For men with genetic hair loss
from Male Pattern Baldness, deciding whether or not to pursue hair transplant surgery can be a major decision.
While modern hair restoration procedures can be effective, like many operations they can also come with a huge dose of doubt. Are you paying too much? Is your surgeon any good? Will they be using the best possible method for you? And will you get the results you want?
These questions help explain why many men choose a recommended non-surgical hair loss treatment course
. This approach has helped large numbers of men with thinning hair and/or a receding hairline
and involves the use of clinically-proven treatments, MHRA licensed and FDA approved for this purpose.
But this recognised approach
is not suitable for everyone, especially men who have delayed seeking help and, as a result, their genetic hair loss is at an advanced stage of baldness. These are the people who typically find themselves thumbing through the brochures of hair transplant
surgeries and wondering if they’re making the right decision.
Recognising just how concerned and confused potential patients can be, a hair transplant surgeon in Los Angeles has announced plans for a new multi-centre trial in which he and fellow doctors hope to ascertain just which hair transplant method is the best.
Chiefly, his aim is to assess how the “traditional” method of implanting new hair follicles using forceps compares to more modern routes in which specially-made implantation devices are employed. In the long-term, he is also hoping to find out if grafted hair is especially sensitive to the trauma of being moved, and, if so, if there is a way to minimise that trauma.
"Around 35-million men in the United States alone have some form of Male Pattern Baldness or Androgenetic Alopecia,
” says Dr Parsa Mohebi, who is leading the study from his practice in California. “Hair loss can have a negative effect on the self-image of a person. While follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair transplants have evolved during the last decade, it's still not known how they respond to the manipulations usually performed during an implantation procedure.
Survival rate of hair grafts
The study is sponsored by The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, and assistance will come from transplant surgeons in Switzerland, Brazil, Germany and Belgium. Test subjects will all be men aged 18 or older who have all lost a patch of hair measuring at least 4cm x 4cm to Male Pattern Baldness, and researchers will determine if there is a significant difference in the survival rate of hair grafts implanted by forceps or the implanter method.
Although a male hair loss treatment
course can be followed from 18 years of age, where appropriate, the age of the test subjects here is interesting. Top hair restoration surgeons normally advise men wait until they are at least 30 years old
before considering a hair transplant.
Dr Mohebi doesn’t detail exactly how results will be gathered, but it seems likely that half of the subjects will have donor hair implanted with forceps and the other half with implanters. It is also possible that each patient will be subjected to both methods on different parts of their scalp. He hopes to share his findings with the medical community in 2017.