Before seeking the services of a hair replacement center, it is important to understand some basic information about hair loss and what can do about it.
Hair Loss Background
Approximately 95% of the estimated 60 million men and women in the United States who experience abnormal hair loss suffer from a hereditary condition called androgentic alopecia. This is the gradual loss of hair that usually begins somewhere between 30 to 40 years of age in men and is essentially a cosmetic disorder, which is relevant because most health insurance plans will not pay for cosmetic care.
In women, the onset of hereditary hair loss usually does not occur until after menopause.
The incidence of androgentic alopecia is highest in white males but can also be found women, Asians, and African Americans. Usually, the thinning hair begins in the frontal area and progresses back over the head. In general, the growth transition begins with large, thick healthy hair, then progresses to thinner, shorter, indeterminate hairs, and finally, short, nonpigmented vellus hairs cover the area sporadically.
During this transition, the patient may notice more shedding than normal. Some shedding is natural, as up to 10% of a person's hair so prone to shedding at any given time. Lab studies can be done to determine whether the hair loss is genetic or caused by other sources.
What can be done about it?
Once the cause of thinning hair is determined, a hair replacement center can offer several viable solutions for hair restoration.
If the cause is not genetic, changes in medication, diet, or hairstyle products may take care of the problem without any significant out-of-pocket cost to the patient. In the event the patient is loosing hair due to genetic reasons or the changes mentioned above do not create a regrowth of hair, other options are still available.
* Surgery offers a couple of solutions. One is a scalp reduction. This is where a portion of the bald scalp is removed, and then the skin is stretch to cover the area of the scalp where the skin was removed. The other option is probably the most commonly considered option. Hair follicles can be transplanted from a donor or from thickly haired sections of the head. The main problem with hair plugs is covering the bald area with enough plugs to provide satisfactory results.
* The last option is hair weaving. Hairpieces are weaved into the patient's natural hair to create a prosthetic method of covering the baldness. While the hairpieces of the past were often horrendous failures, many of the modern prosthetics are indistinguishable from the patient's own hair.
Conclusion for modern hair restoration technologies
Now that you have a general idea what to expect from a hair replacement center, you can more effectively prepare a list of questions for the doctor. You can also go prepared to ask questions about your family history, medical history, current medications, diet, and general hair care regime.
While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it is also an integral part of self-image. As such, concern over hair loss is a normal reaction and should not be taken lightly.