Hair is often a huge part of our identities and how we express ourselves. Premature hair loss can come as a shock. In fact, even when a patient thinks they were prepared for hair loss they are often surprised by how much it upsets them. That’s why at Keller Plastic Surgery, located in Santa Barbara, CA, we are pleased to offer multiple hair restoration options.
Does Hair Restoration Really Work?
Real Solutions Instead of False Hope
While looking for hair restoration options, you may find yourself falling down a rabbit hole of dubious products that promise fast results, only to be let down time and time again. At Keller Plastic Surgery, we stick to tried and true methods so our patients can stop endlessly wading through different solutions that don’t actually get the job done.
The right treatment will depend on some individual factors. While we will be able to help you further during a consultation, for now, we can go over some of the different treatment options we offer.
What Are the Options?
FUE Hair Transplant
An FUE hair transplant is currently considered the gold standard for hair transplants. When hair grows from the scalp, it does so in follicular units of anywhere from one to four hairs per unit. We take a donor site’s hair follicles and transplant them into follicular units that are lacking hair, such as the scalp. This, combined with our intentional placement methods, makes the resulting hair lay naturally.
When it comes to FUE hair transplants, we are able to offer two different approaches. The kind of approach we take depends on what we feel will best help our patient. In some cases, if a large number of grafts are needed, we may use a combination of these different techniques.
The Follicular Unit Extraction Method
This is our most common method. We extract the donor site’s follicular units with a tiny punch incision made around the hair follicle. This allows us to then use the units as a graft. One of the reasons this method is preferred is due to the fact that it leaves no scar behind. In fact, parts of an old scar may be able to be “punched out” with our device to reduce the scar during the extraction process.
This method is fast and effective. There are several unit extraction methods, but the Safe-Graft method that we use has an especially high success rate. The unit extraction method is especially helpful when the scalp is scarred, tense after having undergone a strip hair transplant, or if the patient is planning to wear their hair short.
The Strip Hair Transplantation Method
When it comes to the strip method, a strip of skin with hair is removed from an area that can be easily closed with minimal scarring. This area is usually the side or the back of the scalp. After removal, the strip is divided up to make multiple smaller grafts. This will result in hundreds or sometimes even thousands of tiny grafts. Each graft will contain anywhere from one to five hairs each.
After being divided, the grafts can then be transplanted into an area where more hair is desired.
Who Is a Good Candidate for These Methods?
If you are considering a hair transplant, we will take several things into consideration during your consultation. Some of these considerations will be what kind of hair pattern we will need to recreate, how we can best compliment the shape of your face, and whether you have sufficient donor hair available to make a hair transplant possible.
Dr. Keller’s training and experience when it comes to facial plastic surgery comes into play here, as it helps him balance the procedural aspects of this treatment, as well as the artistic touch it requires in order to get the best results for your unique face and features.
ACell and PRP Therapy
If you are hoping for great results but don’t want to go through surgery, you’re still in luck. For patients who are genetically prone to hair loss, ACell and PRP therapy represent the best and most effective non-surgical solution for hair loss that modern science has to offer. This treatment uses your body’s own healing abilities to stimulate hair growth.
For PRP therapy, you will have a blood sample taken. The platelet-rich plasma present in your blood will be derived from the blood sample. It will then be injected into the balding portion of the scalp. The platelet-rich plasma will stimulate the hair follicles in the injected area, encouraging hair growth.
The Use of an Acellular Device
For the ACell portion of treatment, your body’s stem cells come into play. In any tissue of the human body, there are stem cells. We use an FDA-approved acellular device to activate your body’s stem cells. Once the stem cells are activated, they recruit all kinds of other cells to the treated area to begin regenerating the area’s tissues. This regenerative ability also applies to promoting healthy hair growth.
Stem cell activation and the use of platelet-rich plasma are both well-respected treatments that can be used in a multitude of ways. As such, they can be powerful tools when it comes to restoring hair growth.
How to Tell if ACell and PRP Therapy Is a Good Fit for You
ACell and PRP therapy is a powerful team when used together. There is very little downtime associated with this treatment, and no daily maintenance required. Since ACell and PRP therapy works with your body’s natural cycle, the results will begin to appear anywhere from four to eight months after treatment. To maintain the resulting fuller, thicker hair, an occasional follow-up treatment is recommended.
How often you may need a follow-up treatment depends on your hair’s growth rate and treatment response. Some patients find they are able to enjoy the full effects of treatment for years before they want a follow-up, with others finding the results are best maintained by treating the area periodically throughout the year. Your results can be assessed every four months to stay on top of your progress.
Red Light Therapy
For another less invasive treatment option that doesn’t require surgery, you may want to consider red light therapy. This treatment involves stimulating hair growth in the treated follicles with gentle laser therapy. The result should be a fuller, thicker, and healthier-looking head of hair.
When Should You Consider Red Light Therapy?
For patients who are concerned that their hair is becoming thinner with age, and want to restore it to previously enjoyed fullness, red light therapy might be a good fit for you. It is widely considered safe, minimally invasive, and well-tolerated.
Are There Any Alternatives?
A Note on Medications, Creams, and Supplements
There are prescription and over the counter medications that can help in some cases of hair loss. These medications can be either oral or come in the form of a cream or shampoo. They are most likely to be helpful in more mild cases of thinning hair. While these treatments can be helpful, some people affected by hair loss may not want to go on medication or may have tried different medications and creams to no avail.
There is some research that indicates certain B-complex supplements such as biotin may be helpful in supporting hair health. B-complex vitamins play a huge role in supporting a healthy body, but while biotin may possibly help to strengthen hair, it isn’t considered a definitive treatment for hair loss.
Be Mindful of Where You Buy Your Treatments
Whether they are over the counter or prescription, it is vital that you always receive your treatment from a safe and verified source. Be cautious of any online hair products that are touted as miracle cures, especially if they aren’t coming from a doctor. Some “miracle cures” could contain ingredients that may actually be harmful to you or your hair.
Hair Styling Tricks
Hair can be styled in certain ways to help hide the fact that it is thinning. You may be able to grow out the hair on the side of your head, to then comb over a balding area on top of your head. Parting your hair down the side instead of down the middle can also help create more volume on the top of your head. Shorter hair can be combed forward to hide a receding hairline.
For those who are unhappy with these hairstyles or find them ineffective, there are hairpieces available for both men and women, which can be blended into your natural hair and used to cover thinning areas. Hairstyles and hairpieces are not effective for everyone, and if you have found that they aren’t working for you, it may be time to consider treatment to stimulate your natural hair growth.
Scalp Coverage Powders
Certain powders are often marketed as an easy way to hide thinning hair at home. The fibers contained in these powders can mimic the appearance of hair or can color and hide the scalp. The problem with some of these powders is they can sometimes clog your hair follicles, especially if you don’t get it all out when you wash your hair. This clogging may weaken your hair follicles, which can lead to greater hair loss down the road.
If you are concerned about possibly irritating your scalp with coverage powders, or clogging follicles that will help support the hair you have, we recommend seeking professional hair loss treatment instead of resorting to powders.
Hair Loss FAQ
1. Other Than Age, Could Something Else Be Causing My Hair Loss?
Hair loss can be caused by several different factors, many of which are hereditary or age-related. However, there are other potential hair loss factors, which can include:
- Insufficient nutrition
- Stress levels
- Certain medications
- Untreated health issues
If you are concerned about your hair loss symptoms, pay a visit to your doctor to check for any underlying health issues.
2. Are There Ways I Can Keep My Hair Healthy for Longer?
A healthy lifestyle can help support your whole body, including your hair. A balanced diet, plenty of sleep, and stress-reduction practices are always a good idea.
3. How Much Hair Is Normal To Lose in a Day?
We can lose between 50 to 100 hairs each day from our heads. Losing hair is usually not the problem, the problem is when it doesn’t grow back, or if it is being lost in noticeably large portions at a time.
Are You Ready for Hair Restoration That Really Works?
If you’re ready to explore what hair restoration options can work for you, contact us at Keller Plastic Surgery in Santa Barbara, CA, today to set up your consultation! Our team is extensively experienced, and we strive for a compassionate, patient-first mentality to help create an environment that our patients can feel confident in. We look forward to helping you find the right fit when it comes to restoring your hair back to the best it can be.