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How Can Hair Greed Effect Hair Transplant Patients

11/2/2018 4:42:44 PM

Hair greed is a real feeling that almost every hair transplant patient will experience at one point during their hair restoration journey. In fact, even hair transplant patients who have had three to four surgeries with thousands upon thousands of grafts transplanted to their thinning/balding areas desire more hair. In this article, we will be discussing what "hair greed" is and how it can influence a patient to go through unnecessary and unsafe hair restoration procedures.

What Is "Hair Greed"?

Hair greed is a strong feeling that almost every hair transplant patient will experience at some point, it is the inclination and eagerness to go through several hair transplant surgeries even after the "illusion of density" has been fully restored. Unfortunately, there is a point of diminishing returns with hair restoration, this is because the donor supply of a patient is finite and must be used strategically to not only treat the patients current hair loss, but save enough donor hair for any future hair loss that a patient may experience.

The great Benjamin Franklin once said "nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes" however, he forgot to add one thing and that is the progression of androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss). Sadly, every person with androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss) can expect their hair loss to progress over time and with age, including many patients on Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride) albeit at a much slower rate. Therefore, it is imperative that a patient not only focus on the present hair loss, but also on the future hair loss. Thus, the donor supply must be utilized with careful planning and adherence to a long-term strategy and plan.

What Are The Possible Complications That Can Occur With "Hair Greed"

There are so many complications that can occur from hair greed, but one of the most common issues that can occur is the depletion of the patients donor supply. Sadly, hair cloning is not a current option for hair loss sufferers and prospective hair restoration patients, so until hair cloning becomes a viable option hair transplant surgeons must rely on a finite donor supply. The point of diminishing returns for hair restoration is when a patient risks depleting their donor supply for a small touch-up or ultra-aggressive procedure. In some cases, patients will request to have their hairlines lowered to mimic their adolescent or juvenile hairlines. Unfortunately, this presents several issues, the main issue is the progression of hair loss. Not only will the patient be limiting themselves for treating other areas of their scalp in the future by overloading their hairline with a large number of grafts, but the result will look un-natural as the patient ages and continues to lose more hair. In some cases, the patient may lose the rest of their hair behind the hairline and only have a tuft of hair left on their sclap resembling an island.

On the flip side, some patients may follow their surgeons long-term strategy and plan to a T, but the desire for more density pushes them to go through another Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS) or Follicular Unit Excision (formerly known as Follicular Unit Extraction FUE) procedure. After going through several hair transplant procedures the scalp may be severely compromised due to either scalp laxity or donor density. One small touch-up procedure could potentially damage the patients scalp to the point of suffering permanent nerve damage or depleting their donor site and exchanging one thinning area for another. Needless to say, one minor touch-up could end up causing the patient pain, distress and ruin the overall cosmetic result.

Conclusion

Hair restoration requires a balanced approach, because hair restoration does not create new hair, it is simply re-arranging pre-existing hair to another part of the scalp. Therefore, prospective hair transplant patients must be cognizant of the limitations that exist with hair restoration. While wanting more density and more hair is understandable, it may not always be in the patients best interest. Finding a skilled, talented, experienced and ethical hair transplant surgeon is essential for building and executing a long-term strategy for a patients current and future hair loss needs.

Written and published by,

Melvin- Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network and The Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians