Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ten Reasons to Consider a Hair Transplant : Considering how you feel about your appearance , Improving your face-to-face relations with others , Keeping comfortable in hot and cold weather and Feeling fed up with non-surgical options

Ten Reasons to Consider a Hair Transplant


In This Chapter

  • Considering how you feel about your appearance
  • Improving your face-to-face relations with others
  • Keeping comfortable in hot and cold weather
  • Feeling fed up with non-surgical options

Deciding whether a hair transplant is right for you is difficult.

You may not only be dealing with your own feelings about it but also those of your family and friends. In this chapter, we give you ten good reasons why a hair transplant may be just what the doctor ordered for you.

Bald Isn’t Making You Feel Beautiful

Some people hesitate to get a hair transplant because they think doing so makes them vain. But let’s face it: Everyone wants to feel good about their appearance and goes to some lengths to feel better about how they look. Being told by family members, as some of my patients have been, that “being bald was good enough for Grandpa and should be good enough for you,” isn’t a good reason to dismiss a hair transplant if you think it’s what’s best for you.

A hair transplant isn’t a sign of weakness or insecurity. In fact, a number of powerful, successful men have had hair transplants. For example, the president of South Korea, Lee Myung Bak, is widely rumored to have had a hair transplant, and former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi are among those who have taken steps to reclaim their hair.

And it’s also true that many bald men are considered very attractive. Among them are actors Taye Diggs, Omar Epps, and Bruce Willis. But a surprising number of people have oddly shaped heads or scars, warts, lumps, or bumps on their heads that they would prefer cover with hair. It’s a wonderful form of makeup to make your head look more like everyone else’s.

You’d Like a More Symmetrical Face

Here’s something you probably never knew (unless you were an art major in college): A so-called perfect face follows the rule of symmetry, which states that symmetrical portions of facial features equal attractiveness. In other words, a face that can be divided into equal thirds is an attractive face. Most people’s faces don’t conform exactly to the rule of thirds ( 1⁄3 from chin to nose, 1⁄3 from nose to the bridge between the eyes, and 1⁄3 from the bridge between the eyes to the hairline). Men rarely have those exact proportions, but in today’s society, a handsome male face typically has a hairline that, in its distance from hollow at the upper point where your nose meets your forehead to the start of the hair, is equal to or less than the distance between the nose and the chin, never longer.

We measure these elements of the face on every patient coming through our office when we design a replacement hairline. The adult male hairline, which we call the mature hairline, has an equal distance between the chin to nose tip and the gully of the nose between the eyes to hairline. So that’s the distance we aim to create in a mature male hairline reconstruction.

Our 100-percent rule for determining hairline location is based on forehead creases. Look in the mirror and lift your eyebrows as high as you can. You see wrinkles in the forehead that are created by a muscle that lies beneath the skin; hair never grows on the skin on top of this muscle (below that crease). In children and women, the location of the hairline is at the highest wrinkle. The mature male hairline sits 2⁄3 inch above the highest wrinkle. This space reflects the normal recession of the hairline in the non-balding male; if the hairline rises further than 2⁄3 inch, it’s an indication of early genetic recession and the beginning of patterned balding.

If you look in the mirror and lift your eyebrows, the highest crease is where the hairline resided when a boy was 10 years old. If he wrinkled his brow, the hairline would hug his lower drawn-in hair- line. The second line is the mature hairline that formed between ages 19 to 29. The shaded area above the second line shows hairline

recession forming a pattern that reflects early balding. If this man lifted his eyebrows and creased his brow, the highest crease would appear at the point where the lowest hairline shows.

When your hairline creeps upward, the proportions of your face change. Bringing your hair back down to where it belongs can keep your facial proportions in their proper balance, which is critical for a non-balding man’s hairline reconstruction.

You Don’t Want People Talking to Your Forehead

A common complaint of people with rising hairlines is that when they meet someone, the other person’s eyes immediately look north. Lack of direct eye-to-eye contact is very disconcerting for even the most secure of people. A nice hairline avoids this uncomfortable problem by keeping the face framed and companions’ eyes from wandering up.

Even with significant thinning on the top of your head or crown, your appearance doesn’t really change until the hairline starts to go and you lose the upper aspect of the frame to your face. Framing is an important facet in art. For example, what good is a Picasso painting worth millions if it’s not mounted and framed properly? A high-quality frame can make even an average Joe’s painting look like expensive art. A face with a well-placed hairline brings out the best in facial features. When there’s no upper hair- line, the forehead seems to go on forever!

When a hair transplant is done and the hairline isn’t placed in the proper position, the forehead remains wide. We’ve seen skilled hair transplants in which the doctor has placed the hairline higher than where we define the mature male hairline. Even if the grafts aren’t detectable, locating the hairline higher than where it belongs still draws the eye to the abnormally long forehead.

You Don’t Want the Lifetime Cost of a Hair System

If you’re trying to solve your hair problem and save money, you may think that it’s cheaper to buy a toupee or other hair system rather than have a hair transplant. A hair system (toupee or wigs; see Chapters 6 and 7 for a full discussion of both) can seem

inexpensive at first, but with the upkeep and maintenance, the life- time expense can far surpass that of any hair transplant surgery. Good quality hair systems range from $1,000 to $5,000 per year. We know of one typical patient who spent over $16,000 in the course of five years to purchase a hair system and maintain it! And the next five years will cost him the same amount without adjusting to inflation. Although a hair transplant is a one-time investment often comparable to or less than the five-year cost of a wig, a wig or a toupee needs costly maintenance — not such a great deal for you. Hair transplants are the better deal on the basis of just costs alone.

A number of years ago, I (Dr. Rassman) had a meeting with Sy Sperling, owner of Hair Club for Men, when he needed an affiliation with a doctor to go into the hair transplant business. At that time, he told me that the average income the company budgeted from a hair system over a five-year period was approximately $12,500. That was in 1996, so calculate what inflation has done to this cost! I doubt that the costs have come down.

A Bald Head Runs Hot and Cold Hair is more than a vanity symbol; it keeps your head warm in the cold months of winter and protected from the sun in the heat of the summer. Hair works as a natural source of insulation — as any bald

person can tell you. It has been calculated that people lose 50 per- cent of their body heat through the head when in freezing temperatures! Napoleon’s army lost the bald men first in the freezing Russian winter. Although fighting in the Artic climes may not be in your future, a winter in a Northern climate can feel almost as cold at times.

In addition to the insulation it provides in cold weather, hair also provides cool shade when the weather is hot and the sun is strong, and it protects your scalp against the UV rays of the sun, keeping down the risk of skin cancer.

You’re Tired of Toupees, Creams, and Other Disguises

As a bald man, what can you do about your condition? The non- surgical options are many, but they may all seem less than attractive. For example, grow a foot-long strand of hair to comb across the top, and you may be laughed out of town (see the section “You’re Ready to Ditch the Infamous Comb-over” later in this section for more on this so-called solution to hair loss). Ditto for

wearing inexpensive, obvious toupees, the worst of which give the impression of a small furry animal draped over the head. Much- hyped hair restoratives like Rogaine usually are only successful, if they are successful, on top-of-the-crown bald spots — if those spots haven’t already expanded beyond the diameter of a small potato chip. Unfortunately, Rogaine doesn’t grow back the hair to full thickness. You could shave your scalp, concealing your shame by pretending to revel in it. Or you can grow a beard to shift public attention to the nether end of your head. With all these proposed solutions, nobody has to suspect that you’re actually bald, but they likely will anyway because non-surgical solutions are less effective at concealing hair loss than a hair transplant. Also, you’re likely to get really sick of toupees, creams, and other disguises really fast.

You Want to Improve Your First Impression

No one likes to be judged by their appearance, but unfortunately, appearances do matter, and it’s hard for people to get to know the real you if they can’t get past the first impression. The reality is that the first impression is usually a physical one — whether it’s in person or in a photo, such as on a dating Web site.

When it comes to dating, other things being equal, most men and women prefer a partner with a full head of hair because of a perception that balding reflects an older, less vibrant, and less sexually capable man. Hair has been unfairly, and incorrectly, associated with health and youth. Women see men with hair loss and automatically assume the men are unhealthy or old.

You’re Ready to Go Au Naturel

“Au naturel,” French for “in the natural (state),” is often used to mean “nude,” but when it comes to hair, nude isn’t always your best option! There’s nothing wrong with having hair . . . up there! A hair transplant today looks and feels like your natural hair, growing like it did before it disappeared! You get a hair transplant and then forget about it except for routine haircuts. Wigs, toupees, and hats only offer a temporary cover up, whereas a hair transplant is a permanent and natural solution to baldness.

Many people have a negative opinion of hair transplants as looking unnatural. Terms such as “doll’s head” or “plugs” come to mind. But today’s hair transplant procedures have evolved. For example,

follicular unit transplantation (FUT) is a technique in which hair is transplanted from the permanent zone in the back of the scalp into areas affected by genetic balding, using only the naturally occur- ring, individual follicular units. If performed well, the results are undetectable even to the trained eye. A good, modern hair trans- plant is undetectable to anyone not in the know about your original follicular state. The look is completely au naturel.

You’re Ready to Ditch the Infamous Comb-over

In the beginning of our hair restoration practice, we couldn’t help notice the most common hair style for balding men: the slicked side-to-side hair that runs from just above one ear to the other side over the bald head. The comb-over, as it’s commonly known, has been popular with many men who grow the hair in the donor area (normally the sides/back of head for men) longer than normal to cover the balding area. Eventually, less and less hair is available to cover more and more surface area as the balding progresses.

We’ve always wondered how men reach the stage of the comb-over as a solution for their hair loss. It’s clear that this style is a process that takes years to evolve as the man tries to preserve his old hair style by making use of ever diminishing quantities of hair. A comb- over style works for most men until the hair loss gets too bad and the bald area is too large. This is such a slow insidious process that most men don’t notice it happening. John McCain is a good example of a man who uses the comb style and it is on the cusp of looking foolish.

How do the friends and families of these men with advanced, foolish-looking comb-overs keep their mouths shut about how silly it looks? It seems that they just go along with the deception to protect their loved one’s feelings, or they may be just too embarrassed to speak the truth. If you love someone, you can usually manage to overlook their imperfections, if not downright oddities, but the staring eyes from friends and strangers can sometimes be a bit much to bear. When you reach a point at which you’re ready to ditch your comb-over, a hair transplant is the best next step you can take.

You Don’t Like Using Sun Screen on Your Head

The presence of a bald crown or a bald head produces a problem that most non-bald men never think about. Sun burns! And these sun burns eventually lead to a type of skin cancer. If you look carefully at the head of a balding man over the age of 50 or so, you will see dark- ened spots on the bald areas of the scalp. Many of these spots are precancerous lesions and they must be checked frequently by a good dermatologist.