Thousands of people opt for hair loss treatments all over the world but many physicians perform outdated hair restoration procedures that may do you more harm than good. Hair restoration is a long, arduous procedure that can take up to ten hours. Newer and less time-taking procedures need some learning curve and so physicians try to fix you up with older techniques. 5 hair restoration techniques you need to avoid
1. Flap and free-form flap In this type of hair restoration procedure, a flap of hair-bearing skin is moved from the side of the scalp to the front hairline after cutting it on three sides. However, the blood supply is not cut off and the flap is not severed completely from the scalp. This is indeed major surgery. In the free-form flap procedure, all four sides of the flap are cut and the flap is completely separated from the donor area so that it can be reset on the balding region in the direction of natural hair growth.
These procedures are not recommended in patients with androgenetic alopecia. Common problems with this procedure are:
• The growth of hair is in a direction opposite to the normal hairline
• Trauma of the procedure can often lead to extreme scarring or loss of existing hair; this is known as permanent shock loss
• Necrosis, leading to a bad scar
• Loose skin can develop in the forehead, leading to it hanging over the eyebrow
• Normal position and shape of the scalp may be altered, causing other serious complications and disfigurement
2. Round or square grafts These grafts are usually 3-5mm in size and are created with a hole-punch device. Square and round grafts, both are too large and they do not resemble the natural growth of hair. Their large size is often detrimental to the hair restoration procedure because the blood supply is compromised and the hair in the middle of the graft does not grow.
3. Line or linear grafts For performing a linear graft procedure, a linear strip of donor’s hair is removed from the back or side of the head and the entire strip is used for transplantation. Again, the results of this transplant are not cosmetically viable and this procedure must be avoided.
4. Scalp reduction This is also known as galeoplasty or alopecia reduction and causes a person to look unattractive. In this procedure, the bald part of the scalp is cut away and the edges of the close by hair-bearing skin are sewn together in such a way that the hair-bearing scalp from either side of the head is brought to meet at the middle. There are a few problems associated with this type of hair restoration technique:
a. This procedure can sometimes result in accelerated hair loss, which can occur within weeks or months and is most often permanent loss
c. Hematoma and hemorrhaging
d. The direction of hair growth is altered, thus resulting in an unnatural look
e. The stretched area of the scalp that has been sewn, loses its tautness, revealing a bald area, created by the stretching
f. Sometimes sutures on the scalp are rejected by the body, causing holes at the suture sites on the scalp
g. As a result of the scalp reduction technique, permanent hair in other areas of the scalp may be thinned or weakened, thus affecting future transplants, if they are needed
5. Hair lifts Hair lifts are much more advanced scalp reduction techniques that require hospitalization and major surgery. The side-effects of this procedure are visible scars and additional hair loss. Even parts of the patient’s head may be left permanently numb. Hair restoration procedures can prove to be risky in many cases and some types of procedures should most definitely be avoided, thus preventing further complications and health risks.