I had a successful hair transplant many years ago. Now my hair is thinning, is this normal aging or is my hair transplant weakening?
Hair restoration surgery is a permanent means of replacing hair that has been lost for various reasons. It is not only the most successful method to restore hair, but also the only permanent technique to move hair from a donor site to the area afflicted by hair loss. It is a procedure that has become more common as both the technology and the approaches to it by physicians have advanced. Currently, there are two methods available, Follicular Unit Grafting (FUG) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). In FUG, follicular units are extracted from the back of the head, where hair remains viable, in a band of skin called the donor strip, whereas in FUE follicular units are extracted from the back of the head using a surgical punch or other device. Although results may vary, as with most cosmetic procedures, hair restoration remains a simple yet effective way to restore the self-confidence of patients as well as the appearance of both youth and virility. Hair transplantation is a permanent procedure, meaning that patients continuing to experience hair loss despite having successful hair transplantation are most likely having normal hair loss from areas around where the transplanted hair was placed. Hair for a transplant that has been taken from an area where the hair is genetically programmed to live for an entire lifetime would not be thinning. It is irrelevant if the hair was placed into an area where there was previous thinning. However, regular hair in an area where thinning is genetically programmed will continue its thinning process. This is perfectly natural and not a sign of the transplant weakening. However, it may be in the best interest of the patient to decide to have more hair transplanted into this area to help thicken and add density to the area. In addition, the taking of medications such as finasteride, or the use of laser light therapy, may help slow down this natural progression of hair loss.