Tag Archives: hair loss

Premature Hair Loss Treatment Q&A

Recently, we’ve had a number of interested clients in their early 20s wondering if there is such thing as a minimum age to hair loss and/or hair restoration. The truth is hair loss can happen at any age in a person’s life. Here’s a relevant Q&A session that Dr. Arocha participated in for IAHRS Hair Transplant and Hair Loss Info Center. A young man describes how he has experienced hair loss since the age of 14-15 years old and wants to know if he is following the correct treatment plan.

Q: Since I was around 14-15  years old I have experienced hair loss, I’m now 17 and still losing hair. I have attempted minor treatments through a clinic, which determined I had male pattern baldness. When I was younger (15-16), the clinic suggested a hair loss treatment, I believe it contained minoxidil, and involved rubbing it on the scalp. After a year and little change except for irritation on the scalp, I quit.  The clinic suggested a Propecia pill when I was 18, and then a hair transplant at 21. After the scalp treatment I feel I have been tricked and should not trust them. Please help answer the questions, is this the right course of treatment or is there a better alternative, and is it possible to lose hair at such a young age from male pattern baldness? – George

A: Thank you for your question. Male pattern hair loss is a condition in which a pattern of hair is inherited, in which the hair is sensitive to DHT. Once puberty starts, testosterone production increases and it is metabolized into this DHT. The DHT will start the miniaturization process, that is, hair in this inherited pattern will start to become progressively thinner caliber and with decreasing pigment. It is a bit confusing, you stated that the hair loss started at age 14-15, which it can, then you said that you are presently 17 and still losing hair. Later, you stated that a clinic treated you for male pattern hair loss with minoxidil at age 15-16 for 1 year. Then at age 18, they put you on propecia, then a transplant at age 21. The treatment course is acceptable, except that I would have combined the minoxidil 5% twice per day and the propecia 1 mg per day, if indeed your condition is male pattern hair loss. There are other conditions that can cause hair loss that may be confused with male pattern hair loss. The hallmark of male pattern is miniaturization and the pattern distribution. If there is any uncertainly, a scalp biopsy should be contemplated. Hope this helps, George.

For more information, please visit the original IAHRS article here.

If you have a question for Dr. Arocha you would like answered on our blog, please email us.


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Eyebrow Reconstruction

Eyebrow hair loss can be a very traumatic experience for any individual no matter their age or gender. Statistics estimate that over three million Americans experience eyebrow loss in just one year. Eyebrows play such a crucial role on our faces. They frame the eyes and help to express the emotions we are feeling. Fortunately, there is an alternative to penciling in or tattooing eyebrows to restore a more natural result. In the Slideshare Presentation below, Dr. Arocha covers the eyebrow reconstruction procedure. Presentation includes surgical and before/after photos.

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Shock Loss

Recently, we received an email from a potential patient regarding shock loss, a phenomenon where the native hair falls out after a hair transplant (temporarily in most cases). Here’s the question from the patient and the answer directly from Dr. Arocha.

Q: I have thinning and receding of my hairline and the top of my head. I’ve tried Propecia and Rogaine, neither of which have worked for the past few years. I’m afraid that my hair will shock if I get a transplant and I don’t want anyone to know I’ve had anything done. What are the chances?

A: I am very glad first of all, that you’ve had the foresight to be on Propecia. It is the most efficacious medication there is to slow or stop the progression of AGA (androgenetic alopecia).

Poor surgical hair loss is seen rarely in our practice. That is when the hair surrounding the transplant falls out after the procedure. This can be immediate, from cutting existing hair with the site marking tool, but is not true shock loss. It is temporary because the cut hair continues to grow. True shock loss is when the hair adjacent to the transplant falls out, going into a rest phase, returning in 3-4 months.

With the tiny blades we use and the very refined surgical procedures used on our patients, the chances that shock loss will occur is very slim. If it does occur, it will regrow within a few months. If you follow pre and post op instructions, it will also increase your chances of preventing shock loss or other complications.

For more on shock loss, visit our friends at the Hair Loss Q & A Blog: shock loss article.

Another article on shock loss from Dr. Arocha.

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Glossary Terms, Part III (final)

Final installment of some common hair transplant/hair restoration terms (taken from the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery). Unless written in italics, all content was taken from the ISHRS website.

Recipient Area: Area where hair loss has occurred and hair follicles will be implanted during a hair transplant procedure.

Slit Graft: Hair obtained from a donor site directly or sectioned from a larger round graft is inserted into a slit made in the scalp by the tip of a scalpel blade.

Temples/Temporal Area: The two upper outer corners where the forehead meets the hairline. This is usually the first area where male pattern baldness is observed, causing the hairline to recede.


Temporal Point: The two triangular shaped areas of hair located in the lower outer corners of the forehead, where the temporal hairline meets the sideburns.

Vertex Area: The area in the top/back portion of the head which contains a swirl or spiral pattern of hair growth. Also called the ‘crown,’ it may be the first area where male pattern baldness is noticed.

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Glossary of Hair Restoration and Transplant Terms (part I)

Interested in hair restoration, but don’t understand all the lingo? Here’s a few terms to get you started as you begin your research.

Glossary of Hair Restoration Terms (taken from the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery). Unless written in italics, all content was taken from the ISHRS website.

Alopecia: The medical term for baldness.

Androgenic Alopecia: The most typical pattern of balding whereby the balding pattern is controlled by hormones and passed along via heredity.

Also known as male or female pattern baldness.

Crown Area: The area in the top/back portion of the head which contains a swirl or spiral pattern of hair growth. Also called the ‘vertex,’ it may be the first area where male pattern baldness is noticed.crown-area

Donor Area: The fringe above the ears and around the back of the head where hair follicles are genetically programmed to remain intact and grow throughout life.

Donor area directly after surgery on one of Dr. Arocha's actual patients.

Donor area directly after surgery on one of Dr. Arocha's actual patients.

Donor Dominance: The concept that hair follicles transplanted from the donor area will continue to grow in the recipient area.

Female Pattern Baldness: A hereditary pattern of baldness found in women typically characterized by a diffuse thinning of hair and/or hair loss at the front portion of the scalp behind the frontal hairline. May or may not include a slight recession or thinning in the temples and only very rarely ends in complete baldness at the top of the scalp. Also called “Female Hereditary Hair Thinning.

Fore more on this visit this google health article.

Follicular Unit: a naturally occurring grouping of one, two, or three (and rarely, four) hair follicles found in the skin. The average follicular unit contains about 2.4 hairs.
A popular acronym used in the hair restoration world is FUT, which refers to Follicular Unit Transplant.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE or FOX): Follicular Unit Extraction is a method of extracting single follicular units, one at a time, from the donor site by using a tiny punch excision. A punch used to extract single follicular units is typically 1mm diameter or less.
A very good article about this procedure from the Hair Transplant Network.

Follicular Unit Graft: A graft consisting of a single follicular unit. In appropriate patients, artistic planning – in addition to the correct angulation, orientation, and positioning of follicular unit grafts – can yield an exceptionally “natural” appearance of the transplanted hair.
The definition of a graft (from dictionary.com) is: a portion of living tissue surgically transplanted from one part of an individual to another, or from one individual to another, for its adhesion and growth.

Follicular Unit Micrografting: A method by which large numbers of follicular units are harvested from the donor site (usually in a long strip or ellipse) and then microscopically dissected into grafts containing single follicular units.

More terms to come soon (along with illustrations and some pictures).

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