Dr. Ewing has extensive experience creating a full and natural looking hairline. He uses the latest technology in microfolicular grafting.
What causes hair loss?
Male Pattern Baldness:
Androgenetic alopecia, also referred to as male pattern baldness, is the cause of 95% of all hair loss. This condition is really a combination of factors including genes, hormones, and age. It is thought that as a genetically predispositioned person ages, the presence of certain hormones adversely effect individual hair follicles causing them to shrink, and eventually stop producing hair. Though the follicles have shrunk, the blood supply—which provides nourishment—is still active thus allowing the transplanted hair to grow. Typically hair loss begins at the hairline and the crown. It then thins and recedes toward the crown creating a bald area on the top of the head.
Norwood Chart depicting stages of male pattern baldness:
Hair Loss in Women:
Though the condition is commonly called male pattern baldness, many women also suffer from this type of hair loss. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 50% of women experience some degree of hair loss in their lifetime. Female pattern baldness is also the result of genes, hormones, and age.
Hair loss in women can be very traumatic. A correct diagnosis made by an experienced hair transplant physician is vital to a successful treatment plan. While androgenic hair loss is the most common other causes of hair loss include:
- Alopecia Areata
- Triangular alopecia
- Loose-anagen syndrome
- Scarring alopecia
Typical androgenic hair loss pattern:
Christmas tree distribution:
What can I expect during the procedure?
The first step is designing the hairline. Dr. Ewing will sketch a suggestion for placement of the hairline. You are encouraged to participate in this decision process. Because only local anesthetic is used patients are able to remain awake during the procedure. Dr. Ewing will begin by securing the donor hair grafts by removing a strip of skin from the donor area and then closing the opening with self-absorbable sutures. The donor strip is further cut into three sizes of grafts: the micro graft, the single follicular unit, and the modified follicular unit. The micro graft has one hair; the single follicular unit has about two hairs; and the modified follicular unit has two to four hairs. The surgical technicians then isolate individual hair follicles from the donor strip, and implant them to the graft region. The grafts are inserted into pre-cut micro and mini slits that are strategically designed to aesthetically improve the density of your existing hair, lower the hairline, and fill in balding areas.
Follicular units in groups 1-3 prior to insertion:
The procedure takes between three and five hours to complete depending on the number of grafts used. Many patients choose to bring books, magazines, or other items to keep themselves entertained during this time.
What can be expected after the procedure?
Patients may experience some drowsiness immediately following the procedure as a result of the oral sedation medication given during the transplantation. Most people find that they are able to return to work and other social activities within one to three days, and they are able to shower and style their hair within a week. Small scabs will form around the area of the transplantation, but these will heal in about a week and are easily disguised by the surrounding hair.
In order to decrease the risk of infection, Dr. Ewing will prescribe a course of antibiotics. It is important that all of the pills be taken. In addition, it may be recommended that male patients begin using minoxidil (Rogain) or finasteride (Propecia) in order to slow hair loss. Because it is unsafe for women of childbearing age to use finasteride (Propecia), minoxidil (Rogain) may be recommended.
How does this procedure differ from other treatments currently available for balding or thinning hair?
- This procedure is permanent
- You can swim, shower, groom and style as you normally would
- The procedure results in a natural looking hairline
How long until hair growth is noticeable?
It will take between three and six months before new growth is noticeable. Also, some patients may experience hair loss within the weeks following the procedure. This is normal, and hair growth will resume in these areas.
How many grafts are needed?
The number of grafts needed depends on the severity and location of hair loss. Upon consultation, Dr. Ewing will better be able to determine the number of grafts needed as well as the number of procedures needed. In order to achieve the most natural looking results possible, smaller grafts are used and placed closer together. It is often necessary to spread the procedure out over two or three treatments so these results may be attained.
Who is a candidate for hair transplants?
Anyone who has experienced hair loss as a result of genes or trauma will benefit from hair transplantation. The ideal candidate for hair transplant surgery has areas of healthy hair growth to serve as donor sites.