Hair transplants are currently the only effective “cure” for androgenetic alopecia. Put simply, the procedure redistributes the remaining hair on a person’s scalp to cover any bald regions. We know that the hair follicles at the back of the head between the ears are not affected by androgenetic alopecia whereas the hair on the top of our heads is affected and can be lost to varying degrees. With hair transplantation, the hair not affected by androgenetic alopecia is taken from the back of the scalp and placed on the top.
It is a simple enough principle and it can provide superb, undetectable results when done well. Hair transplantation has had a lot of bad publicity because until recently the techniques involved were rather crude and results did not look natural. When hair transplantation was first developed, surgeons would use a large punch biopsy to take clumps of hair follicles from the back and then place then on the top in rows. The problem was that the clumps of hair follicles looked very artificial and were difficult to style and manage because the hair follicles were not oriented properly.
Today however, the surgical procedure has been refined to the degree that a good dermatological surgeon will leave the patient with a completely natural looking result. Improvements have come from the way the hair follicles are obtained from the donor area and how they are implanted in the bald regions.
Both men and women can be suitable for hair transplantation. Most frequently hair transplants are conducted on people with androgenetic alopecia but hair transplantation can also be an option for people who have lost hair through a congenital defect, scarring alopecia, or alopecia after burns or other injuries. The transplant procedure need not be limited to the scalp. For example, some people have eyebrow transplantations.