Hair Transplantation as a way to tackle Male Pattern Baldness

Male pattern baldness is relatively common among a relatively high percentage of males, often starting already at the age of 20. The reason for male pattern baldness is believe to originate in certain genes that are inherited and that are so common that they can be found in around 60% of all males. Fortunately, there are several ways to stop or at least slow down the process of hair loss, including the especially potent DHT blockers to be taken orally or several other medicaments that may be applied to the skin of the head.

The disadvantage inherent in all of these treatments is that they are not able to bring back hair already lost. Basically there are two possibilities to cover up areas where the hair has already perished; using a toupet or getting a hair transplant. While toupets are available in personalised form that can cover bald areas well while looking quite natural, they require constant replacement after a certain amount of time, making them quite expensive over the years. Another possibility is the transplantation of ones own hair. Here, the results achieved are often very close to being natural. So lets take a closer look at this approach to tackle male pattern baldness.

Basically, there are two different approaches for transplanting hair, called the FUT and the FUE method. What both methods have in common is that they make use of the fact that hair located at the chaplet is immune to the factors that cause the loss of hair experienced on the top of the head. So, what hair transplants strive to achieve is to move hair that will not be lost again to areas that are bald. The difference of those two methods lie in the way the hair is extracted from the donnor areas in the chalet or the back of the head.

The Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) method is the older of the two methods. Here, a long and thin strip of scalp is extracted by surgery and divided into many small pieces each containing a small group of hair follicles. Those groups of hair follicles are then implanted into bald areas. The disadvantage of this method is that it will leave a scar at the donnor area, which won’t be visible due to remaining hair covering it though.

The Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) method is a more modern, alternative harvesting method. Here, the donnor hair is not obtained by extracting a long strip from the scalp, but by using a punch instrument with a small diameter. The advantage of this method is that there is a high probability that there won’t be visible scars after extraction as the wounds left by this method are very small. Also, the hair transplantion can be split up to several smaller sessions and results in less postoperative pain.

An important aspect of hair transplantions, besides the experience and track record of the surgeon, are the corresponding costs. Generally speaking, the FUE method is more expensive compared to the FUT method, as the former one is more time-consuming. The cost of hair transplants also depends on the location where the surgery is going to take place. Often, hair transplantations carried out in countries with relatively low wages such as Turkey, Hungary, China, India or the Philippines are more economically priced that hair transplantations carried out in industrialised nations with relatively high wages, such as Germany or the United States. Regardless of the location, one should of course attach importance to the professionalism, experience and track record of the surgeon to ensure receiving an acceptable result.

Obviously, the most important factors affecting the total cost is the size of the area to be treated and the desired density of the hair transplants (which are also called grafts). While the size of the bald area is a very individual factor, the amount of grafts that can be put into 1 cm² is dependant on the used method and the skill of the surgeon. Generally, 35 – 65 grafts per cm² seem to be what can be expected normally, with higher densities offering a more natural endresult. So, if you multiply the approximate area to be covered with the desired density, you will receive the total amounts or a range of grafts needed for your treatment. The prices per graft vary widely in the market and currently seem to range between 1,20 and 10,00 € per graft for the FUE method and slightly below that for the FUT method.

Please note that this article can not substitute an in-depth expert advice of a health professional. We can only advice you to gather as much information as possible before deciding on a certain surgeon or a certain method by taking a closer look at the information provided by independent third parties and individual hair transplantation clinics.

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