Hair loss presents problems not only in terms of looks but the effect on an individual’s self-esteem. Hair loss is not a new problem, but where baldness in the past was considered a natural part of the aging process, today men and women associate baldness with « growing old. »
Despite being a fact of life for many, hair loss still makes people self-conscious about their appearance. For centuries, men and women suffering from baldness have opted to wear toupees and wigs. Hair plays a vital part of a person’s overall appearance and self confidence.
The problem with hairpieces and wigs is that they rarely look natural, and those who wear wigs and toupees have long been the subject of jokes. Over time, replacement hairpieces have developed to wear they look more like the real thing – but there are also other hair replacement systems that have been developed, providing bald individuals with the chance of living a normal life free from ridicule.
Facts on hair replacement systems
As mentioned above, the earliest forms of hair replacement were wigs, toupees and hairpieces, used to cover bald areas of the head. They are still used today, but many people suffering from hair loss aspire to something more – permanent, non-detachable hair. One problem with wigs and other hairpieces is they can slide or fall off, causing more embarrassment than relief.
Some medications and topical ointments can slow down hair loss and encourage the growth of new hair. However, different people react differently to various medications. If a topical ointment is enough to encourage the growth of new hair, great! But, sadly, that;s not the case for everyone.
For baldness that just cannot be remedied otherwise, surgical procedures such as hair transplantation and scalp reduction are considered as a last resort. The results of these two surgical procedures are permanent, resulting in natural looking hair, permanently attached to the scalp. Today, more and more bald people are considering surgical procedures to restore their hair. But just how safe is hair transplantation and scalp reduction?
Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure that involves removing small pieces of scalp where hair still grows (as grafts or plugs) from a thick hair area of the head and relocating them to the balding area
Hair transplantation dates back to experiments performed in Japan in the 1930’s, in which skin and hair were taken from one area of the body and transplanted to areas that had been disfigured as a result of accidents or war injuries.
In contrast, scalp-reductions are administered to patients who desire a more dramatic change. This type of procedure uses local anesthesia, which is injected into the scalp prior to the surgical procedure. The scalp-reduction is also known as « advancement flap surgery, » since sections of hairy scalp are pulled forward – or « advanced » – to fill in the bald area of the head. The only drawback of scalp reduction is the fact that it cannot cover frontal hairline.