Q: Why would I consider a hair transplantation procedure?
These days there are a lot of treatments for those concerned about their hair loss. Hair transplantation is mostly used for male pattern baldness.
If a man with male-pattern hair loss has been going bald for a period of time and it has been bothering them, they might seek medical treatment from a dermatologist.
Options that may be offered to him can include oral medications, lotions and laser therapy. Sometimes this might slow down the process, but it may not produce enough hair regrowth to make him feel comfortable.
Hair transplantation is a highly personal decision, and not all people experiencing baldness decide to undertake surgery in order to treat their hair loss.
However, we have made leaps and bounds in recent years with Australian surgeons being some of the early pioneers in hair transplantation surgery.
The procedure takes a full day and results are gradual, with the hair transplants slowly emerging over the course of about 12 months.
The gradual regrowth is in fact a bonus for most men as it avoids all those conversations that you don't want to have, like answering, "oh, what have you done to your hair?".
Hair transplantation is available to both men and women with hair loss. It involves redistributing the hairs from the back of the scalp where there are plenty, to the top and front of the scalp where there are few.
We only take some of the follicles from the back of the scalp so there is no visible hair loss there.
The reimplanted hairs grow like a normal hair. Hair placement is critical to produce a natural hair line. The transplanted follicles are spaced randomly so that they give the appropriate density, angle, wave or curl for a natural look.
We are doing hundreds more hair transplants in Australia than were done 20 or 30 years ago, but as you walk down the street you don't tend to notice people who've had hair transplants.
That is because the hair transplants done today look natural. The only transplants you see are the bad ones.
Is the procedure right for me?
Hair loss is something that affects every man and every woman progressively as they get older.
It's primarily caused by a combination of ageing, changes in hormones and a family history of baldness.
For many, it's no big deal. It's one of those things that happens, and they just get on with life.
However for some people, it has profound importance to them - they don't like the hair loss, and they'd like to do something about it.
If the hair loss is relatively mild, and you've caught it early, then there are medical treatments you can use.
But if the hair loss is a little more advanced, then hair transplantation is going to be the most effective treatment.
However, it's important to keep in mind that hair transplantation is not a cure for baldness. While, the transplants will cover a bald scalp, they will not protect you from further hair loss.
A dermatologist can assess your hair to make sure that you have the right diagnosis, and ensure that you're not treating the wrong condition.
They can then give you advice about whether you are suitable for hair transplant.
- Today's answer is provided by Melbourne dermatologist Professor Rodney Sinclair, through HealthShare, a digital company dedicated to improving the health of regional Australians. Submit questions, and find more answers, at healthshare.com.au.