Even in this age of instant access to all of the world’s knowledge, many myths persist. Misconceptions regarding hair transplants, unfortunately, are still common. Being unaware that some of your beliefs about hair transplants aren’t true can prevent you from seeking help from a qualified, experienced surgeon specializing in hair restoration. If you’ve bought into a popular myth, you may feel that looking into your options is a waste of time – or that you’d only be setting yourself up for disappointment.
However, it would be far worse if the time you wasted was the time in which you could have enjoyed a full head of hair and improved self-confidence. We’ll look at seven common myths about hair transplants so you can put aside your reservations and start your journey to effective treatment.
Myth #1 – Hair transplants don’t look natural
Hair transplant surgery has greatly evolved since its beginning in the 1950s. Even so, the image of “pluggy” results has carried over from the 1970s, when it was only possible to harvest large grafts of skin and hair from donor areas of the scalp. The “mini” and “micro” grafts popular during the 1980s through the ‘90s likewise fell short of creating the look of natural growth.
Today’s advancements make possible procedures that achieve natural-appearing growth patterns, hairlines and overall scalp coverage. The Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) – also known as the “strip” method – has been perfected to heal with minimal scarring that can be easily concealed by hair growth. The traditional Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) procedure ultimately produces a good outcome, but requires shaving the donor area – which can make you feel self-conscious about going out in public until it grows back.
The ground-breaking No-Shave FUE developed by Dr. Marco Barusco – Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Tempus Hair Restoration – completely conceals harvested donor sites immediately, so you can quickly resume normal activities without self-consciousness. Also, the combined FUE and FUT procedure is designed so that patients with advanced hair loss can be treated during one surgery instead of two or three surgeries performed about one year apart.
However, this is a myth with a qualification. Only a surgeon with a high level of technical skill and a strong sense of aesthetics in placing grafts according to growth patterns can consistently achieve natural-appearing results – which means that bad transplants are still out there. Reasons include procedures by doctors who don’t specialize in hair restoration, those who use medically unqualified technicians and/or robotic devices to harvest and implant grafts and – worse yet – foreign hair clinics that package hair transplants with a vacation. Our blog post – “Consumer Beware – The Risks of Medical Tourism for Hair Transplants” – covers this issue in detail. Choose your surgeon wisely, and be assured that your hair transplant will look natural!
Myth #2 – Older people can’t have a hair transplant
While the popular idea of men from their early-30s to middle-age undergoing hair restoration surgery is prevalent, older people (including women – see Myth #4) may also be appropriate candidates. However, those with type 2 diabetes need to have their condition under control, and get clearance from their primary medical care provider for the procedure.
Otherwise, older patients can benefit from the boost in self-esteem that a fuller head of hair can provide. This is especially true for those who lead a healthy lifestyle and pride themselves on being fit and projecting a more youthful image. As society redefines aging, a hair transplant can help enhance your enjoyment of life on your own terms.
Myth #3 – The younger you have a hair transplant, the better
Rather the opposite situation from Myth #2, hair restoration surgeons do not typically recommend any hair transplant procedure for those experiencing male pattern hair loss in their 20s (as opposed to hair loss from head trauma). When such hair loss begins early, the balding process will continue. Because there are a finite number of donor hair follicles, undergoing a hair transplant at a younger age will deplete the amount of donor hair available for transplant in later years.
In such cases, hair restoration surgeons typically recommend non-surgical treatments, such as Propecia (Finasteride) or Rogaine (Minoxidil). Another option that can achieve excellent results for young men is treatment with adipose-derived cells and growth factors. This advanced treatment is also suitable for women of all ages.
While online subscription services that diagnose hair loss and prescribe medications are popular, there are risks. As reported by Natasha Singer and Katie Thomas in their article for The New York Times – Drug Sites Upend Doctor-Patient Relations: ‘It’s Restaurant-Menu Medicine’ – “The sites invert the usual practice of medicine by turning the act of prescribing drugs into a service. Instead of doctors making diagnoses and then suggesting treatments, patients request drugs and physicians serve largely as gatekeepers.
“Some of these companies operate in a regulatory vacuum that could increase public health risks, according to interviews with physicians, former federal health regulators and legal experts. And federal and state health laws, written to ensure competent medical care and drug safety, have not kept pace with online services, they say.”
Our recommendation – if you’re a young man experiencing hair loss, schedule a consultation with a reputable, experienced hair restoration surgeon. You’ll receive the best available treatment for your individual case, and be monitored over time until you are an appropriate candidate for a transplant procedure.
Myth #4 – Women can’t have a hair transplant
This myth has led many women to believe that they have to live with hair loss. Although the situation is gradually changing, women still experience embarrassment and feelings of isolation, using hats, ball caps and wigs to conceal thin and balding areas of the scalp rather than schedule a consultation with a hair restoration specialist.
Unlike typical male pattern baldness, women lose hair more diffusely over the scalp, but rarely become completely bald. In such cases, hair loss may be treated by non-surgical means – such as Rogaine, adipose-derived cells and growth factors or low-level laser treatment – as well as a combination of such therapies However, in such cases as scarring due to surgery or head trauma, a transplant procedure may be the best treatment.
Because female hair loss can occur for a variety of reasons, scheduling a consultation with an experienced surgeon for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for your individual case is essential.
“For hair loss, usually a combination of treatments works better than monotherapy,” says Dr. Barusco. “The combination provides the optimal environment for the hairs to be both protected against damage and stimulated to grow stronger and thicker. But the treatments must be decided based on each patient’s situation and guided by many factors, so it is important to be counseled by a physician who understands hair loss.”
Myth #5 – You’ll receive someone else’s hair
We don’t know the origin of this particular myth, but it is patently false. Just as with organ transplants, the body rejects implanted tissues other than its own. Organ transplants are only possible because the recipient must take strong anti-rejection medications for the rest of their life. If not, their body would quickly reject the organ. One exception is corneal transplants. Even then, rejection is a problem for up to three out of 10 people who have a corneal transplant. Be assured that only your own hair can be used in any hair transplant procedure.
Also, hair from other parts of the body are never used. Even for facial hair transplants, donor hairs are harvested from the sides and back of the head, which are the same areas used in standard hair transplant surgery for bald and thinning areas of the scalp. The only difference is that the hair removed is usually from lower toward the neck, where the hair quality is more compatible to that of facial hair. Dr. Barusco understands how hairs from different areas of the body behave, and has the skill and artistry to harvest those that are the best match, and ensure the hair follicles are angled correctly when transplanted.
Myth #6 – Transplanted hair requires special treatment
If you’ve been hesitant to look into your hair replacement options because you think you’ll have to “baby” your transplanted hair indefinitely, be assured that no special care is necessary. Aside from following post-surgical care instructions, you can shampoo, dry and style your hair as usual. However, whether or not you have a recent transplant, wear a hat or loose-fitting cap when participating in outdoor activities to avoid sunburn and the risk of skin cancer.
Myth #7 – A hair transplant is not affordable
Of all the myths surrounding hair transplants, this is perhaps the most insidious. Why? If you already assume that hair restoration surgery is too expensive, you won’t be likely to seek treatment. The only way to learn your options is to research hair restoration surgeons and schedule a consultation. Tempus Hair Restoration is currently still scheduling only virtual consultations out of an abundance of caution, although surgical procedures have resumed at our Port Orange surgical center. Consultations with Dr. Barusco are always free.
Unlike many other hair restoration practices and clinics, Tempus Hair Restoration does not have set-fee procedures or pricing per number of hair grafts. Our approach is to treat each client as an individual, taking into account such factors as the following:
- Your specific type of hair loss
- Amount of current and projected hair loss
- Complexity of procedure
- Ethnic background (which affects hair texture and growth patterns)
- Medical history/pre-existing conditions
- Desired aesthetic result
- Additional relevant circumstances, depending upon your individual situation
Once Dr. Barusco has made a diagnosis and treatment plan, our patient educator will discuss next steps, including pricing and financing options. We offer qualified clients third-party 12-month interest-free financing — as well as low-interest 60-month financing. A hair restoration procedure by world-renowned surgeon Dr. Barusco can be within reach.
A word of caution: We all want to save money, but do not consider a hair clinic based on price alone. You’ll most likely get assembly line treatment, medically unqualified technicians harvesting and implanting hair grafts, and unsatisfactory results that will ultimately cost even more to correct (assuming enough donor hair remains). Choose your surgeon wisely, and start enjoying the self-confidence you deserve!
Now that you know, take the next step
Now that we’ve busted some common myths about hair transplants, we invite you to learn more about Dr. Barusco’s reputation for integrity and results, his long list of accomplishments and certifications, and his notable artistic ability – then contact us to schedule your free virtual consultation. Dr. Barusco conducts every consultation himself, giving you the opportunity to learn your options in the comfort of your home – or any location, on any internet-enabled device.
Dr. Barusco conducts consultations in English, Spanish and Portuguese. For your greater convenience, Tempus Hair Restoration offers a two-night complimentary hotel stay to out-of-town clients who travel 100 miles or more. No matter how far the distance, we welcome the opportunity to help you on your hair restoration journey!