A full head of hair is something that men and woman all want, and a person’s hair can often be a point of personal identity, pride, and expression, and many products and services exist today to modify and care for hair. Brushes and combs, hair extensions, hair dye, curling irons, and more are out there for customers, and many women visit hair salons to get exactly what they want. Men too care for their hair, choosing from different hairstyles and products like gel to get the look they want. Hair can even be a strong symbol of expression, such as the trademark colorful Mohawks of the punk counterculture. Ultimately, however, a person’s hair is linked to their health and their age, and many adults face hair loss as they get older, especially among men. Hair may fall out and get thinner over time, and once a person loses enough of their hair, hair loss can lead to bald patches or male pattern baldness, something that practically no one wants. Minor surgical procedures like follicular unit transplantation, however, can be done to make a person’s hair look fuller and more appealing, and is a popular form of cosmetic surgery today. How can follicular unit transplantation be done, and what are other trends of hair loss in the United States today? What can hair surgeons do about it?

Rates of Hair Loss

Hair restoration is often the first thing on someone’s mind once they start balding and their hair is falling out. Ordinarily, people will shed 50 to 100 hairs per day, but in the case of significant hair loss, the rate will be higher, and the results will soon be visible. In fact, common male pattern baldness is the cause of hair loss in 95% of men today, and some 35 million men in the United States are currently going through noticeable hair loss. Statistics show that by age 35, two out of three men will experience some level of visible hair loss, and by the time a men reach age 50, 85% of them will now have significantly thinning hair. Sometimes, women too will experience thinning hair; about 21 million American women at any time are going through hair loss as well, and among both sexes, about 47% of all hair loss sufferers say that they would in fact spend their entire life savings to get a full head of hair once again. In fact, 60% of those who are losing their hair have said that they would rather have more hair on their head than more money or friends. And in general, a hair loss phase may span about 20 years or so0, and the Norwood Scale measures hair loss from Type I, the most modest kind, all the way up to Type VII, the most advanced variety. What can be done?

Hair Restoration Efforts

Some simple and common fixes for missing hair exist, such as toupees, but there is another option for hair restoration, one that involves visiting a specialized clinic: follicular unit transplantation. Just what can follicular unit transplantation do for a patient those hair is rapidly thinning out?

Human hair does not grow randomly on the head. It grows in small clusters of follicles, which are often grouped into two, four, or six at a time and grows as units. Follicular unit extraction, or FUE, is based on these small groups of hairs. A patient who wants to get quick and natural looking hair restoration may look up local clinics that offer this service and make an appointment.

During follicular unit transplantation, the doctors will carefully remove a layer of skin that contains the hair follicles, with each cluster having anywhere from one to eight hairs on it, and these follicles are then attached to the balding parts of the scalp, with care being taken so that the re-arranged hairs grow in the same direction as the hair already there for a natural look. This does not actually increase the number of hairs on the head; it rearranges them for a fuller look. Minor side effects may occur later, such as minor bleeding (which can be easily taken care of) or itching in the scalp for some time after the medical procedure.