Hair loss is a major problem for many people (mainly men) that can lead to a highly charged emotional state and stress. The main factors of androgenic alopecia are genetic, hereditary, hormonal, nutritional and stress-related. Male hair loss usually starts becoming noticeable in a man’s late 20s and early 30s. In androgenic alopecia, daily hair loss is above the normal average of 150-200 hairs a day that is followed by the production of new hairs.
Understanding the hair life cycle is crucial to finding the right restoration treatment. The hair life cycle is divided in 3 phases: anagen (growth), catagen (cessation) and telogen (rest). Hair production and growth occurs during the anagen phase, which lasts approximately 3 years. Under normal circumstances, 90% of the hairs on a person’s head are in this phase. The catagen phase is a transitional phase that lasts 2 to 3 weeks and signals the end of the active hair growth. 10% of the hairs on a person’s head are in the telogen phase that lasts 3 to 4 months. During this phase the hairs start to fall and the production of new ones is inhibited.
The extension of the telogen phase and the gradual shrinking of the anagen one can lead to androgenic alopecia. Hair loss is a much more serious problem for men than women. In men, hair first starts receding from the lateral sides of the forehead and thinning on the vertex area. The occurrence of alopecia in women before the age of 50 is usually connected to a family predisposition. Alopecia should be diagnosed after a thorough examination in order to exclude the possibility of a pathological cause.
Alopecia treatment includes conservative and surgical methods depending on the cause. The FUE technique (Follicular Unit Extraction), which has eliminated the need for an incision at the back of the scalp, is among the most modern invasive methods.
Brief description of the procedure
The procedure requires local anesthesia. Follicular units (FUs) are extracted from specific areas of the scalp without the need for an incision on the occiput which was necessary in older methods (Strip extraction-FUT). After being extracted, each follicular unit is implanted in the balding area of the scalp. In cases when a large number of follicular units need to be transplanted, two sessions are usually required (mega session). Dr. Varnalidis uses the FUE technique in order to achieve a natural and permanent result.
After the procedure, the transplanted hairs initially grow for the next 4 weeks and then start to fall, as they enter the telogen phase, which lasts 2 to 3 more months. Therefore, the regular growth of the new hair becomes noticeable 4 months after the procedure.
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Dr. Varnalidis always discusses and explains each procedure step by step. He also offers extensive post-surgery advice and is here to answer any question you might have, so that a smooth recovery and the best functional and aesthetic outcome are achieved.