Can You Reverse Male Pattern Baldness?
Do you want to know if there is anything you can do to reverse male pattern baldness? In this article, we will explore what causes male pattern baldness, and whether or not it is possible to reverse male pattern baldness. New information and treatments for hair loss have evolved a lot. Especially lately. No longer do patients need to worry about getting that “hair plug” look of the 70s and 80s.
As long as you’ve chosen a competent hair transplant surgeon, hair transplants like FUE and FUT should deliver the best results of any hair restoration method possible. We’ll explore the best options for reversing male pattern baldness below, including FUE and FUT procedures.
Why Do Men Lose Their Hair?
There are primarily 3 factors that cause men to lose their hair: genetics, age, and hormones. Male pattern baldness is also known as androgenic alopecia and is thought to be caused by changes in hormone levels that occur as we age. Some people are more genetically predisposed to hair loss than others, but just as the rest of our body inevitably ages, so does our hair. As we age, our hair follicles gradually become more susceptible to shrinkage, growing progressively shorter and finer until no new hairs are growing.
Men who have more first and second-degree relatives who have lost their hair have a higher chance of experiencing hair loss themselves. Hair loss can also increase as a response to stress, major illness, and surgery. It can also be triggered by the use of some medications and supplements such as anticoagulants, blood thinners, and vitamin A. Hair loss can sometimes occur as an indication of another problem such as a fungal infection, excess vitamin A exposure as a result of retinoid drugs, severe chronic illness such as lupus or diabetes, heavy metal toxicity or malnutrition. A check-up with your doctor, dermatologist, or certain blood panels can help you eliminate any other causes.
Medications May Help Reverse Male Pattern Baldness
While there are medications that have been developed to address male pattern baldness like finasteride and minoxidil, both have their share of drawbacks. Finasteride, also known as Propecia is a medication that comes in both topical and oral applications. It has been clinically shown to halt any existing hair loss and increase the rate of hair growth. Some men experience some unfortunate side effects with finasteride, namely problems with sexual performance and maintaining an erection. This is due to how finasteride works to reduce the production of male hormones that contribute to hair loss. The topical version of finasteride should not cause this side effect.
When it comes to topical finasteride and minoxidil (aka Rogaine), both of these treatments are great for preventing further hair loss, and they can encourage hair that was recently shed to regrow. However, these treatments cannot revive hair follicles that have shut down and ceased growing. The other issue with these treatments is that they are not permanent. If you stop applying the topical treatments or stop taking the oral medication, you will start to lose your hair again.
Hair Transplants Can Reverse Male Pattern Baldness
If you are looking for a permanent way to reverse male pattern baldness, hair transplantation procedures are your best option. There are primarily two types of hair transplant procedures: Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). With FUT the doctor removes a thin strip of skin from the back of the patient’s head. From there he removes individual follicular units and transplants them in areas of the scalp where the patient has thinning hair or is balding. With FUE the follicular units are directly extracted individually before transplanting.
Several factors will determine the technique that is most appropriate for your needs including the size of the area that is experiencing thinning hair, the pattern of hair loss, the quality, thickness, and health of the hair in the donor area, and any scarring from past transplant procedures. FUT procedures will leave a thin scar in the donor area where the strip of skin was excised. These are easily disguised if you wear your hair long enough to cover. FUE procedures can leave behind small white dots at the donor sites. However, a skilled surgeon can handle this with ease. They’ll be virtually invisible.
Follicular Unit Extraction procedures are performed by removing the donor follicular grafts by using a micro-punch tool. The hair is transplanted into the recipient area through the use of a tiny incision. This is a very time-consuming procedure that requires a practiced and delicate hand. Sometimes it is performed over the course of several days. This procedure does not involve any stitches, and so the recovery time is relatively short.
FUT is a more invasive surgery that requires a small strip of scalp to be removed from the donor area. This is usually taken from the base of the occiput at the back of the head. Once the strip has been removed, the donor area is sutured. It takes about ten days before the stitches can be removed. And remember, it’s normal for the patient to experience some swelling and pain at the incision site in the first two to three weeks following surgery. Furthermore, it can take a little bit longer to heal from this procedure.
Both FUE and FUT are outpatient procedures that are performed under local anesthesia. Many patients choose to bring headphones so that they can listen to music or an audiobook to help pass the time during surgery. While FUT is less time-consuming than FUE, both procedures will last for several hours and may be performed in more than one session.
The Pros & Cons
Both procedures have high success rates that are about equal. They both have their share of pros and cons. The procedure that is most appropriate for you will depend on how loose or lax the scalp’s skin is, and how large of an area needs to be transplanted. There are several factors to consider. FUE is a great choice for patients that like to wear their hair short because the hair at the donor site will need to be shaved close to the scalp for this procedure. FUE tends to have a shorter recovery period too and less visible scarring. The downside of FUE is that it tends to be more time-consuming, and often more expensive than FUT.
FUT is a great choice for patients that need a large number of grafts. The hair at the donor site does not need to be shaved, so if the patient likes to wear their hair long, they don’t need to worry about shaving a large area of hair. The thin linear scar from where the donor’s hairs were taken can be easily hidden. FUT also has a shorter surgery time, on average requiring between 4-12 hours, by contrast, the average FUE lasts around 10 hours. FUT tends to cost less than FUE because the extraction process of obtaining the donor’s hairs is less time-consuming.
After Hair Transplant Surgery
For the first few weeks after surgery, it will be important to treat the scalp very carefully so that the newly transplanted follicular grafts aren’t damaged. The patient should not wear hats or helmets, go swimming, engage in exercise that could cause sweating or stress at the incision site, and you should refrain from using and hair styling products at first. You will also want to avoid UV exposure from direct sunlight.
For most patients, it is recommended that you take up to two weeks off of work for recovery, mostly for cosmetic reasons. Especially if you’ve had an FUE performed you may feel comfortable enough to return to work as early as a few days post-surgery. Your doctor can make recommendations for best practices for aftercare to ensure that your scalp heals well and the newly transplanted grafts grow and thrive.
It is normal to experience a phenomenon called “shock loss” about 2 months after surgery. This is when the hair at the recipient transplant site starts to shed all at once. Believe it or not, this is a good sign that the new follicular grafts are well established. It is natural for the hair to go through a life cycle of growing, resting, and shedding. After the old hair sheds, new hair will grow in its place. You can expect to see significant new growth within a year after surgery.
Working with complementary treatments such as minoxidil, finasteride, or low-level laser therapy (LLLT) with laser caps are all ways to encourage the new hair to grow while preventing any further hair loss. Other costs to think about when planning for a hair transplant include any travel expenses, or lost income from missing work. After you have been through the initial healing phase you may be able to cover your new transplants with a hat or hairpiece, but be sure to discuss with your doctor first. Certain practices, such as using adhesives for wigs could be damaging to your new transplants.
Hair transplantation is the best solution for addressing male pattern baldness in the long term. While it is not possible to reverse male pattern baldness, it is possible to restore your lost hair through transplantation. This gives you a long-term solution to hair loss. Transplants require time and patience. However, it’s worth it. You will be amazed at how your hair can be restored with a hair transplant procedure. There’s no better choice.
SUFFERING FROM MALE PATTERN BALDNESS?
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.