Hair loss affects millions of men and women around the world. Some embrace the change and choose to let nature take its course, while others search for a solution to halt or reverse the process. Hair loss treatment is a booming industry. From wigs and toupees, to supplements and shampoos, to prescription medications and plasma injections, the market is flooded with products and procedures that promise to restore a fuller head of hair.
With so many options available, it’s hard to know what works and what will wind up being an expensive waste of time. And with male pattern baldness getting most of the market’s attention, you may think there’s no solution if your thinning hair isn’t on top of your head.
Dr. James Marotta is a top plastic surgeon providing the most effective hair restoration and transplantation procedures available at Marotta Hair Restoration in Long Island, NY. Using an advanced technique called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), Dr. Marotta restores natural-looking fullness to thinning hair, beards and eyebrows. This technique not only avoids the scar associated with traditional hair transplants, but it also has a shorter recovery period and significantly less discomfort than other hair transplant procedures. FUE is one of the most popular techniques among Marotta Hair Restoration patients looking to revitalize both their hair and their confidence.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Hair is designed to fall out as it progresses through its natural life cycle. On average, each person loses 50 to 100 hairs a day with no need for concern. Hair loss only becomes a more serious issue when large amounts are lost consistently each day, when bald patches appear or when the hairline starts to recede significantly. The most prevalent form of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia – male or female pattern baldness. Androgenetic alopecia is genetic and presents naturally with age.
Hair health can also increase or decrease in relation to life events and lifestyle. Pregnancy, surgery and other stressful circumstances can disrupt the hair growth cycle and increase shedding. Other factors that may trigger hair loss include dramatic weight loss, certain medications, excessive styling or chemical hair treatments, smoking, poor diet and hormonal imbalances. Changing these lifestyle factors can improve hair thinning, but there is currently no way to completely stop genetic hair loss. Hair restoration via FUE is one of the most effective treatments available.
Follicular Unit Extraction is a technically complex method of mining the body for hair and requires an experienced surgeon trained specifically in this technique. During the procedure, groups of one to four healthy hairs, called follicular units, are extracted from the designated donor area one at a time using a small, sharp cylindrical punch. No tissue is removed. These follicular units are then delicately implanted into the thinning area. A skilled physician can place the hair grafts in a manner that reflects your natural hairline and growth pattern for an attractive and natural-looking result. New hair growth should be visible three months after the procedure. After six months, significant regrowth should occur and both the native and transplant hair will continue to grow naturally.
FUE is sometimes known as a scarless hair transplant because it eliminates the need for the linear incisions required by traditional hair transplants. This makes it an excellent choice for patients who prefer to wear their hair cropped short or buzzed close to the scalp. FUE’s small, dot-shaped scars and any loss of density in the donor region can be concealed easily under longer, healthy hair. With no stitches needed and no incisions to heal, FUE offers a faster recovery time and less post-procedure discomfort than traditional transplantation procedures.
Hair loss isn’t limited to the top of the head. The popularity of beard transplants has skyrocketed in recent years. Men who have patchy facial hair or who struggle to grow any in the first place may wish to consider the procedure to boost their natural beards. A beard transplant can be completed using the FUE technique with the back of the scalp as the donor site, as the hair in this area most closely resembles the hair grown around the chin. Almost all men are candidates for a beard transplant, provided they have a sufficient number of donor hairs.
After local anesthesia is delivered to the treatment areas, hair is removed from the scalp and carefully inserted into small incisions in the beard area so that it matches the growth angle of the native hair. The procedure typically takes two to five hours, depending on the patient’s current beard density and desired beard density. Recovery and post-operative pain are both minimal. The transplanted hairs will remain in place for about two weeks after the procedure, then fall out. Regrowth begins promptly and reaches its permanent state three or four months after transplantation.
Beard transplants are permanent and rarely require a second session. You can shave and style your beard as usual following the transplant procedure.
The current trend of fuller brows has caused an increase in requests for transplants to restore hair to eyebrows that are thin, scarred or missing. Using the FUE technique, donor hairs for eyebrow transplants are removed from the patient’s scalp and implanted one by one into the brow area to mimic the natural eyebrow growth and create the most natural results possible. The procedure typically lasts around two hours, followed by a short and painless recovery period. Three to five days afterward, there should be no sign that a procedure took place.
Hair taken from the scalp is not an exact match for eyebrow hair. Hair follicles from the donor area will continue to grow on the eyebrow as they did on the scalp. This means that they will need to be trimmed regularly, usually about once a month, and groomed in order to resemble your natural eyebrow hair.
Learn More About Hair Restoration
Dr. Marotta is a dual board-certified facial plastic surgeon and an Associate Member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS). If you’re interested in seeking a solution for your thinning hair, contact Marotta Hair Restoration at 631-982-2022 to schedule a consultation and learn more about your hair loss treatment options.