Expert Tips on Non-Surgical Hair Transplant Alternatives
With over three decades of experience working in hair loss clinics, president of SureThik Inc., Nick Dimakos, shares his tips on the alternatives hair transplants. Read on to find out which non-surgical options may be best for you.
Is a Hair Transplant Right for You?
As I look back on the thousands of clients and patients I’ve seen walk through the doors in 30 years of working at some of the most prestigious hair loss clinics, I observed a couple of fairly consistent factors. Most people were grossly misinformed about the actual results of what a hair transplant can do for them, and most importantly, what non-surgical hair transplant alternatives exist.
Even after a consultation, people would more often than not, just hope they would be an exception to the rule. Quite often leaving our clinics, and going elsewhere to hear the answer they wanted. And then getting into something they would often regret later.
Many felt that a hair transplant would give them their old hair back and more importantly, solve the problem forever. Many did not want to take medication, scalp treatments, and a host of other ointments to try and save what they had remaining as it was “too much fuss.” Even laser hair therapy, which will help curb hair loss in most cases, or home-use laser helmets, laser bands, and the clinical lasers that offered more than 200 lasers for 20 minutes, three times per week. Clients just didn’t get it. With most patients, the transplant looked quite good, as long as they kept the pre-existing hair they had. If they thinned out too much after the transplant, they often looked worse than when they came in, which wasn’t the fault of the doctors’ work.
If you lose more hair, the transplant will not even give you enough hair that resembles anything near a full head, or even half a head, of hair. Hair loss clinics need to educate their clients on the need for hair preservation, and alternatives to hair transplants to do whatever it takes to keep the hair the client has left. If a client is not willing to do this, they should really not be getting a hair transplant.
What Can a Hair Transplant Really Do?
The typical scalp has around 120,000 hairs. The top of the head has roughly 40,000 to 50,000 hairs. A 3,000 graft strip transplant can, in most cases, give somewhere between 6,000 to 7,000 hairs in the first session, about 4,000 to 5,000 hairs the next session, and possibly 4,000 hairs the third session. If you do the math, 15,000 hairs are the most you can expect to receive. People don’t realize, that when you get a hair transplant and the hair is removed from the donor area (back and side of head), it never grows back from that area.
To be successful, these precious transplanted hairs (a maximum of 15,000 hairs) need to be placed in the front half of the head, where you need as much density as possible to create any sort of hairstyle. Forget about doing the crown! And that’s the problem. The back will look completely bald one day and look odd unless you design the hair transplant with lots of recession and place the hairline two inches behind the original hairline. Basically, it will give you a 50-year-old man’s hairline, which isn’t so cool at 30-years-old, unfortunately. To make matters worse, you cannot shave your head with a strip transplant if you are not happy with your look. So think twice about your hair transplant strategy and make sure you go to a reputable clinic. Always meet the doctor and have him explain the math to you, and actually, have him put things in writing for future reference.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair transplants are not better for density or results. You will be able to cut your hair as short as the number one setting on the clipper, but essentially, you will still look pretty bald if you lose the rest of your hair. So regardless of the technique, the math does not really add up to give you a good look in most cases, especially if you don’t use another sort of treatment to enhance your look and maintain your pre-existing hair.
Aside from the total number of hair needed to create coverage, you just cannot get the hairs that close together when you implant them. So between density and overall volume of hairs, its just not meant for those that need full coverage all over.
Hair Transplant Alternatives
During the last years of my career in hair replacement consulting, I really put emphasis on making sure we recommended some sort of treatment or an alternative to hair transplants to maintain their hair, like Minoxidal®, Finersteride or natural DHT blockers and cleansing shampoos like SureThik® thinning hair products, like the 3-Step System for Thinning Hair, and the Keratin Fibers.
Shampoos and the medication help keep things stable, but the product that really made our clients happy with density was Surethik® hair fibers. The fibers are made from 100% natural keratin cut into tiny little pieces that resembled hair. The fibers basically fill in between the pre-existing hairs to fill in where the hair transplants leave off. They cling to the natural static of the hair and scalp and look like 50,000 hairs have been added in.
It was actually quite interesting to watch the transformation of a client going from thin hair to thick hair in just 10 seconds. So many times, clients would say a transplant is good, but SureThik® hair fibers can do the rest. We have often heard the term “non-surgical hair transplant” to describe the keratin fibers, even though there is no such a thing as a non-surgical transplant. Many clinics will often give a free sample of hair fibers to their patients so when the hair begins to grow, it will help them speed up the look of the hair transplant. At least, this is what we did in our clinics. Funny enough, once clients got used to the fibers, they would use them every day, even years later as they enjoyed the fullness and it was a good alternative to a getting another transplant.
In short, look for a reputable hair transplant clinic, take their advice, and focus on saving the hair you have prior to the transplant. Then keep a bottle of SureThik® fibers nearby for those days when you really need a full head of hair in seconds.
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