Myths and misconceptions continue to make it harder for the more than 80 million U.S. men and women with hair loss to get the right kind of help.
So in honor of April Fools’ Day, here‘s “the bald truth” on some of the most persistent myths about hair loss and hair loss treatments.
True or False? Baldness is passed down from your mother’s side.
This is a particularly persistent myth. While it is true that genetics is the main cause of hair loss in men and women; today we know that there are approximately 200 genetic markers that regulate hair and hair growth and that these “genes” can be inherited from either your mother and father’s side, or a combination of the two. Additionally, we are always discovering an increasing number of epigenetic or non-genetic factors that can accelerate hair loss and hair thinning. If you are worried your genetics may be putting you at risk, testing is available that can determine an individual’s risk of losing their hair so they can begin preventative treatments early – at a time when they can be most effective.
True or False? Hair loss is a man’s problem.
Unfortunately for women, this is also false. The truth is, more than half of all women over
40 experience some type of hair loss and women can inherit a ‘hair loss gene’ just like men. The only difference is that a woman’s hair loss symptoms are different and often more subtle than men’s. Female hair loss typically occurs more diffusely over the affected areas of the scalp, leaving some follicles unscathed while severely miniaturizing others. Hormonal changes, due to menopause and pregnancy along with age, medications, poor nutrition, illness, stress, etc., also impact hair loss in women – causing widening part lines, decreased coverage, decreased ponytail volume, and even sometimes hairline recession.
True or False? Hair loss must become visible in order to start treatment.
This is truly antiquated thinking! How early you address your thinning hair determines how much hair you save. If you wait until the hair loss is visible to the naked eye, you’re a little late—science has proven that 50 percent may be already gone. The best tool for fighting hair loss is early detection, making it essential for patients to seek the advice of a certified hair restoration physician as soon as risks are identified and early signs or symptoms appear.
True or False? You can grow back dead follicles.
Don’t be fooled by magic potions and miracle cures. The truth is, while there are effective treatments available, like compounded medications, laser therapy, PRP platelet-rich plasma, nutritional supplements, etc. that can help protect follicle function and make hair follicles produce longer, thicker and healthier hair, once hair density is severely depleted, the only option for regrowth in that area is a hair transplant. Is your hair beyond repair? You’ll need a microscopic evaluation to tell if follicles can be rejuvenated, or if are they “dead and gone.”
And speaking of hair transplants…
True or False? All hair transplants are pluggy and painful.
While this may have been true decades ago, today, major advances in microsurgery, anesthetic techniques, and careful attention to patient comfort now allow skilled surgeons to comfortably restore permanent living and growing hair artistically, with 100% natural results. New, minimally invasive hair transplant procedures using an FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction approach enables skilled surgical teams to meticulously relocate as little as one hair follicle at a time so there are no “plugs,” no rows, and absolutely no linear scars left behind, which is typical of outdated “strip-harvest” procedures.
What’s more, new instruments and techniques developed within the past year or so allow for some procedures to be performed without any trimming of hair. The discreet No-Shave Long-Hair VIP|FUE™ process offers patients all the advantages of traditional minimally-invasive FUE – including no staples, no stitches, no-linear-scar, and a more comfortable and less restricted downtime when compared to outdated invasive linear or “strip” harvesting – but without having to undergo a drastic hairstyle change.
The bottom line is, regardless of how the hair follicles are harvested, the critical step for naturalness is the artistry of the surgeon involved –
so choose wisely. Patients, therefore, should not choose their surgeon based on the tool they use, but more so on their experience and artistic ability. Do your research, ask questions, look at before-and-after pictures, and don’t be afraid to ask to speak to previous patients.
True or False? Any dermatologist can treat hair loss.
Of course, for skin cancer, acne, psoriasis, and many other skin conditions, your dermatologist should be your primary resource. Today, however, because the diagnosis, measurement, treatment, and tracking of hair follicle function has become so specialized, your local derm may not necessarily be your best resource for hair thinning or scalp health issues. If you do visit your derm regarding a hair loss concern, hopefully, they will quickly refer you to an experienced, credentialed and qualified physician who specializes exclusively in hair restoration.
As with other medical subspecialties, hair restoration has its own certifying board, the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery. In order to achieve optimal results, it is important to consult with an experienced Hair Restoration Physician – a doctor whose practice is exclusively dedicated to the medical diagnosis, treatment, and tracking of hair loss and regrowth. To find a qualified hair restoration specialist, start by visiting the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery (ABHRS), International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons (IAHRS), and seek out someone who has achieved Fellow status within the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (FISHRS).
True or False? Hair loss is a treatable condition.
Thankfully for hair loss sufferers, this one is TRUE! In the past, there were no effective treatments in sight for hair loss and hair thinning patients; the only solution was to cover up hair loss with hats and artificial hairpieces. Fortunately, thanks to years of advanced research and new cutting-edge technology while there’s no “miracle cure,” today, there are many effective hair loss medications, treatments, and procedures that have made hair loss a treatable condition.
To learn more about the latest advancements in hair restoration, or to schedule an in-person or virtual appointment with Dr. Bauman, please visit www.baumanmedical.com or call 561-220-3480.