If you are looking into hair replacement or hair transplant surgery, there are some important terms to know. Before meeting with a doctor or hair loss specialist, review the following definitions to ensure clear lines of communication.
Alopecia - Alopecia is the official medical term for baldness. Alopecia can be hereditary or it can occur after the result of some trauma. In some instances, it can be treated with hair transplants. In other instances, patients choose to wear natural looking wigs, toupees, or hair pieces.
Grafting - Hair grafting is when the patient's own hair is surgically removed from the donor area and placed on an area of the scalp where the hair is thinning. The transplanted hair with then begin to grow naturally in this new location. Grafting is done with very few strands of hair at a time.
Hair Plugs - More popular years ago, hair plugs referred to larger circular grafts that were grafted. They looked less natural, however, and grafting is now more common.
Follicle - The hair follicle is the organ right below the surface of the skin that is responsible for growing hair. When grafting or transplanting, the entire follicle must be removed and transplanted in order for new growth to sustain.
Donor Area - Donor area refers to the back area of the scalp and neck, and sometimes the area around the ears. These follicles often do not succumb to alopecia, and so they are the most effective to use for transplanting.
Crown Area - Thinning and hair loss often begins in the crown area for both men and women. Hair pieces are often designed to cover this area and blend with the remaining hair so replacement or transplantation is not necessary.
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Hair loss is an unfortunate part of getting older. Not everyone suffers from it, but many do, especially if it runs in the family. People can start going bald as early as in their 20s. And it's not just limited to men, either. Women suffer from hair loss as well, though at not so startling a rate.
Hair replacement, also known as hair transplantation, involves relocating hair follicles from the back and sides of the head to the balding areas. Men and women with thinning hair can try out various replacement methods. In an attempt to replace and grow hair, medical doctors with experience in hair replacement may be able to provide a solution as an alternative to wearing wigs and toupees.
Plastic surgeons are often the professionals that can address thinning hair and provide restoration procedures. Such procedures may involve plugs, surgery, or a natural remedy using organic treatments. Since there is no cure for baldness, restoration is often a last ditch effort for men and women who are facing hair loss.
Patients can meet with specialists to go over the types of techniques. The doctor evaluates each aging patient's hair growth and loss, while reviewing family history. This is how the doctor can determine if surgery or a less invasive remedy would be the best course of action. If surgery is not an option, people can try over-the-counter cosmetic creams to attempt to restore a healthy head of hair.
Hair replacement therapy or treatment became popular in the 1980s and even more so in the 90s. The most common cause of permanent hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, and occurs on a genetic basis. However, this isn't the only cause, so patients should discuss hair replacement treatment and therapy with their doctor.