Frederick Watkins, M.D., F.A.C.S. Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Hair Transplant Clinic in Maryland

The search for practical hair restoration methods for men has come a long way from those massive white wigs of the 17th century to today’s advanced hair implant techniques. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics suggest men were looking for a hair loss cure as far back as 4000 BCE. Unfortunately, casting spells and rubbing crocodile fat on the scalp didn’t work, which ultimately led to the invention of the wig.

You might think balding European men during the time of King Louis XIV of France and King Charles II of England wore big, curly wigs out of vanity. Well, that’s partly true. But the real reason men wore wigs was to hide the open sores, scabs, and hairless patches caused by syphilis. For centuries, syphilis ravaged England and France, especially among the wealthy crowd who could afford to buy expensive wigs. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that doctors discovered how syphilis was transmitted and developed penicillin to treat this STD.

A 1970 article in Time magazine reported that nearly three million men in the U.S at that time were wearing toupees to compensate for baldness. Although dermatologists later coined the term “male pattern baldness” due to men sharing similar hair loss patterns, the genetic reasons for androgenic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, weren’t discovered until the early 2000s.

Hair restoration clearly has come a long way. Keep reading to learn about our solutions for male pattern baldness and how you can act now.

What is Male Pattern Baldness?

Male pattern baldness (MLP) is the most common type of hair loss among adult men of all ages. The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) reports that over 50 percent of men over age 50 can expect to experience MLP in various degrees of severity.

The “pattern” part of male baldness points to the primary identifier of androgenic alopecia—the horseshoe-shaped pattern of hair that men develop around the sides of their heads. Early signs of MLP include:

  • Thinning hair at the temples

  • Noticeable loss of hair at the temples and front of the head

  • Visible balding and thinning in the back vertex of the scalp

  • Hair clearly forms a horseshoe shape around the sides of the head, with much of the top of the head bald.

Most men with androgenic alopecia who don’t seek treatment may be completely bald one day or just have a little hair remaining above their ears.

Different types of male balding patterns.

What Causes Male Pattern Baldness?

Genetics and male sex hormones (androgens) are the primary causes of male pattern baldness. If a man’s father or grandfather had androgenic alopecia, there is a good chance he will develop male pattern baldness as well. The hormone-related aspect of male pattern baldness involves several androgens called testosterone and a metabolite of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). An imbalance of these two hormones is intensified by certain enzymes that abnormally extend the resting phase of hair growth while reducing the growing phase of hair growth.

Although minoxidil and finasteride are the most frequently prescribed oral or topical hair loss treatments, these medications must be used continuously to prevent hair loss from returning. In addition, not all men respond well to androgenic alopecia treatment drugs.

graphic of hair follicle.

Men’s Hair Loss vs. Women’s Hair Loss: What’s the Difference?

Women can also have female pattern hair loss (FPL) for the same reasons men do. The main difference is that women experience hair thinning mostly where they part their hair and as a widespread type of hair loss. Unlike men, women do not go nearly or completely bald from FPL.

FPL is also referred to as androgenic alopecia since it involves hormones and, in some cases, genetics. Most women begin to notice hair thinning on the crown of the head during and after menopause when estrogen levels decline rapidly.

What Procedures are Available for Hair Restoration?

To regain a full head of hair with advanced hair restoration Maryland residents depend on Washington Medical Hair Clinics for solutions to hair loss caused by androgenic alopecia. We offer two state-of-the-art hair restoration procedures that can permanently return the amount of hair you had prior to hair loss, increase your self-esteem, and make you feel good about your appearance again.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

During a FUT procedure, the surgeon harvests small strips of healthy hair follicles from an area of the head that still has hair. This area is called the donor site. The strips are then prepared as graft slivers (individual follicular units) that the surgeon implants into balding areas, which are typically the crown and surrounding sides of the crown in men with MPL.

Advantages to FUT include:

  • Restores more hair during one treatment compared to FUE procedures
  • Mimics natural hair growth that results in “transplanted” hair appearing indistinguishable from your original hair.
  • Recommended for men who need larger grafting sessions
  • Does not require for the donor area to be shaved

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

FUE is similar to the FUT hair transplant system in that it is hair transplant surgery. However, the extraction method is different. Instead of removing strips of skin containing good hair follicles, the physician removes individual follicles from the back of the head. 

Advantages of FUE include:

  • Works well for men with mild to moderate hair loss (men with androgenetic alopecia in Norwood class 3 pattern)
  • Recommended for restoring hair growth to eyebrows or mustaches
  • Can hide scarring from neurosurgical or severe dermatological conditions
  • Does not leave a linear scar
  • Heals more quickly than follicular unit transplantation and little downtime

How Long Does Hair Restoration Last?

Transplanted hair follicles continue growing for a lifetime with the proper aftercare and lifestyle. Both FUE and FUT hair restoration procedures might require “touch-up” sessions or medications to support their efficacy in preventing thinning areas where hair follicles are transplanted.

However, hair restoration with FUT or FUE is not a miracle cure for men with advanced MPL or a complicated medical history. Men with hair follicles that stay dormant for several years or men with donor areas containing very thin hair may experience minimal success with FUT or FUE.

During your consultation about hair restoration, our Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons and specialists in hair restoration surgery at Washington Medical Hair Clinics will discuss all factors involving FUT or FUE before you decide which procedure is right for you.

How Much Does Hair Restoration Cost? 

Follicular unit transplantations cost slightly less than follicular unit extractions. The ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplant procedure is generally more expensive than FUE or FUT. The price of one of these hair restoration treatments also includes all appointments, surgeon fees, and local anesthetic fees (if applicable). For the most part, the total cost of either an FUE or FUT largely depends on how many grafts are needed to cover hair thinning areas.

How Can Washington Medical Hair Clinics Help?

If you are experiencing androgenic alopecia and would like to once again enjoy the hair you had earlier in life, call Washington Medical Hair Clinics today at 1-888-793-4769. We invite you to schedule a free consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for hair restoration surgery if you live in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas. Or, if it is more convenient, you can complete our online contact form to speak with an experienced surgeon at our clinic today about treatment options.

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