Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hair Restoration - Frontal Hair Loss Treatment Options

Frontal Hair Loss Treatment

Frontal hair loss affects many men, causing distress as it is an obvious signifier of aging. Left untreated, this distress can rear its head in a variety of forms. Depression and low self esteem can be a major side effect of hair loss and other very obvious signs of aging. Negative social responses may be inferred as hair loss is perceived as a lack of youthfulness, health, and potency. The same man that is attempting to solicit a date from a lovely young lady may be culturally stigmatized 'creepy' if he has frontal hair loss, whereas the man with the full head of hair may be culturally perceived as a 'stud'. As descibed, the lack of treating hair loss may be more deep rooted and far reaching than widely known.

There are four FDA approved treatments for this hair loss: 1. Hair Transplants 2. Propecia 3.Rogaine 4. Flap Surgery. In order to make an informed decision about which hair loss treatment is best for you, it is vital to understand the benefits and side effects of each treatment:

Hair Transplants

Hair transplants are the most cost effective and permanent way to treat frontal hair loss. The survival rate of the transplants is near 99 percent, and to support this rate, all donor hair is taken from the part of the scalp that is resistant to hair loss. This is the most effective (cost and esthetically) frontal hair loss treatment that is FDA approved. The process however, may deter some candidates. The original or desired hairline is restored through grafting. If the patient is also the donor, hair will be taken from another part of the body and surgically transplanted to the frontal part of the scalp. This treatment originated in Japan in the 1930's, with the purpose of replacing facial hair that had been lost, such as eyebrows or eyelashes. Mild sedation is optional, and a local anesthetic is used. The negative side effects of this treatment option are uncomfortable temporary swelling and the future loss of hair surrounding the transplanted hair, which can be unsightly and cause patches.


Propecia contains finasteride, which claims to thicken hair, reduce hair loss, and increase new hair growth. Panels of dermatologists have deemed that finasteride is effective at meeting its claims. Propecia will not work in the temple area, only for frontal or mid scalp hair loss. The commitment to Propecia is lifelong; costing an average of $60-$150/mo.

Minoxidil (Rogaine)

Rogaine, similar to Propecia, will not invoke new hair growth at the temple area. According to Dermatology Times (2003), visible improvements were seen after a study in 51 percent of men. Minoxidil is a commitment requiring applications twice a day. If applications cease, new hair growth will disappear. In other words, you have to use this product for the rest of your life or your new hair will...fall out.

Flap Surgery

Flap surgery has been called the least desirable way to treat frontal hair loss. This treatment option leaves a straight, unnatural hairline that is just odd looking. This surgery takes a chunk of the scalp with and turns it around so that the thick hair is subsequently facing the opposite way, and the thinning hair part of the scalp is moved to face the thick hair, creating a blending effect.

Now that the major interventions for frontal hair loss have been described, it is useful to write a list of pros and cons to determine which treatment option, if any, is the right one for you. If you suffer from depression or low self esteem already, the obvious aging sign of balding may bear more weight on your mental health, making the side effects of money and time investment seem like not such a bad idea.

Your marital/relationship status may also be a big player on whether or not to pursue treatment. If you are in the scenario where you have taken the time to get your career in order before finding a wife and starting a family, your hairline may be a new player in the dating game. Options may be limited and rejection may be disheartening. In order to feel like yourself again and show your potential mate your true wonderful colors that you have to offer instead of just your embarrassing hairline, it may be a good idea to pursue treatment.

Lifestyle is also a major player in treatment options. Just like the classic image of the man with his toupee being exposed by the wind or a silly child, you too may be exposed if you decide to use an ongoing treatment and your lifestyle interferes with it. Lets say that you meet the lady of your dreams and decide to honeymoon to a tropical island. The catch is that you two are backpacking and you forgot your Rogaine. Having your mane fall out on your honeymoon is not the introduction you want to give your wife to her new marriage, nor do you want to spend the whole time feeling self conscious and worrying about how you look.

For some, the best treatment option may be surgery, for some it may be self acceptance, and for some it may be a good mix of both.

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