Hair loss is a genetic condition that affects millions of people around the world. About two thirds of all men will begin to suffer some sort of hair loss by the age of 35, and a quarter of men will begin to see hair loss before they reach the ripe old age of 21. Hair loss, while typically considered as male issue, also affects women, as 40% of people who suffer from hair loss symptoms are female.
While hair loss, or alopecia, is not a serious medical condition, there can be serious psychological effects associated with premature hair loss. One recent study by Nigel Hunt and Sue McHale found that hair loss could lead to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
Advancement in Hair Transplants
Previously, the only treatment available for hair loss was the dreadful wigs worn by older uncles. While hair transplant surgeries have been around for several years, the lack of adequate technologies left many transplant recipients with a head of hair that looked unnatural, sometimes with irregular patches of hair that would not grow evenly or fully.
Recent technological developments, however, have led to more natural looking hair transplants. Follicular unit grafts and follicular unit extraction are two new hair transplant technologies that allow surgeons to transplant hair from other parts of your body. These surgical techniques are minimally invasive and leave little to no scarring.
What to Consider Before Getting a Hair Transplant
Before scheduling an appointment to try to reverse the balding, there are several things you need to consider beforehand. First, hair transplants, even the most revolutionary technologies, cannot stop the process of hair loss progression. You should only consider a hair transplant if the process of hair loss has stopped or considerably slowed down. This means that the 21 year old, balding college student will most likely need to hold off on scheduling a hair transplant for a few years.
In addition, it is important to know the hair transplant cost before making the decision. The new hair transplant technologies mentioned above do offer a better quality transplant, but they are also much more expensive. WebMD estimates that most hair transplants will cost anywhere between $4,000 and $15,000 dollars (3,000 and 11,000 pounds), and most insurance will not cover the costs.
Furthermore, even though most hair transplants are minimally invasive and only use local anesthesia, there is a recover time associated with these procedures. You will most likely need to take some sort of pain medication and cover your scalp with protective bandages for the first several days post-operation. Most people will end up needing to miss up to a week of work after the surgery.
In most cases, the surgically transplanted hair will fall out after 2-3 weeks. Before you pull the rest of your hair out worrying that you wasted a sizeable investment, it is important to know that this is perfectly normal, as new hair should begin to emerge from the transplanted follicles within a couple of months.