For many men who suffer from hair loss – and particularly male pattern baldness – hair transplant surgery seems like the holy grail. Some men save up for years, or take out large bank loans, to pay for a procedure that they think will be the solution to all their hair loss problems, but will it really do everything they hope?
No cure for hair loss
Sadly, whilst a hair transplant might do wonders to replenish a receding hairline or balding crown in the short term, it cannot prevent you from losing more hair in future. There are some prescription medications that have been shown to be moderately effective in reducing hair thinning, but at the current time there is no actual cure for hair loss.
Same bald patch, different place
In fact, one hair transplant can very often lead to another, as hair loss continues behind the area of transplanted hair, leading to bald patches on different areas of the scalp. This can be very embarrassing for the sufferer, who may have hoped his hair transplant would go unnoticed.
Unfortunately, there is rarely a discount offered for a repeat hair transplant – any surgeon worth his salt should have warned you about the possible need for further surgery in future, and if he didn’t it was probably in the small print of the consent form you signed – so you may well find yourself having to find another several thousand pounds in future.
So what are the options?
As mentioned above, there are some medications that can be used to treat hair loss – minoxidil, for example, has been proven to be around 20-25% effective in helping hair to grow. This is a topical treatment that you massage into the scalp daily, however you do need to continue using it on a long term basis, as stopping use of minoxidil can result in further hair loss.
Another option is scalp micropigmentation, or SMP. Formerly known as micro-hair tattooing, this is a highly specialised procedure involving the use of pigments to create the effect of a full head of hair that has been shaved close to the scalp.
Like hair transplant surgery, SMP cannot prevent further hair loss, but it is a considerably less expensive procedure, and further treatment can be provided as a “top-up”, so that you are not paying the full price again, but just for the new treatment areas.