It’s one of the scariest words known to mankind, baldness. Receding hairlines and male-pattern hair loss are extremely common, and for many can be a horrible experience triggering some psychological problems from low-self confidence to anxiety.
Being able to quickly come to terms with thinning hair is better as there are treatments available. It’s just knowing who to turn to, what to use and escaping the barrage of snake-oil remedies out there which will cost you a fortune and most likely not work.
Don’t worry – there are lots of options for you! Here are the best options for tackling baldness:
Hair Loss Remedies
Evidence-based remedies that can work are Minoxidil solution or foam and Propecia tablets. These can slow or halt progression and even thicken the hair. This is the initial route to be taken in early hair loss. However, it is always important to check with your doctor that you are actually suffering from ‘male-pattern baldness’ and not a medical condition causing hair loss (i.e. alopecia or iron deficiency).
There are different techniques of hair transplantation, which have very varied results. It is artistry in itself and working out how to find the right surgeon is no easy task. You will also struggle to skillfully weave your way through the ‘white-noise’ of online searches. The two most common transplantation techniques are FUE and FUT which we will explain later. Some people wonder whether a “transplant” involves taking hair from another person. The hair is, in fact, discretely moved from the back and sides of your own head and then transplanted to the top/front.
You were probably oblivious to how many celebrities experiencing hair loss have actually had some form of hair transplant because most go unnoticed (unless you’re Wayne Rooney). There is a technique known as FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) which can even be done ‘unshaven’ with multiple sessions to give a completely natural look without anyone ever knowing. However, where there is more severe balding (rather than recession), many more grafts are required, which can provide equally good results but will be more apparent in the early healing stages after surgery.
The psychological impact on balding or a receding hairline can be devastating for many men and to have access to successful treatments is reassuring, but equally distressing if the wrong surgeon or clinic is chosen.
Below are the two common hair transplant techniques:
FUT and FUE
FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) removes a thin strip of hairs from the back of the head, which is then carefully divided under a microscope into a large number of grafts, to then transplant to the top or front of the head. This is used by some surgeons to collect a greater number of grafts but leaves a line scar which tends to need a longer hairstyle to conceal it.
FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) removes the individual follicles after having shaved a small area at the back of the head. There is also an ‘unshaven’ technique, but there are only a handful of surgeons who offer this very discrete option. The follicles are then placed at the top/front of the head. As the grafts are extracted individually, it can be more time-consuming but also a more discrete approach with less scarring.
It’s worth knowing that going bald isn’t the end of the world! It can be good to just embrace your receding hair by choosing a different hairstyle like a short back and sides for minor receding, or a buzz cut for the Zidane-esque bald spot – just remember, no comb-overs though!