By: Amy Capetta,
Contributing Writer – Yahoo Health
Going bald isn’t just for older guys.
According to the American Hair Loss Association, androgenetic alopecia—also known as common male pattern baldness—is the reason behind 95 percent of hair loss in men. On average, about 25 percent of males start losing their hair before they reach the age of 21. Nearly 65 percent of men will be walking around with less hair by their 35th birthday, and about 85 percent of men will be dealing with significantly thinning hair by the time they turn 50.
As a result, hair transplants are on the rise. The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) reports in their current survey that there was a 27 percent increase of surgeries performed in the US between 2012 and 2014.
But can this procedure put you at risk for any possible health hazards?
“The risks are very minimal,” Marc Dauer, MD, medical director of Dauer Hair Restoration in Los Angeles, tells Yahoo Health. There is a “slight possibility” of infection, as well as improper healing, “but it’s rare.”
In fact, the biggest complication may result from seeking treatment from an unqualified “specialist.” “One of the main problems in the field right now is that it’s exploding at such a fast pace,” states Dr. Dauer. “And unfortunately, there are lots of unlicensed health practitioners performing this procedure and people are not getting the results they should.”
One possible side effect from a hair transplant gone wrong — more baldness. Dr. Dauer explains a surgeon can “over-harvest” during the FUE technique (otherwise known as Follicular Unit Extraction, where individual follicles are extracted from the back and sides of the head). “In other words, taking too many follicles in one area and creating bald patches.”
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“Then there’s the risk of poor harvesting, which involves injuring a number of follicles that never end up growing because they were harvest improperly,” he continues. “You end killing not only the follicles from where they came from, but then there’s no good hair for the transfer, either.”
In most cases, hair growth usually begins about 12 weeks after the procedure. “On average, you’ll see about 50 percent of the results around six months after the surgery and the full result happens around 12 to 15 months,” concludes Dr. Dauer. “But again, I can’t emphasize how super important it is to choose a licensed practitioner who has a lot of experience in this field.”
In order to locate a board certified hair restoration doctor in your area, go to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery’s website.