Q: When we think of hair loss, we think of older males who are balding, but women can also experience female-pattern hair loss. What does this mean and what are the reasons for it?
Dr. Philip Solomon: Absolutely, both men and women can experience hair loss. Men more than women, but we do see both in our clinic regularly and we offer different techniques for both genders. Hair loss in men is also known as androgenic alopecia and is the result of a combination of genetics, age and hormones. Male-pattern baldness may occur when hormone levels changes over the course of a man’s life. It can begin as early as the teenage years, and most men will have experienced some degree of pattern hair loss by the time they reach their fifties.
Women can experience hair loss because of pregnancy, thyroid disorders, anemia, genetics, hormones and age. Other common causes of hair loss include overuse of damaging hair products or hair tools and devices that heat the hair. Women-pattern hair loss typically begins with a thinning effect over the entire scalp rather than in one area.
Q: What is a hair transplant and who is a good candidate? Are there different techniques for men and women?
Dr. Philip Solomon: Anyone with hair loss may be a candidate. We provide a thorough consultation with each patient to assess their hair loss, discuss their medical history, family history and discuss their goals. For men, it’s often recommended they adapt a medication regime before undergoing Hair Transplant surgery, to prevent further hair loss. They would often need to be committed to this medication on a long-term basis to avoid losing their hair as they continue to age.
FUE, Follicular Unit Extraction, refers to a technique that it is minimally invasive and does not require sutures (Follicular Unit Transplant, or FUT, does). FUE, however, does require an area of the posterior scalp to be shaven, which makes this technique preferred by men versus women. Hair follicles are then extracted from the donor site and then replanted into the treatment area.
FUT is the traditional technique that requires a strip of hair being removed from the back of the scalp, the hair follicles are then extracted and replanted. This technique is better suited for women and can be a more attractive option since they can cover up the extracted strip of hair with their longer hair. FUE avoids this long linear scar across the back and sides of the scalp, which can be an issue for patients who wish to preserve the option of cutting their hair short or having to shave the entire head to blend the treated areas. Our clinic is somewhat unique in that we offer a combined therapy of both FUE and FUT to our patients.
Q: Tell us about Hairline Lowering surgery. What exactly does this procedure entail and who is a good candidate?
Dr. Philip Solomon: Our patients requesting Hairline Lowering are mostly women with high foreheads who want to lower their hairline. The golden ratio to create ideal facial harmony is an equal division of the face in thirds between the upper, middle and lower part of the face. The balance can appear off when someone has an excessively high forehead. By lowering the hairline, the face can appear more feminine and improve facial balance. Hairline Lowering surgery can also be combined with a Brow Lift which helps lift the brows and open up the eyes.
Q: Who would be a candidate for lowering the hairline versus Hair Transplant surgery?
Dr. Philip Solomon: Hairline Lowering and Hair Transplant surgeries address different issues. Hairline Lowering is a surgical procedure that shortens the forehead anywhere from one to two inches and appeals to mostly female patients who feel they have an excessively high forehead. Some men are also candidates for this procedure however this may leave a scar along the hairline which could be exposed with future hair loss.
Hair Transplant surgery addresses thinning hair and hair loss of the scalp, eyebrows, beard or eyelashes. Hair Transplant surgery is minimally invasive, performed under local anesthesia, and involves extracting hair follicles from a donor site and replanting them in the treatment site; it replenishes areas of the scalp that have complete hair loss or just need more hair to achieve greater density and lush hair.
Q: We have talked about PRP treatments before, but what exactly is Platelet-Rich Plasma treatment?
Dr. Philip Solomon: PRP is a treatment with multiple benefits. PRP is the acronym for Platelet-Rich Plasma which everyone has in their blood. We draw the patients’ blood, spin it through a centrifuge to extract the plasma, and we then inject the PRP into the scalp. These stem cells help with healing and can develop into connective tissue that helps stimulate hair growth.
PRP is often used in conjunction with Hair Transplant surgery, as well as a maintenance treatment after Hair Transplant surgery. At Solomon Facial Plastic (SFP), we see a lot of young men in their 20s and 30s, as well as females 30 and up, for PRP treatments to help prevent hair loss, improve hair growth and avoid the need for future invasive procedures.
PRP is also used as an anti-aging treatment for the face, as it helps stimulate collagen production, which helps the skin look more youthful, minimizing the appearance of fine lines. PRP also treats dark circles under the eyes and acne scars.
At SFP, we devise comprehensive treatment plans for our patients who are concerned about their hair, hairline, or quality of hair, and we can integrate a variety of options to help them achieve the best and most lush outcome.