July 1 2009, 2:30 pm PT | Posted in:
Visiting more than one doctor is important, because it gives you an opportunity to compare one doctor to another. The material in this blog is designed to help you through the minefield of the doctor selection process. You clearly need to know what are your hair assets and how will they impact your ability to help you achieve your goals. Let’s take a look at the differences between people and then try to rate yourself in the following categories:
- The contrast between your hair and skin color– When you have similar colors (e.g. blonde hair on white skin) the coverage will look better than if there is a high contrast in the colors (e.g black hair against white skin). When hair transplants are done, this contrast dictates the amount of work one needs to obtain a look of fullness and those with high contrast (dark hair on light skin or light hair on dark skin) generally require the most work.
- The character of your hair– Straight hair (as a general rule) does not cover as well as curly or wavy hair. With straight hair you will need to manage your hair style, by layering to give the appearance of fullness. Many people with straight hair will part their hair and comb it to the side to achieve fullness.
- The thickness of your hair shaft– A coarse, thicker hair shaft will have more bulk than fine hair. Heavy, coarse hair is not a common trait, but when it is present, the hair appears very, very thick. It is not unusual for a fine haired person to have a more ”see through” look even if they are not balding. A natural higher density may offset this ”see through” look in both the natural non-balding state as well as the transplant situation.
- Your hair density– Hair density varies with each person. Caucasians have the highest densities; Asians as a rule have 20% less density than Caucasians and Blacks have 20% less density than Asians. These densities are general rules, so it is critically important to measure the density you were born with (evident in the back and sides of the head- the donor area). For hair transplantation, the donor density is one of the two elements that tell us just how much hair is available for transplantation in the short and long term.
- The looseness or laxity of the scalp– Your scalp laxity tells the doctor just how much redundant scalp a person has and when there is considerable looseness more donor hair can be transplanted. A loose scalp is critical for an easy surgical experience. It will also reduce the risks of scarring in many people. In the hands of a good surgeon, any scarring that a person develops is a reflection of how that person heals. You can have a good indication of your healing capability by looking at any previous scar you might have had elsewhere on your body. Even that alone does not tell you just how you will scar on your scalp though, because some parts of the body, like the area directly above joints, scar more visibly. Generally scalp scarring from a harvested donor strip is low, (a scar greater than 3mm has a 5% incidence in the first surgery, 10% in the next) and when scars occur, they often can be dealt with to make them less pronounced.
So from this you can see that we are not all created equal. The transplantable value of fine hair is not as good as those who have coarse hair. Those who have high densities have a greater supply of hair than those who have low densities and as such have more hair that can be moved around.
To give you a better idea of what can be achieved through hair restoration surgery, we have been holding Open House events every month for the past 17 years. This allows many of our former patients to share their experiences with you and gives you a chance to look closely at their results. This may be the most effective educational tool we have ever used as our results speak for themselves. As many patients have different hair characteristics, no two results will be the same.
You can obtain our opinions of your condition by sending us photos of your scalp (confidentiality will be maintained) and then getting a virtual consultation with one of us free of charge. The consultation will always be with one of the editors of this blog, not a salesperson trying to sell you a hair transplant. And if we agree that you are a candidate for hair transplantation, Drs. Pak and Rassman are in California (Northern and Southern), and Dr. Farjo is in the UK. Plus, travel discounts make it an even easier decision — we pick up the travel and the hotel when you come in for surgery. Call my office in California today at 800-NEW-HAIR (or 310-553-9113) or visit NewHair.com to request additional info!