Most of us often tend to take our hair for granted — that is until they’re gone. We opt for hair transplant procedure to bring back what looks like a full — or at least a fuller — head of hair. But before going for one, it is important to speak with your doctor about the latest hair transplantation treatments and what you can expect during and after the surgery. Dr Madhuri Agarwal, Founder and Medical Director of Yavana Aesthetics Clinic, Mumbai tells us the latest technologies and types of treatments in hair restoration.

FDA-approved oral medications for hair implantation: There are only two medicines that are FDA-approved for hair loss, which includes propecia (finasteride) and minoxidil. These medicines are quite effective and safe. The side effects of these medications are overhyped in India and despite patients taking them for years, we are still to come across major side effects.

Robotic hair restoration: Hair transplant involves extraction or removal of hair follicles from safe zone (donor area) into the bald area (recipient area). Normally, this is done manually in Follicular unit extraction and Follicular unit transplantation techniques of hair transplant. In case of robotic hair restoration, the extraction part is done by a robotic arm which is operated by transplanting surgeon; this is said to decrease the time of the procedure. The robotic hair restoration comes at a cost as the cost of hair transplant shoots up to 2-3 times more than the manual one. This method is still evolving and in future, we will see further upgrades that will give superior results. Read here what is ‘No Root Touch’ surgical hair transplant and restoration?

Scalp micropigmentation (SMP), also known as hair tattooing: Visible scalp can be quiet distressing to self-esteem and confidence. Scalp micro-pigmentation is a permanent or temporary tattoo on the scalp that gives the appearance of short shaved hair. It’s a non-invasive technique and can be done on any area of the calp. It’s an ideal option for people who love to keep shaven look as well as to fill in the spaces between transplanted hair to create illusion of dense hair.

Hair cloning, also known as hair multiplication: Hair cloning and hair multiplication are new developments in hair loss. In hair cloning, the hair follicles are extracted and cultivated in the lab to grow multiple clones and then implanted back into patient scalp to grow. Hair multiplication is similar to cloning but in this process, the hair follicles are extracted from the scalp and directly inserted back into the scalp to grow naturally without any cloning. The principle presumed is that the germinative cells at the base of hair follicles will trigger new growth. But currently, this process is not effective at all and is a failure as the number of germinative cells are very few and the implanted hair follicles do not survive long enough. Hair follicles cannot be grown successfully in labs Read here 6 treatments for hair loss or alopecia that DON’T work!

Hair stem cell transplant, also known as the HSI method: Its effectiveness has no study or proof to back it up. It proposes to take stem cells from the middle portion of hair shaft, then cultivate them in a lab to grow more stem cells and finally insert them back into scalp to generate new hair. There is no proven way to generate new stem cells in a lab externally and this is still not recommended by certified physicians.

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