Setting Hair Restoration Goals

Setting goals may be the most challenging aspect of planning hair restoration.  Many of us can be emotionally devastated by our hair loss.  We tend to want to fix what’s missing right now.

Until hair cloning, hair multiplication, gene therapy, or anything else becomes viable and affordable, we are left to work within the confines of our available donor supplies.  And for the sake of our discussion, our references will be to scalp donor.   Hair harvested from other regions of the body are methodology still in their infancy stages and because of the lack of consistent results (yields), we cannot and will not rely on it as a realistic or feasible donor source.  Hopefully that will change in the near future.

Hair restoration is an all encompassing term and extends beyond the realm of surgery.  First and foremost, patients have to decide if they will use the available medications approved by the FDA for treating MPB. Interestingly enough, the earlier an individual decides to begin treatment after formal diagnosis, the better overall results achieved including regrowth.  These medications are Propecia (men only, finasteride 1mg daily), and Rogaine (minoxidil 3% & 5% strength).   Why is this an important element in setting one’s goals? We know that MPB is a progressive disorder in its nature so without the effective use of hair loss medications, the loss will continue in its predestined course.  There are individuals who choose to not use the meds at all, which ultimately is a personal elective choice by each patient and still must be respected.  That being said, if an individual chooses to refrain from the meds and yet has the potential for substantial hair loss based on family history, surgery may not be the path to take altogether.  Effective hair loss medications can make all of the difference in the world in establishing one’s potential candidacy for surgical hair restoration.  Even so, there are no guarantees on the efficiency of the medications over the long term.  And like anything else, we all respond to the active ingredients differently.  That is a part of the overall risk.

There must be prudent consideration to one’s lifetime potential for hair loss and what limited donor is available to meet both today and tomorrow’s needs.   This approach in setting your goals can and really should be done with your HT surgeon of choice, the talented and reputable one you are planning to perform your procedure.  Any reputable HT surgeon has completed many procedures and can make sensible suggestions based on experience with patients with similar hair characteristics and hair loss patterns.  If the doctor only suggests doing the biggest session that you can afford, keep hunting.

The other considerations in setting your hair restoration goals are staying in step with aging and other factors whereby higher hairlines as well as somewhat lower density levels look more appropriate for the individual.  All of this should be taken into consideration in the design and construction of hairlines and temporal areas.

Because MPB is progressive, the restoration goals can be planned in stages requiring several procedures over time.  There are very few patients if any that can get by with one procedure once started.  In addition, the well informed patients tend to have more realistic expectations and cannot be persuaded outside of their individual limitations.  They begin to understand and accept what is as well as what is not attainable for them individually.

Well informed patients are then able to plan and execute their hair restoration goals employing any and all available resources.  The uncertain thoughts and anxiety begin to melt away.  You now have a comprehensive workable strategy against the battle of hair loss.  A sense of confidence will soon set in, and the goal planning becomes enjoyable and rewarding!   Are you ready?

 

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