Most people considering surgical hair restoration are not aware of the scope and the pitfalls of this medical specialty. While some patients may understand the basic science behind these procedures, few are aware of the aesthetics and artistry required to perform them well. And not all doctors who claim to do the procedure are as skilled as they perhaps should be.
Flashy marketing and high-pressure sales pitches dominate the field, making truly objective and rational decision-making sometimes difficult. In general, hair restoration or transplantation is handled not so much as the medical specialty that it is and one that serves patients, but as a business that serves consumers.
The most common cause of hair loss in both men and women is genetic. In fact, heredity accounts for 95% of all the cases of alopecia (baldness) in this country. The remaining 5% of the cases can be due to a number of things including diet, stress, illness, or medications.
Factors that can cause hair loss include:
Medications, vitamins, or minerals. Drugs used to treat high blood pressure, heart problems, depression, or gout; chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer patients; and...
Hair restoration includes surgical and nonsurgical techniques. Surgical hair restoration includes hair transplantation and other techniques including those not recommended by the American Hair Loss Association. Hair transplantation is the most recommended technique in surgical hair restoration.
The AHLA fully endorses surgical hair restoration for those candidates who can benefit from the procedure. It is important to note, however, that there are only a handful of qualified surgeons and surgical staffs performing hair restoration surgery in the U.S. and worldwide. It pays to learn which questions to ask during consultations as well as what to look for and what to avoid when choosing a hair restoration surgeon.