Hi. Alopecia or male pattern baldness is responsible for the vast majority of hair loss in men. While there are many possible reasons people lose hair including serious diseases, reaction to certain medications and in rare cases extremely stressful events, most hair loss in men are inherited.
What male pattern baldness sufferers are actually inheriting are hair follicles with a genetic sensitivity to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Hair follicles that are sensitive to DHT begin to miniaturise, shortening the lifespan of each hair follicle affected. Eventually, these affected follicles stop producing cosmetically acceptable hair.
Given that the vast majority of hair loss in men is androgenic alopecia, the first line treatment aims to inhibit Type II 5-alpha-reductace, the enzyme that converts testosterone to androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT), to arrest the hair loss process. Concurrently, scalp treatments also provide essential nutrients and an environment that promotes hair growth.
Hair transplantation is a surgical technique that moves individual hair follicles from a part of the body called the ‘donor site’ to bald or balding part of the body known as the ‘recipient site’. It is primarily used to treat male pattern baldness.
In this minimally invasive procedure, grafts containing hair follicles that are genetically resistant to balding are transplanted to the bald scalp. It can also be used to restore eyelashes, eyebrows, beard hair, chest hair, pubic hair and to fill in scars caused by accidents or surgery such as face-lifts and previous hair transplants.
Hair transplantation differs from skin grafting in that grafts contain almost all of the epidermis and dermis surrounding the hair follicle, and many tiny grafts are transplanted rather than a single strip of skin.
Since hair naturally grows in groups of 1 to 4 strands of hair, today’s most advanced techniques harvest and transplant these naturally occurring 1 to 4 hair follicular units in their natural groupings.
Thus, modern hair transplantation can achieve a natural appearance by mimicking natural hair. This hair transplant procedure is called Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). Donor hair can be harvested two different ways: strip harvesting, and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
Hope these helps. All the best!
Dr Kelvin Chua