Can you predict hair loss?
Not precisely. The best guide is comparison with an older male relative, e.g. father or maternal grandfather. However, the gene for baldness may skip generations and/or individuals in the same family.
What are the reasons for male pattern balding?
The tendency towards male pattern balding is genetic and can be inherited from either parent. Balding is actually triggered when dihydrotestosterone (DHT) molecules chemically bond with special receptor sites on hair follicle cells. This causes the hair follicle to weaken (miniaturize) and eventually to die in susceptible areas of the scalp.
What is the difference between density and fullness?
Density, the number of hairs per sq. cm., is only one of several contributing factors that are responsible for the visual impression of hair that appears “thick”. Other factors include hair shaft diameter, colour, texture, and curl, which may be of equal or even greater importance than density in contributing to the visual appearance of a “full” head of hair.
In the early stages of balding the “thin look” is caused by a process called “miniaturization” where hair is reduced in size, but not actually lost. Therefore, the density (the counted number of hairs per sq. cm.) remains the same, although the persons look of fullness can be significantly reduced.
Is removing large amounts of donor hair unsafe?
The amount of hair needed for the average large session is well within the safe limits of what can be moved, provided that the procedure is done properly. It is the experience and judgement of the surgeon that will ensure that the amount of hair that is harvested from the donor area is safe and appropriate.
Is it true that the blood supply of the scalp cannot support a large session?
Oxygen diffuses easily from the blood stream into grafts 1 mm or less in size. The blood supply of the scalp is among the richest in the entire body, enabling it to support the growth of large numbers of grafts, provided that they are kept very small.
Why do some hair transplants look so unnatural?
This is a very good question. The answer is that today, if you see a recently completed hair transplant that doesn’t look natural, it’s simply because it’s a bad hair transplant. In the great majority of cases, our hair transplants go unnoticed because they are so natural looking. Modern research in hair growth has discovered that scalp hairs actually grow in small groupings (called follicular units) of 1, 2, 3 or occasionally 4 hairs per unit. So, it is our strong emphasis not just to imitate nature, but to try to replicate it. With our experience in the practice of hair restoration, we have refined these micro-technologies to the point where often other medical doctors, even on close inspection, have difficulty telling which hairs are original (non-transplanted) and which hairs have been restored (transplanted).
About the Author
DR Maurice Collins
MB, B.Ch, BAO, DLO, FRCSI, FRCS, FRCSEd.
Registered with the Medical Council of Ireland
Dr Collins is Medical Director and Team Principal of Hair Restoration Blackrock. He was educated at Belvedere College Dublin and did his undergraduate medical studies at University College Dublin. After graduating as a doctor he trained in General Surgery and received his Fellowship (FRCSI) in this specialty from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
Find out more about DR Maurice Collins and our team of doctors and surgeons.