The realization that one is beginning to experience hair loss can be extremely distressing, for both men and women. In fact, most of the patients who come in to The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research would like nothing better than to make the problem go away so that they never have to think about it again. Sadly, however, there is no simple, sure-fire cure for hair loss. It is a complex problem that usually requires a thorough hair loss diagnosis and ongoing treatment. This is why our hair restoration specialists, Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis, emphasize the importance of hair loss prevention after hair transplantation surgery, and work closely with patients to help them establish an ongoing hair maintenance plan that will keep them looking their best for years to come.
The main reason that hair loss prevention treatments after hair transplantation surgery are so important is because the most common forms of hair loss are progressive. Androgenetic alopecia, which causes more than 90% of all cases of hair loss in both men and women, is frequently called “pattern baldness” because it progresses in a very predictable pattern. In men, this usually starts by affecting the follicles at the frontal hair line and the temples, and then gradually advances upwards towards the crown. A hair transplant works by surgically removing follicles from the back or sides of the scalp, follicles that are naturally immune to the effects of genetic pattern hair loss, and placing them into the areas that have been affected. Once there, the transplanted follicles will continue to grow just as they would have at their original site and do not fall out with the progressive pattern loss. However, this does not change the patient’s genetic predisposition or prevent the genetic pattern hair loss from advancing further. Without some form of treatment to keep the hair loss in check after a hair transplant, the older hair follicles near the crown (or in other areas where genetic hair loss is present) will eventually start to thin, creating a very unnatural looking result.
Fortunately, there are a variety of things that can be done to help keep genetic pattern hair loss under control. At The Griffin Center, a hair loss prevention plan might begin with a regular regimen of 5% minoxidil (in the form of topically applied Rogaine®) and/or finasteride (in the form of an oral dose of Propecia® or Proscar®.) For those who are uncomfortable taking oral medications, we can even custom blend prescription topical solutions at our on-site pharmacy. We also routinely provide hair transplant patients with red light laser therapy, which uses a specific frequency of red light to reduce inflammation, accelerate healing, and stimulate dormant hair follicles into an active growth phase. In cases where it is appropriate, we can also administer injections of platelet rich plasma, or PRP, a concentrated solution of platelets and growth factors derived from the patient’s own blood, which can cause shrinking hair follicles to become healthier and larger and produce thicker and fuller hair growth. In addition, our newest microneedling treatment uses ultrafine needles to inject a customized blend of hair growth factors directly into the scalp without the need for a blood draw. Each of these non-surgical hair restoration treatments have proven to be extremely effective, but we have found that they achieve their best results when used together as part of an ongoing hair loss maintenance plan that has been specifically tailored to the individual patient’s needs.
Although hair loss may, in many cases, be an unavoidable part of the aging process, it can still be treated. However, treating it effectively does often require a diligent and long-term plan. If you fear that you may be starting to experience hair loss, please contact The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research or the Griffin Center for Women’s Hair Loss to schedule a consultation. Don’t forget to follow us on the Griffin Center Facebook page, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news in hair restoration and research.