Once upon a time, there was little a man could do once he started losing his hair. Early options included wearing a wig or otherwise concealing the hair loss or accepting hair loss as a fact of life. Starting in the 20th century, surgeons developed a new way for men to cope with male pattern baldness.
Once you’ve decided that you’re a candidate for hair restoration surgery, the next step is to determine which procedure is best for you. While follicular unit extraction (FUE) can seem like the ideal option for many patients, strip harvesting surgery is also worth considering. In fact, strip harvesting might be the better option for some patients, instead of FUE. As with any surgery, it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of the procedure before deciding if it’s the best option for you.
What to Know About Strip Harvesting Surgery
Pro: More Hair Can be Transplanted
Perhaps the biggest “pro” of strip harvesting is that it it allows a surgeon to harvest more follicles for transplanting during a single session. With FUE, each follicle is harvested one by one. That means smaller scars, but it also means the procedure takes longer. A surgeon may work on a smaller area when performing FUE and opt for strip harvesting if a patient wishes to have a wider area treated.
Con: It Creates a Scar
One of the main reasons why people consider FUE over strip harvesting is because strip harvesting creates a linear scar. During the surgery, the doctor cuts away a section of scalp, then stitches the incision closed. Although it is possible for a scar to form after the incision heals, it is usually very fine and very easy to conceal with any remaining hair.
It’s also important to remember that FUE creates scars as well. The big difference is that the scars from FUE are usually very tiny pinpricks. They can be located all over the scalp, though, which can make them visible. Plus, if a patient decides to have a second FUE procedure performed, the surgeon will need to harvest additional grafts, leaving more tiny scars all over the scalp. When a second strip harvesting surgery is needed, the surgeon can work near the site of the first incision, removing the initial scar.
Pro: Hair Doesn’t Need to Be Cut Short
Not everyone likes the idea of having to cut their hair very short to undergo hair restoration surgery. For some people, such as women who regularly wear their hair long, getting a close crop is a no-go. Since the procedure involves cutting away a full strip of hair, there’s no reason to trim the hair very short before strip harvesting.
Con: Recovery Can Take Longer
One last drawback of strip harvesting. Since the surgery does involve creating an incision, recovery afterward can take longer than recovery after FUE. There might be more discomfort as the incision heals. Luckily, discomfort tends to be minimal for many patients and is easy to manage with pain relievers and rest.
Pro: Results Look Natural
Most importantly, the results you get from strip harvesting surgery look natural. It’s your own hair that’s transplanted, and that transplanted hair is there to stay. Once you start to see regrowth, it’ll be like you never had hair loss at all.
It is typical for an individual to lose between 50 to 100 hairs throughout the day; however, these hairs are continuously replaced. If more excessive hair loss occurs, there may be an underlying problem: Hair loss caused by an underlying problem is usually short-lived and, once the root cause is removed, the lost hair is replaced. The root cause of hair loss can range from stress to inadequate protein consumption. When permanent hair loss occurs, hormones (including testosterone) and genetics are typically to blame.
There is a way to permanently restore hair lost due to male or female pattern baldness. Hair loss surgery transplants hair follicles from one area of the scalp to the area that is balding. The transplanted follicles are taken from a part of the scalp that usually doesn’t experience the effects of pattern baldness and are able to resist DHT, the hormone that contributes to balding.
Although surgical hair restoration can help you regain your hair and your confidence, the results aren’t instantly visible. If you are a considering surgery to restore lost hair, the timeline below will give you an idea of what to expect and when.
At Contemporary Hair Transplant, which is a division of the Chuback Medical Group, we offer a variety of hair restoration treatments. These treatments include Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy, Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), Strip Harvesting, Scalp Micropigmentation as well as the new, FDA-approved Capillus Laser Cap®. The physicians at Contemporary Hair Transplant have the experience, skill and vision necessary to determine which hair loss treatment will provide a patient with the look he or she desires: This is accomplished through the creation of a personalized hair restoration treatment plan.
Androgenetic alopecia, otherwise known as male pattern baldness, affects both men and women. Some individuals will have a single bald spot at the crown of their heads; whereas, others will notice that their hairline is gradually receding. One of the most common thinning patterns is frequently referred to as the ‘widow’s peak.’ A widow’s peak is a V-shaped hairline that involves a quicker loss of the hair near the temples than at the top of the forehead. However, the amount of hair lost and how quickly the hair thins will vary. Nevertheless, a widow’s peak is not always the result of hair loss, for individuals who inherit the V-shaped hairline trait, this receded location is where their normal hairline begins. At Contemporary Hair Transplant in Paramus, New Jersey hair restoration procedures are performed to address receding hairlines, widow’s peaks and bald spots.
Not all causes of hair loss are created equally. That said, not all hair restoration options in New Jersey are created equally. Some involve surgery, such as follicular unit extraction or strip harvesting. Others involve laser treatments or platelet rich plasma.
Certain causes of hair loss can make you a better candidate for hair restoration surgery than others. Learn more about when it’s worth considering surgery.
If you’re considering hair restoration, it pays to do your research. That means not only learn as much as you can about the various surgeries and other treatments available. It also means getting to know the surgeon who will be performing the treatment. To help you get to know your surgeon and to see if working with him will be a good fit, there are a number of questions it is worth asking.
What to Ask Your Hair Restoration Surgeon
Are You Board Certified?
It’s important to get a sense of your surgeon’s training and experience when it comes to hair loss surgery. Asking a surgeon if he’s board certified will give you an idea of amount of training he’s received after medical school and the degree of proficiency he’s been able to demonstrate. To earn board certification, a surgeon needs to successfully complete a multi-year residency, have a certain number of hours of experience, and pass rigorous examinations.
Although you might associate hair loss with men, it is a problem that affects women almost as much as it does men. About 40 percent of the people who suffer from hair loss are women, according to the American Hair Loss Association. While not every female hair loss patient is a good candidate for hair restoration surgery, a hair transplant can help many women get their hair–and their confidence–back.
People often assume that hair loss only occurs for genetic reasons or as a natural part of the aging process. Although male or female pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss, affecting up to 80 million people in the US, according to NYU Langone Medical Center, it’s not the only cause of hair loss. The type of hair restoration that is going to be most effective for you is going to depend largely on the reason for your hair loss.