Making Sure You Have Realistic Hair Restoration Goals
The hair restoration industry has progressed in leaps and bounds in the last few decades. At the time the very first hair transplants were performed the results were… horrific. Doctors would punch out large “plugs” of hair-bearing scalp from the donor area. This would leave large ugly scars that stood out on the scalp. Doctors would then punch out large areas of the scalp in the areas affected by hair loss and implant the extracted “plugs.” They would then generally discard the tissue from the balding area. Back then, realistic hair restoration goals would be on the grim side of the positivity spectrum. As long as your scalp was covered with fluff and you didn’t look like Frankenstein’s monster or that doll that the crazy Kid in Toy Story shaved and mutilated, you considered it a win.
On the other hand, today, the advances in the hair restoration industry make a successful hair transplant surgery virtually identical to a natural head of full healthy hair, outside of a bit of scarring. However, you still must have realistic hair restoration goals that are dependent on your stage of hair loss. If you are fully bald and have been so for years, chances are you are not going to go full 80’s rockstar overnight, regardless of the hair restoration method you use.
Here at Best Hair Transplant in Redondo Beach, we would like to go through all the major hair restoration methods available today and detail exactly what you can expect from each of them. This way when you embark on your hair restoration journey you will be prepared with realistic hair restoration goals.
Realistic Hair Restoration Goals for Hair Loss Medications
There are medications that are available for hair loss that mostly come in a cream or shampoo form that is to be rubbed on the scalp. Some require a prescription from a doctor, and some do not.
Rogaine is an over-the-counter hair loss medication that comes in liquid, foam, or shampoo forms. To be effective Rogaine needs to be applied directly to the scalp while the skin is wet. Men need to use Rogaine twice a day and women need to use it only once. Rogaine is most effective in slowing the progression of hair loss. One study found that Rogaine only helped stop hair loss in around 50% of the study participants, and it only assisted in growing back already lost hair in a much smaller percentage. (Melissa C. Jones, 2018).
Propecia is a prescription hair loss drug for men. Taken as a pill, Propecia is a problematic drug at best. While research clearly shows that Propecia does in fact slow hair loss, the chances of regrowing hair with this drug are low. In order to continue to see any benefits from taking this drug, you also have to continue to take the medication. Also, there has been a great deal of reported persistent sexual side effects that are a result of prolonged use of Propecia. (S. Irwig, 2012).
In summary, hair loss medications like Rogaine and Propecia have their uses. However, expecting incredible hair restoration results from these medications would be unrealistic. If you choose to use these medications as your primary solution for your hair loss, then your realistic hair restoration goals should be just slowing the progression of your hair loss. There hasn’t been enough clinical data to suggest that either is going to regrow your hair in any significant manner. However, using either Rogaine or Propecia in combination with other hair loss solutions may increase their effectiveness overall.
LLLT Hair Restoration for Thinning Hair
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
Low-Level Laser Therapy has been researched and studied for its ability to interact with the cells in the human body based on its near-infra-red frequency. LLLT is a non-surgical, non-invasive hair loss solution that employs the use of “cold lasers” to rejuvenate underperforming hair follicles and stimulate them to enter a regrowth process.
Low Level Laser treatments have been used and studied to treat a variety of different issues such as arthritis, sciatica, tennis elbow, and more. It was discovered when a researcher tried to use a “ruby laser” to cure tumors in rats and noticed that the low-level light was increasing hair growth and wound recovery. (Michael R. Hamblin, 2017). Since this discovery, researchers have been studying LLLT as a cure for alopecia in men and women. These studies have been very promising and have given rise to a multitude of different products offering LLLT for hair loss.
The Capillus RX 312 Laser Cap
This product is the top-of-the-line LLLT solution for hair loss. It is a small device that fits under your favorite hat with 312 LLLT diodes built into it that you need to wear for only a handful of minutes per day for your treatments. The 312 diodes offer maximum coverage so that the entire scalp is receiving the LLLT therapy during the daily treatments. There are other LLLT caps and combs on the market, but the Capillus is the highest quality and offers the best results.
Some realistic hair restoration goals for LLLT include thickening of thin hair and strengthening of underperforming hair follicles. Studies show that LLLT is a very effective treatment method for regrowing hair and is both a safe and effective treatment for alopecia and other forms of hair loss. (Pinar Avci, 2015). If you are fully bald and have been bald for some time, LLLT may not be for you. LLLT works by stimulating under-performing hair follicles into a regrowth state. If the hair follicles are fully dead, then LLLT will do little for them. If you have advanced stage baldness, then hair transplant surgery may be the best option for you.
Realistic Hair Restoration Goals for Hair Transplant Surgery
The two most popular hair transplant surgery methods available today are the Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) technique and the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) method. The FUT procedure involves the surgeon harvesting a whole strip of hair-bearing tissue from the “donor area” which is usually located on the back of the head. Then the individual hair follicles are dissected up from the strip of tissue, processed, and then implanted into the area affected by the hair loss. The FUE method of hair transplant surgery is the newest technique that involves extracting the hair follicles from the donor area individually, instead of in strips, with the processing and implantation methods being similar to the FUT technique.
There is a great amount of debate in the hair transplant industry as to which method, FUT or FUE is superior. The major difference in the procedures is the FUT method takes much less time to complete as the harvesting process is quicker. However, the FUT method also involves a great deal more post-procedure pain and discomfort. The FUE method is a much longer process but also more precise. With the FUT technique, most patients will end up with a long linear scar that runs along the donor area, from the hair follicle extraction, while with FUE the patient will generally have small dot-like scars from the extraction phase.
Reasonable Expectations from FUE Hair Transplants & FUT Hair Transplants
Some realistic hair restoration goals from either a FUT or FUE hair transplant surgery largely depend on the quality of the donor hair, the skill and experience of the doctor performing the procedure, and how far your hair loss had progressed prior to surgery. If you opted for surgery right when you first started to lose your hair, or after your hairline had just started to recede, you could be pretty sure a successful hair transplant surgery will give you a full head of thick, strong hair. However, if you were fully bald, with only a sparse band of thinning hair around the base you’re your skull, it would be realistic to not expect much from even the most skilled hair transplant specialist.
If you are in the mid to late stages of hair loss, whether it be a FUT or FUE surgery, a hair transplant is likely your best option. With both hair loss drugs and an LLLT product like the Capillus Laser Cap, you can expect some results, but neither option is going to produce the results of a hair transplant surgery. Using both Rogaine and a Capillus Laser Cap along with a hair transplant procedure, as per your doctors’ instructions, may greatly increase the results from the hair transplant surgery as well.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) & Stem Cell Therapy for Hair Loss
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
PRP is an innovative hair loss solution that more and more clinics are offering today. The application of PRP therapy has been used and studied for quite some time in relation to injuries to the tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones. There has been a good amount of research into PHP in regard to sports medicine as well as some controversy regarding PRP and “doping” in athletic competitions. Now, its use as a hair restoration solution is becoming more and more popular as the results are becoming very apparent in the hairloss community.
The PRP process involves a simple blood draw from the arm, then the blood is spun in a centrifuge. This process separates the regular plasma from the platelet-rich plasma. Many times, a second session in the centrifuge is necessary to get optimal separation. Then, the PRP is injected into the scalp to reach the bottom of the hair follicle near the roots. At this time the PRP interacts with the roots of the hair follicle and stimulates the “dermal papilla cells,” which are critical in regrowing new hair. (Neera Nathan, 2020).
Research suggests that PRP therapy may be most effective when treating androgenetic alopecia, which is the most common, hormone-induced form of hair loss in both men and women. The reason that this is suggested may be due to there being very little research done in regard to PRP on other less common forms of hair loss, but time will tell that tale.
The expected results from PRP treatments can realistically show that after several treatments your hair density will increase as well as the average number of hair follicles growing on your scalp. Studies show that PRP treatments are much more effective than drugs like Rogaine. However, the effects of PRP therapy have a lot to do with how many platelets you have in your blood. (Kuldeep Verma, 2019).
Stem Cell Therapy for Hair Loss
Stem cells and stem cell research has been a highly controversial subject in the medical community. While stem cells’ use to treat a great many diseases and conditions appears promising, the volume of research is lacking. This is mostly due to strict FDA and government regulations imposed on stem cell research and treatment. How researchers went about getting stem cells for their research, especially stem cells that can only be harvested from human embryos, is the reason for such strict government regulations.
A new and exciting study by researchers at UCLA has discovered a groundbreaking new way to “activate” the stem cells of a hair follicle. Consequently, this activation then causes that hair follicle to start to grow new hair. When someone suffers from hair loss due to alopecia, just the hair itself falls out. However, the hair follicles themselves remain, although not in a state of growth. This study found that the hair follicle metabolism is much different than other cells in the body. Researchers then discovered how these cells consume glucose from the bloodstream and convert it into energy. This allowed the scientists to create a drug that replicates this procedure. Then, when applied to the hair follicle, it caused the follicle to “activate” and begin regrowing hair. (Heather Christofk, 2017).
Realistic Hair Restoration Goals for Your Unique Situation
Here at Best Hair LA, we have tried to provide as much information as possible on the various hair restoration practices, so that you can get a general idea of realistic hair restoration goals you can expect. However, each and every person on this planet is as different in their particular situation. Your reasons for hair loss, the quality and density of your hair, and many other factors will influence the results of any of these hair restoration practices.
Your best bet will be to sit down with a hair restoration expert and have an in-depth consultation regarding the type and nature of your hair loss. This way you can discuss each and every hair loss solution, or combination of solutions that will be best for you and your situation. Here at Best Hair LA, we make hair restoration our business and we are experts in all kinds of hair loss solutions and practices.
Call us today and set up an appointment with one of our experts and we’ll help you achieve your hair restoration goals.
SUFFERING FROM HAIR LOSS?
Best Hair Transplant is the best place to schedule your hair transplant in Los Angeles. We’ve helped both men and women regrow their lost hair. But don’t take our word for it. We suggest learning as much as possible about hair restoration. Do so prior to making a decision on how to address your hair loss. Not every procedure is right for everyone.
At Best Hair Transplant, we’re proud of our results and happy to provide hair restoration services. Additionally, we’re proud to make hair transplants affordable and help you save money on a variety of hair transplants.
To ensure your ease of mind, you can view our customer recommendations HERE. Furthermore, you can also see our Google reviews and Yelp reviews. We can’t wait to help you start restoring your lost hair.
YOUR HAIR RESTORATION SOLUTION
Best Hair Transplant
1970 S. Prospect Ave., Suite 2
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
- Heather Christofk, P. W. (2017). Lactate Dehydrogenase Activity Drives Hair Follicle Stem Cell Activation. Nature Cell Biology.
- Kuldeep Verma. (2019). A study to compare the efficacy of platelet-rich plasma and minoxidil therapy for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. International Journal of Trichology.
- Melissa C. Jones, P. B. (2018). Treatment Options for Androgenetic Alopecia. U.S. Pharmacost.
- Michael R. Hamblin. (2017). Photobiomodulation or low-level laser therapy. HHS Public Access.
- Neera Nathan, M. M. (2020). Platelet-rich plasma: Does the cure for hair loss lie within our blood? Harvard Health Publishing.
- Pinar Avci. (2015). Low-Level Laser (Light) Therapy (LLLT) for Treatment of Hair Los. HHS Public Access.
- S.Irwig, M. (2012). Persistent Sexual Side Effects of Finasteride: Could They Be Permanent? The Journal of Sexual Medicine.