When you are going out, you may take a shower, shave, put on some lotion and brush your hair before setting foot out of your home. But what if you are in a hurry? Well, skip the first three and just brush your hair. The reason is that the hair is a determining factor in the way people look.

Unluckily, some men start to lose hair as they get older. In some people male-pattern baldness starts at an early age and in some others it happens at late stages. The degree and pattern of baldness also vary from person to person. In some people the hair just above the forehead especially at the two ends starts to thin and the hairline starts to recede.  In some others a patch of baldness gradually appears on the crown of the head. In the most severe cases, all the hair falls out except for a strip above the ears and on the lower back of the head which resembles a horseshoe.

Hair loss may have several causes. The main cause that should be blamed for more than 90 percent of cases is heredity or genes you inherit from your parents. Other causes of hair loss include stress, imbalance diet (e.g. too little iron or too much vitamin A intake), scalp infection, chemotherapy, diseases like anemia and thyroid problem, and medications like blood thinners and anabolic steroids.

About half of white men suffer from some degree of baldness by the age of 50 years. The proportion reaches up to 80 percent by the age of 70 years. Some ethnic groups like Chinese and Japanese are usually less affected by hair loss problems.

What are the treatments for hair loss?

Different treatments are recommended for different types of hair loss. If your hair is thinning because for non-genetic factors such as stress, infection, or malnutrition, just eliminate those causes and your hair fall will stop immediately. You may also want to try one of those medications and supplements available in the market to strengthen your hair follicles and improve your scalp nutrition. If the baldness is caused by heredity, which is so in most cases, there are a few non-invasive treatments like Minoxidil whose results are not permanent and desirable, that is you have to apply it to your scalp to stop your hair from further falling (not getting back your lost hair) and once the application stops, the hair fall resumes within a few weeks.

To get rid of baldness, men have another choice: hair transplant. Hair transplant is a surgical procedure to move follicles of non-balding parts of the head or other parts of the body to the bald or balding part of the head. Main hair transplant methods are: Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), also known as Follicular Unit Strip Surgery (FUSS), and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) sometimes referred to as Follicular Isolation Technique (FIT) because of  a small difference in the tools used for isolating follicles.

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

FUT or FUSS is the traditional and most common method of hair transplantation. In FUT a strip of tissue is removed from the back of head, called the ‘donor’ and taken to a special room to be washed and separated into grafts (single of group of hair follicles to be planted). The dissected grafts then are planted in holes created in the bald part of the head.

FUE / FIT Methods

FUE / FIT is a more modern technique in which a part of the donor area is shaved and then strands of hair are individually cut out by making circular incisions around them. Since a doctor have to extract each graft individually and directly from the scalp, the FUE procedure is very time consuming. The extracted grafts are then inserted into holes created in the bald area just like in FUT. The FUE method is sometimes referred to as FIT (which stands for Follicular Isolation Technique) when the technique for extraction the follicles and the depth of the piercing is different.

hair transplant

Advantages and disadvantages of FUT

Advantages of FUT are:

  • Your donor area doesn’t have to be shaven down to grade zero
  • It is suitable for transplantation of a large area of hair
  • Removing hair strips take a very shorter time compared to the other method which you have to sit still for a long time only to get your hairs extracted.

FUT has the following disadvantages:

  • A linear scar will remain visible in the donor area and you have to wear long hair to hide it (modern techniques for sewing up the cut has reduced the visibility of the left scar)
  •  The recovery period is longer (10-14 days)

Advantages and disadvantages of FUE and FIT

FUE and FIT have the following advantages:

  • No trace of scarring left on the scalp after recovery
  • Suitable for those who wish to have short hair
  • Short recovery period (5-7 days)

The disadvantages of FUE and FIT are:

  • Time consuming process of extracting grafts
  • Higher price

Having said that, other personal factors might be important in different persons so you need to consult with your doctor to be able to choose the method that best suits your needs and expectations.

Does hair loss pose a serious risk?

Generally speaking, hair loss does not pose a medical risk per se but some doctors believe that hair loss may increase the risk of prostate cancer, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and diabetes in men. The most important negative effect of baldness is psychological. Men are typically concerned for the effects of baldness on their appearance which leads to low self-esteem and depression.

How much does a hair transplant cost in Iran?

As with other cosmetic surgeries, a hair transplant in Iran costs much less that one in most countries. This is mainly due to economic factors and the low cost of living in the country. An average hair transplant costs $1,100 to $1500 in Iran which is about one fourth of a similar one in the U.S., for example.

Other reasons to choose Iran for hair transplant

Iranian doctors and surgeons have become very skilled and experienced for two reasons:

1) They are one of the smartest and most talented groups of Iranian people who went through a tough entrance examination to be accepted in top universities and the most demanded field of study, i.e. Medical Education, and/or studied in top world medical universities.

2) There are a high demand for cosmetic surgeries in Iran which keeps the specialist doctors very prolific and active, making them so skillful and dexterous.