HAIR TRANSPLANTATION FOR MEN: HOW TO MAKE SURE THAT IT IS THE RIGHT TIME?
Hair loss is a very common phenomenon encountered by both men and women. It is taken really seriously by the medical profession, which uses a lot of tools to counter it and find solutions. Alopecia, the medical term for abnormal hair loss, can lead to a more or less significant variation of baldness from one person to another. There is a reference tool called “Norwood-Hamilton scale” to determine the progression stage. So, where does this unit of measure come from? How does it work and what is it used for? And above all, how do you know when it’s the right time to have a transplant?
NORWOOD AND HAMILTON SCALE
A measure introduced to measure the progression of baldness
In his research on alopecia, Dr. Hamilton observed a difference between the hair loss of two homozygous twins. One of them was neutered and therefore did not produce testosterone. He had strong hair. The other, whose body was still producing testosterone, was beginning to lose his hair. This is how the link between hormones and baldness was established. This study was conducted by Dr. Norton and resulted in a classification of the progression of alopecia.
Norwood – Hamilton classification
The Norwood-Hamilton scale consists of 7 stages of alopecia progression. Each of these is based on the density of hair still present in various areas of the skull:
Stage 1: No baldness or slight drop in front line.
Stage 2: Lateral retraction of the anterior line by excavating the temporal bays. This is quite common in a 20-year-old young man who is unnecessarily worried.
Stage 3: Front line retraction with further excavation of temporal gulfs. This condition is very common between the ages of 20-30. At a more advanced stage, a more or less pronounced tonsil appears on the back of the head.
Stage 4: Alopecia gets worse and the tonsil grows.
Stage 5: The three regions affected by baldness come together. There is very little hair left between the two areas.
Stage 6: Hair density is greatly reduced over the entire head.
Stage 7: This is the most developed final stage of baldness. Only a low crown with more or less hair remains.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF baldness?
Hair loss can have many causes. However, in the majority of cases it is inherited and androgenic. It is the result of hormonal imbalance or excessive skin sensitivity to male hormones. Locally, they cause miniaturization of the hair with the regrowth of increasingly fine hairs until they disappear completely from the skin surface. They accelerate their aging until they completely end new hair production.
However, keep in mind that some medications, psychological shock, or nutritional deficiencies can also accelerate baldness. These other cases represent only about 10% of alopecia causes.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME FOR HAIR TRANSPLANTATION?
It is very important to consider the evolution of your baldness before having a hair transplant. The Norwood-Hamilton scale makes it possible to position yourself and know whether alopecia still has a chance to develop or not. In fact, in some cases, it stabilizes at an intermediate stage. Not all people with hair loss reach Norwood Hamilton Stage 7. This shows the importance of being well examined by a qualified doctor in consultation before making any decision.
If the transplantation is done too early and the hair is still falling out, you should know that the operation can be repeated a few years later. Hair transplantation regenerates an already bald area of the skull, but does not stop the alopecia process. Therefore, if all the hair has not been shed yet, other transplants may be needed to replace them in the future. Fortunately, the transplanted hair never falls out again.
In general, hair transplantation is recommended from the 3rd stage of the Norwood Hamilton scale. However, having the surgery relatively early has the advantage of never actually seeing yourself bald, even if it means repeating a second surgery. It is a good alternative for people who are psychologically affected by this loss.