Hair loss is affecting a large portion of the population, including up to 85% of males and 40% of females, and its incidence increases with age for both sexes. There are many causes of hair loss, by far the most common etiology is androgenic alopecia (AGA), an androgen-sensitive pattern of hair loss that affects both men and women.
Non-surgical treatment modalities exist which may halt the progression of androgenic alopecia and even help grow new hairs (minoxidil, finasteride, dutasteride, low-level laser light therapy, platelet-rich plasma, adenosine).
Recent advancements in surgical hair restoration have made hair transplantation an increasingly effective, safe, and reliable way for patients suffering by androgenic alopecia to regain a more youthful and natural appearance of hair.
Anagen – This is 2- to 6-year active growing phase of the hair follicle. Approximately 90 to 95% of scalp hairs are in anagen stage at any given time.
Catagen – This is 2- to 3-week phase of the hair follicle characterized by acute follicular regression. Less than 1% of scalp hairs are in catagen at any given time.
Telogen – This is 2- to 3-month resting phase of the hair follicle characterized by a stop in all activity. Approximately 5 to 10% of scalp hairs are in telogen at any given time.
Exogen – The daily shedding phase of the hair follicle characterized by a loss of 25 to 100 telogen hairs, which are replaced by new anagen hair.
- Follicular unit transplantation (FUT)
- Follicular unit extraction (FUE) techniques. Currently, FUE represents the more common approach due to its potential advantages over FUT, which include:
- Increased number of harvestable grafts.
- Patient’s hairstyle is not a factor since scarring is less apparent
- Donor site laxity and density are not a significant deterrent
- Postoperative pain is less
- Postoperative healing time is less
- The surgeon can target follicular groups of a specific size or hairs with a specific diameter or pigmentation
- The surgeon can target hairs outside the typical donor site (i.e., parietal scalp, chest, back, beard, pubis) if needed.