation today is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure that removes healthy hair follicles from a viable part of the body such as the back of the head, which is known as the donor site. These follicles that are genetically resistant to balding are then transferred to a bald or balding area of the head to replace the hair that has been lost. At Marotta Hair Restoration, we offer the following hair transplant options:
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) – Considered to be the gold standard of hair transplantation techniques, follicular unit extraction is one of two primary methods used by Dr. Marotta to obtain hair follicles for transfer. Hair grows naturally in groupings of one to four hairs, known as a follicular unit. Using FUE, these units are extracted individually from the back of the scalp, instead of taking a large strip graft.
In the last decade, the FUE transplantation technique has continued to evolve and become more refined for optimal results with little discomfort or downtime. Using micro-incisions, this method allows Dr. Marotta to place a more significant number of follicular units into a given area with realistic looking results and no apparent signs that hair has been transplanted. While FUE is most commonly used to address male and female pattern baldness, it may also be utilized to restore eyebrow or beard hair growth.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) – The FUT technique is the second primary method used by Dr. Marotta for hair restoration. Also known as the strip method, this treatment utilizes a strip of skin most commonly taken from the back of the head that contains viable follicular units. Using micro-incisions, the follicular units are then safely collected from the donor strip and implanted back into the patients head for naturally-looking results.
Body Hair Transplantation (BHT) – In cases where patients have an insufficient amount of hairs available on the back of their head, it is possible for Dr. Marotta to perform what is known as body hair transplantation to restore the hair growth on your head using your body hair. BHT can utilize hair from your chest, back, shoulders, torso, legs or underarms depending on where your hair is readily available and is transferred using the FUE method. However, it is important to have realistic expectations with the results of BHT. This method is usually only performed when other options are exhausted, as body hair has textural differences and shorter growth cycles than the hair on the scalp. Body hair is often best for areas only requiring light coverage, as body hair follicular units contain fewer hairs than those found on the head.
What to Expect From Your Hair Transplantation
Hair transplantation procedures are performed on an outpatient basis in-office at Marotta Hair Restoration. As a minimally-invasive surgery, only local anesthesia is needed to ensure your comfort throughout the operation. First, FUE will be executed to remove hundreds or thousands of follicular units from your donor site using tiny punch incisions. Once the grafts have been collected, Dr. Marotta will use a micro blade or needle to create small holes in the recipient area or areas of your scalp. The donor follicular units are then gently placed into these micro punctures in a predetermined density and pattern that will achieve full, natural-looking regrowth over time.
Since each follicular unit is transferred one at a time, FUE and BHT hair transplantation can be a time-consuming process, with a single session often exceeding four hours. You may require multiple treatment sessions depending on the size of your recipient area. When the operation is complete, patients are able to return home immediately and can usually return to work after a few days. The results of hair transplantation are gradual, with most patients seeing new hair growth about 8 to 12 months after the procedure.
Hair loss can often feel like a losing battle, but advancements in hair transplantation techniques offered by Dr. Marotta have made achieving a thick, full head of hair again possible – without noticeable scars or downtime. If you are interested in learning more about hair transplantation surgery, contact Marotta Hair Restoration today at 631-982-2022 to schedule your consultation.