hair loss

How Many Hair Restoration Surgeries Will You Need?

  • Two hair restoration surgeries

Some hair restoration patients may only need one surgery in their lifetime. However, it is more common for individuals to undergo additional procedures. Subsequent operations may be needed for repairing unwanted outcomes. But they may also be conducted to touch up sparse areas that could develop among the patient’s natural hairs.

The actual number of operations needed can sometimes be estimated in advance. This may be the case for some younger patients who are still in the process of losing hair at a rapid rate. It is often possible to let them know ahead of time that they will need additional procedures.

However, if the surgeon does not possess ideal experience, errors may occur to the patient’s surprise. And the need for additional surgery will be something that was completely unanticipated.

Hair Restoration Repair

Hair restoration repair surgery is often chosen for the following types of cases:

  1. poor growth
  2. graft insertion mistakes
  3. highly visible scars

Some patients will find that their grafts were not able to survive long term. So they continue to struggle with the appearance of hair loss following their procedure.

Others may have follicles that were inserted at incorrect angles. Therefore, hair may stick straight up or point in the wrong directions. Or the doctor may have used hair from thicker regions which created an unnatural looking result.

The use of scalpels or large sized punches will leave noticeable scarring. This will look even more apparent when the expected growth did not take place.

Touch Up Procedures

Native hair (i.e. natural and non-inserted) will most likely continue to shed. These follicles will have sensitive protein receptors which respond through miniaturization to the presence of DHT (dehydrotestosterone).

Therefore, after a hair restoration surgery, the presence of DHT may continue to cause hair loss beyond the recipient region.

Areas of sparse, low density may develop as a result. Or empty gaps can manifest. However, these can be touched up through additional surgery.

Choose the Right Hair Restoration Surgeon

Avoiding the need for unnecessary hair restoration repair starts when the patient is choosing a highly experienced service provider.

Priority should be placed on finding images of successful results. Ideally, this should be in the form of ten or more patient cases which visually depict solid growth, quality aesthetics and  coverage of any scars.

Even more so than photos, videos help convey an even greater extent of information.  Through the presence of testimonies, viewers can get a sense of whether or not the featured patient was able to have their goals met or exceeded through their hair restoration.

Manage Hair Loss Through Smart Choices

Although touch up procedures can be an option for adding density to sparse areas, patients may want to manage and control the rate of their hair loss.

This can be achieved with the help of medications. However, Dr. U warns that all drugs are associated with the risk of side effects. Therefore, patients may want to consider the use of natural treatment ingredients whose effects are supported by research studies.

Although genetics is usually the main culprit, the rate of hair loss is often influenced by environmental factors. Therefore, adopting healthy habits through diet and exercise can help minimize the rate of loss. Quitting cigarettes and even alcohol is also likely to help reduce thinning and balding as well.

Two hair restoration surgeries

This patient received about 10,000 grafts which were transplanted in two sessions

Can Iron Supplements Restore Hair?

The possibility of losing more hair due to iron deficiencies is certainly a plausible one. However, taking supplements to restore hair may help some people to a certain degree. There are many factors that contribute to unwanted loss. Therefore,  the focus on iron intake alone should not be considered a universal hair restoration strategy, according to Dr. U.

Iron and Hair Health

Iron is an important mineral for the body. It is used to create a molecule called hemoglobin which transports oxygen to our cells, including those that make up the hair follicles. In fact, these structures rely heavily on the abundant availability of oxygen. This is important for normal functions needed to produce hair shafts.

However, it is reasonable to expect that lower levels of iron in the blood will undermine the supply of oxygen to the hair follicles. And logically speaking, this would have a negative impact on these structures.

Changes in the body’s normal state of equilibrium typically creates a state of stress. And hair follicles often react to this by entering the telogen resting phase. This is when the hair stops growing and eventually sheds about 3-4 months later.

Iron deficiencies can certainly contribute to a state of physiological imbalance that leads to hair loss.

What the Experts Say

Currently there is not enough research which supports a clear relationship between low levels of iron and hair loss.  Dr. U often educates individuals on the fact that there are many variables that contribute to this condition. And these factors can influence individual cases to varying degrees.

Large scale research studies require significant organization as well as funding. Therefore, it is not always practical to wait until formal studies are performed in order to address conditions.

Not all medical experts believe that iron contributes to hair loss since there are quite a few studies which show that there is no relationship.

Yet there are many who feel that it is a variable which deserves consideration. Here are a few examples:

(1) George Cotserelis of the University of Pennsylvania

According to Dr. Cotserelis, replenishing iron supplies in the body can help patients slow down the rate of shedding or even restore their hair. This would largely depend on how strongly the iron deficiency has affected the follicles for a particular individual

(2) Leonid Benjamin Trost MD, Ellen Calogeras RD, MPH, Wilma Bergfield MD

These medical experts addressed the possible link between iron and hair loss in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Based on their experience and review of past research, they believe that iron plays a much bigger role in hair health and restoration than is realized by the medical community.

Even if low iron is not a direct cause, this state can actually worsen a person’s hair loss condition.

Iron and Hair Restoration

Replenishing the body’s iron supply is an undertaking that should be done carefully. According to Dr. U, the safest way to add more of this mineral is by consuming natural food sources like dark leafy greens, for example.

Taking supplements should be done under the guidance of a physician. The recommended dosages listed on over the counter products may or may not be suitable for a particular individual. A doctor would be able to determine safe and appropriate limits.


(image: Flickr/Creative Commons) iron rich foods like spinach can support hair restoration efforts


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