Hair transplant surgery vs. medication: What’s right for me?

Dec 19, 2018 | By Dr. Sangay Bhutia (Hair Transplant Specialist in Delhi)

Do you always know what’s good for you? Sometimes for sure, but always? What do you think - would you be able to take an informed and objective decision in matters that concern your emotions? Do pre-conceived notions not cloud your judgement? What if you are caught between options, are you always decisive? Do you always have the necessary knowledge to arrive at a decision? Probably, not. Had that been the case, you wouldn’t need teachers, lawyers, and doctors. And neither would you turn to your friends for advice.

Hair loss – apart from being a natural aging process – is also an emotional subject for a lot of people, especially if it’s at an early age. It concerns their being – the way they look and the way others perceive them. It can potentially impact their social as well as emotional state of being.

In moments of despair and desperation, a lot of people take irrational decisions. There are casesof people experiencing hair loss, who try all kinds of ‘medication’. They search the web, read up and self-diagnose. From herbs to oils and tablets to serums, to Godknows what not. And ask them about results – they would have mostly been disappointed. Because nothing has really worked. They are probably worse off.

Now, you don’twant to be them. Learn from mistakes the others have made is what we aretaught. And learn you’ll surely do. If you are experiencing hair loss, then it’s bestnot to self-diagnose. Instead see an expert.

And once you meet the expert, you will realise that there are no magic herbs that can fill in a bald patch. Clinically, there are medicines available that can retard and stop hair loss – Minoxidil (Rogaine) or Finasteride (Propecia) being the most popular ones. But that is allthey do – slow further hair loss. Moreover, once you stop using them, youprobably will lose any hair that may have been retained by medication.

Medication works for some people especially during the onset of hair loss. What these medicines essentially do is lower thelevels of DHT or dihydrotestosterone, the hormone responsible for hair loss. Research shows that 90% people who participated in studies to test the effect of these drugs gained or maintained their hair for about five years.

But, researchers have also documented the side affects of these medicines. Regular intake of Minoxidil may lead to – in some men – difficulty in performingregular sexual functions. And regular intake of Finasteride by women may causebirth defects. Therefore, women who could possibly get pregnant are advisedagainst it. Lastly, the impact of these medicines varies from person to person and the effect is often unpredictable. So if you are considering over-the-counter hairloss solutions, seek expert advice, and make an informed decision.

The only permanent solution to baldness and hair loss is a transplant. It restores your hairline and gives you a natural and aesthetically-pleasing look. Advanced hair restoration techniques like follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transfer (FUT) are extremely safe and minimally invasive. FUE involves harvesting hair follicles one by one by using micro punches from the donor site on the patient’s scalp, which is the back and sides,and implanting them on to the bald areas.

Whereas, FUT involves extracting a strip of scalp from the donor site, dissecting it into individual grafts, which are then transplanted on the bald spots. Post transplant, the hair starts to grow at the end of three to four and within a year the recovery is complete. The doctor will advise post transplant care tips – which include, guidelines on eatingand drinking, maintaining hygiene and regular medication. All of this will ensurethat you are able to regrow your lost hair, walk with confidence and not let self-doubt over power you.

So don’t be in two minds. Meet the expert, seek their opinion and do what’s best for you.

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