When you hear the phrase “hair transplant,” do you automatically picture a middle-aged man who has a noticeable amount of hair loss on his head? While a man with male pattern baldness may be one of the more common candidates for a hair restoration procedure, he’s not the only one. There are several others reasons or causes of hair loss that can make a person consider a hair transplant. What each cause has in common is that it is usually permanent, meaning the hair won’t grow back on its own.
Burns and Scarring
A traumatic incident, such as a fire that causes severe burns or an accident that leaves a person with scarring on the scalp, can cause permanent hair loss, as the follicles on the scalp are destroyed. Depending on the extent of the injury, the hair loss can be very noticeable.
Some types of facial plastic surgery can create scarring that leads to permanent hair loss, too. For example, hair might be permanently lost around the incision areas made during a facelift or brow lift. While some hair loss related to plastic surgery can be temporary and can be due to telogen effluvium, or a mass shedding of hair after a stressful incident, damage to the skin and hair follicles on the scalp can cause permanent hair loss. Usually, it’s recommended that you wait about a year after a facial plastic surgery procedure to see if the hair will grow back on its own or not.
It’s also possible for a facial plastic surgery to alter the shape of a person’s hairline, creating an unnatural look. In that case, hair restoration surgery can correct the shape of the hairline, as well as restore any lost hair.
As the name suggests, traction alopecia occurs when a person wears his or her hair in a very tight style over a prolonged period time. The tightness of the style, whether it’s pulling the hair back into a ponytail or bun, wearing it braided all of the time, or using hair extensions which put force on the existing hair follicles, can cause individual strands to fall out.
Some people see regrowth of their hair after they change up their styles or give up hair extensions. Others might suffer permanent hair loss, particularly if they’ve styled their hair in a similar way or in a variety of tight styles for years on end.
If you are concerned that you are dealing with traction alopecia, a hair transplant can restore your hair. But, the surgery is only needed if your hair loss is permanent. Once you’ve adjusted your style or started wearing your hair down, it’s a good idea to give it a few months to see if there is any regrowth. If there isn’t, you can schedule a consultation with a hair restoration specialist to discuss your options.
There are two things to keep in mind if you’re considering a hair transplant for hair loss due to traction alopecia. The first is that you need to have a suitable number of donor hairs to replace the lost hair. If you have lost hair all of the scalp, there may not be enough remaining for the surgery.
The other thing to keep in mind is that although the surgery does provide a permanent result, you’ll need to continue to avoid the tight hairstyles afterwards. Going back to tight braids or taut ponytails after your hair restoration surgery can mean that your newly transplanted hair is also eventually pulled out.
Hair restoration surgery can replace hair that has been permanently lost due to trichotillomania, a condition that causes a person to have the irresistible urge to pull out his or her hair. But, in order for the transplant to be an effective solution, the entire condition needs to be treated.
Trichotillomania is a compulsive disorder, meaning that a person is usually not able to control the impulse to pull out or pick at the hair. In the early phases of the disorder, the hair often does grow back on its own. But, as the pulling continues, hair loss can end up being permanent, as scar tissue can develop over the follicles.
Along with surgically restoring the hair, many patients also benefit from therapy and counseling to help them control the urge to pull the hair. Without therapy, a patient may return to hair pulling after surgery and end up removing the restored hair.
Permanent causes of hair loss can often be corrected with hair restoration surgery. But, in many cases, fixing the lost hair can involve more than transplanting follicles. Speaking with a hair restoration specialist, such as Dr. Kyle Choe in the Virginia Beach area, can help you see if your hair loss is something that can be corrected with a hair transplant or if you’ll benefit from another treatment option, either on its own or before surgery. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Choe, call (757) 389-5850 today.