Hair loss

Updated 06 December 2016

Going bald? Follicular transfer may be your answer

Going bald can shatter a man's confidence (despite it not being a big put-off for women), and most baldies simply have to accept their predicament. Unless they can fork out the money for follicular transfer.


Men worry about hair loss, and rightly so: male pattern baldness affects more than 50 percent of men by the age of fifty worldwide. 

There appears to be a relationship between the male hormone testosterone and male pattern baldness.

Read: Triggers for hair loss

As people age, the rate of growth slows. Hair loss occurs when there is a progressive shrinkage of the hair follicle, resulting in shorter and finer hair. The end result is a miniature follicle . . . with no hair.

The most successful way to put hair back on your head may be follicular transfer. According to Harley Street Hair Clinic, this technique offers a minimally invasive surgical procedure that benefits from a shortened recovery time and reduced risk of complications.

Other similar techniques are also known to be standard offerings in the field, however there are only few surgeons who have mastered this procedure in all it's aspects because this technique takes much practice and a number of years to perfect.

Read: Balding: True or false?

British footballer Wayne Rooney is famous for many things other than his skills on the pitch, and one of those is having follicular transfer done to put hair back on his head (see below).

Gordon Ramsay and Calum Best (son of Man United legend George Best) have also had the procedure done.

Cost depends on how many follicles are transferred, but it can be up to R150 000. Not cheap, then. 

Wayne Rooney in 2009, and with a fuller head of hair in 2014


What is follicular transfer?

In this procedure, pioneered in the UK, the hairs are transplanted in groups of 1-4 hairs - exactly as they grow in nature.

It is a major advance over the older hair transplantation procedures that used larger grafts and often produced a pluggy, unnatural look.

In a properly performed follicular unit transplant, the results will mimic the way hair grows in nature and will be undetectable as a hair transplant.

The first hair transplant was performed by Dr. Norman Orentreich in the late 1950s, in the United States. He proposed the concept of "donor dominance" - the idea that grafts continue to show the characteristics of the donor site after they have been transplanted to a new site.

This principle provides the basis for all hair transplant surgery. Although "donor dominance" insured that transplanted hair will continue to grow, it did not insure that the results would look natural.

Read more:

The bald facts about losing your hair  

Hair transplant caution 

New target in fight against baldness 


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