Male pattern baldness affects 40 million men in the United States, a quarter of which begin to show signs by age 30. Now, a new machine is helping restore their former hair lines while minimizing scars.
There are 150,000 hairs on the human head and most people would like to keep them there. However, many, like Joe Guzman, cannot.
"It's been progressively getting worse," said Guzman, diagnosed with male pattern baldness.
There are many popular beliefs to why men develop pattern baldness but most have been proven false. The condition can be inherited from the mother and father, and hats have no effect on increasing chances of developing it.
For plastic surgeons like doctor Ken I. Williams, Jr., he has seen the effects of the condition in his waiting room and first hand.
So, he tried a hair transplant with a Neograft machine, which sucks out the hair, allowing it to be kept in cold storage. Then, piece by piece, the follicle is reinserted into the scalp.
"I was surprised at how much it didn't hurt," said Williams, who had 4,500 hair graphs taken from the back of his head.
Joe Guzman did not have enough hair in the back of his head for a transplant, so Williams took the grafts from his chest.
"I think it gives you more confidence," said Guzman.
For Joe, this is his second transplant, his first being the traditional. Traditional transplants take a strip of scalp that is then transplanted into the bald spot, leaving a scar.
"Now what you have in the back of the head are little dots instead of a scar," said doctor Barry DeBernardo, a plastic surgeon at New Jersey Plastic Surgery. "Those dots are spaced out and they heal within a few days."
DeBernado used the new follicular unit grafting for James Halloway, who's hair line was lower a quarter of an inch.
For three months, the transplants sit in a resting phase. By month four, the hairs started to grow.
"I felt good about it and that's what matters," said Halloway.
Neografts cost about $16,000 for the 1,500 follicle transplants compared to the $10,000 cost for the traditional strip procedure.
With neografts, recovery time is lessened and scarring is minimal. The procedure can be performed on both men and women.
Hair Transplant Without The Pain
Background: Male pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss in men. It usually follows a typical pattern of receding hairline and hair thinning on the crown of the head. Hair grows about an inch every couple of months. Each hair grows for 2 to 6 years, remains at that length for a short period, and then falls out. A new hair soon begins growing in its place. At any one time, about 85 percent of the hair on your head is in the growing phase and 15 percent is not. Each hair sits in a cavity in the skin called a follicle. Baldness in men occurs when the follicle shrinks over time, resulting in shorter and finer hair. The end result is a very small follicle with no hair inside. Usually, hair should grow back. However, in men who are balding, the follicle fails to grow a new hair. Why this occurs is not well understood, but it is related to your genes and male sex hormones. (SOURCE: www.nlm.nih.gov)
Typical Treatment: Treatment for baldness is not necessary if you are comfortable with your appearance. Hair weaving, hairpieces, or change of hairstyle may disguise the hair loss. This is usually the least expensive and safest approach for baldness. There are two main drugs used to treat male pattern baldness. Minoxidil (Rogaine), is a solution that you apply directly to the scalp to stimulate the hair follicles. Also, there's Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar), a prescription pill that inhibits the production of the male hormone dihydrotestosterone. (SOURCE: www.nlm.nih.gov)
Neograft Machine: The NeoGraft system is the first and only minimally invasive FDA approved automated hair transplant system. The system harvests, collects, and implants individual follicular grafts using one platform. NeoGraft introduced the newest method of hair transplantation, Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). This method is known to be a very safe, non-invasive, relatively minor procedure. A FUE hair transplant with NeoGraft can be done in the same amount of time as a "strip" hair transplant. With FUE, each graft from the back of the head, known as the donor area, is harvested individually and is placed in the thinning or balding areas on the top of the head. The hair at the back of the head is genetically programmed not to fallout. (SOURCE: neograft.com)
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*Gary Grasso/ Media Relations
(323) 963 - 8880