Few things in life are certain or predictable. Fortunately, future hair loss is something a skilled hair restoration physician can predict with a fairly high degree of accuracy through a technique called “miniaturization mapping.”
In cases of genetic balding, normal hair becomes thinner, shorter, and wispy looking. It is a sign that a hair follicle is in its terminal stage of shutting down hair production for good. The process signifies advancing baldness which can be “mapped” and the data used to devise a course of treatment for permanent hair loss.
Hair thinning follows a genetically determined path and speed of progression and ultimate destination. Measuring the rate of diminishing thickness (miniaturization) of the hair shaft is one way to determine the pattern and direction of advancing hair loss. Men – and women – genetically predestined to lose their hair, do so at different rates and quantities. Your hair transplant specialist will want to know that before recommending the most effective course of action.
Using high-magnification equipment such as a video densitometer the surgeon is able to see up close the number of thinning hair shafts compared with healthy hair shafts. If there is miniaturization happening in potential donor sites, then these sites will most likely be ruled out since the transplanted hair follicles are in their terminal stage. In other words, the surgeon would be transplanting “dying” hair follicles to recipient sites. The results won’t last.
Miniaturization mapping is a useful predictive tool for measuring the thickness and density of hair in different areas of the scalp. It provides a “road map” of sorts to gauge the health of the patient’s donor and recipient hair follicles. It also provides the surgeon with a baseline for measuring the potential effectiveness of thinning hair treatments, whether surgical or topical.
It’s a great concept, miniaturization mapping, being able to accurately predict where a person’s hair loss likely will end up. The patient benefits, and the surgeon benefits as well, by having the foreknowledge for delivering the best, long-term results.
A qualified hair restoration doctor can show you the way to a better understanding of miniaturization mapping and how it can help devise a successful plan of attack against advancing hair loss.
Dr. Kyle S. Choe is a board certified facial plastic surgeon and hair restoration specialist with offices located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Contact The Choe Center for Facial Plastic Surgery at (757) 389-5850 for a personal consultation or read more about hair restoration.