In the opinion of men who treat baldness, it is not the baldness they like best. To their happiness, medicine has created new ways to combat hair loss.
“I found ugly baldness, but I saw those poor, ridiculous results of those trying to get an implant and thought it was best to leave as it was,” says entrepreneur Carlos (fictitious name), 47 – he asked not to have it. Name disclosed in the report.
He changed his mind when he met a friend he had not seen in years: “He was bald like me.” When he looked at his hair, he did not resist and asked, “Is it an implant?”
Carlos ended up doing two surgery sessions. In each procedure, a strip of more than 30 cm long by 1.5 cm thick was removed from the back of the head, where the hair grows more widely.
It’s the so-called donor area. The hair strands that grow there are not susceptible to the hormonal factors that make the top hair of the head weaken and fall.
The surgical alternative to which Carlos underwent, called FUT (acronym for follicular unit transplant) is the most radical and, according to doctors, one of the most efficient ways to treat baldness.
There is a new technique, more modern and with faster recovery, however.
In FUE (extraction of the follicular unit), the surgeon extracts the follicles one by one, leaving a small scar in the form of a spot at the site – less aggressive, therefore, than the FUT technique.
The disadvantage is that FUE, in addition to being more expensive, yields less follicles and covers a smaller area of the bald spot, but this has changed for the better quickly.
One of these improvements is due to the use of a robot for the extraction of hair, which costs R $ 1.85 million. More precise than human hands, the robot allows a better use of extracted wires – the machine can preserve the integrity of the follicles (from where they leave one to four threads).
After extraction, hundreds of follicles are inserted by the doctor into the area to be covered in the scalp. According to João Faria, of Advance Medical, who represents the American manufacturer in Brazil, the new generations of the robot will be able to carry out the implantation as well.
Currently, the quality of the implants varies greatly, says dermatologist Arthur Tykocinski. “It depends a lot on the experience of the doctor.It takes years for the surgeon to get well.The best result happens when you can not know that there was a transplant.”
The development of techniques is recent, says Dr. José Rogério Reis, of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology. “Negative marketing is the worst thing for the area. About 20% of the procedures end up having to be redone.”
Having surgery is still expensive. The values depend on the bald area and the amount of hair to be implanted. A single surgery can exceed R $ 30,000, and can often be repeated (as in Carlos’s case) or with a hybrid procedure, composed of the combination of the two techniques (FUE and FUT), increasing the cost. In the case of Carlos, R $ 70 thousand were spent.
Who does not want to know about surgery, however, has less dramatic alternatives (and that may sometimes not bring the imagined results) as tablets, lotions and even laser-based treatment. It is possible to thicken the thread, according to Kings, but no miracles.
In the preventive line, to save what you have, there are medicines in lotions, such as minoxidil, and tablets such as finasteride. Because they act differently, they can even be used together.
The lotion with minoxidil and similar drugs stimulates the dilation of the vessels and brings vigor to the hair follicle. The tablet based on finasteride prevents the formation of dihydrotestosterone, responsible, among other things, for the capillary drop in susceptibility.
The problem with finasteride is that it can cause harm such as impotence, loss of libido and reduction of ejaculatory volume in a small part of those who take the tablet.
However, the effects are reversible and the drug is generally quite safe.
Women, who may also have baldness, have to be careful because medications may be contraindicated, especially when they are pregnant or of childbearing age.
Source: Folha de São Paulo