All humans lose their hair naturally as they age, however some lose it faster then others. There are a plethora of reasons for premature hair loss that can range from disease to an innate disposition to hair loss. The most effective steps in preventing such loss from occurring can be generalized as maintaining a healthy life.
Unfortunately, a sick person is more likely to lose hair than a disease-free one. Certain thyroid dysfunctions, severe infections and high fevers can cause enough chemical disruption in the body to disturb hair growth. Even a simple infection like ringworm (tinea capitis) can cause hair loss if occurring by the scalp area.
The hair loss from diseases themselves, however, pales in comparison to the hair loss from their cures. As cancer treatments have become more potent, so have their side effects on the human body. A common treatment for many cancers is chemotherapy, which is generally known to cause the patient to go bald in a very short period after treatment. There are many medications prescribed for less severe maladies that can cause hair loss as a side effect. Many blood thinning drugs cause hair loss, as well as some drugs prescribed for acne, gout, arthritis, and psoriasis.
Androgenic Alopecia (AA) is a common form of incurable hair loss that occurs in many males and some females. Also known as Male Pattern Baldness, the disorder causes men to lose their hair in a characteristic manner, with the hairline receding into a sort of "M" shape across the forehead while hair along the crown thins out. In Female Pattern Baldness, there is no recession of the hairline, but a thinning of all hair equally. In addition, female AA rarely causes total baldness.
The aforementioned causes of hair loss are not permanent in most cases. Even the severe hair loss of cancer patients will grow back once they are healthy again. A healthy life with a balanced diet and consistent exercise will be adequate prevention for the majority of the population. Although stress can cause hair loss as well, an active life and good coping techniques can help minimize its effects and promote re-growth soon after a severe life altering stressor (divorce, death in the family, etc.) has passed.
While many people are forced to deal with hair loss and let the condition progress naturally, there are several treatments available to help promote hair growth or hide hair loss. The best treatment option for each patient depends on the location and extent of the hair loss, but may include hair growth medications, wigs and hairpieces, and hair transplant or scalp reduction surgery. One of the most popular treatments currently available for hair loss is the use of hair grafts for transplantation.
Hair transplantation began as a simple procedure where circles of skin from the back of the scalp were excised as single arbitrary units and implanted on the bald skin at the crown and hairline. This overly simplistic approach led to unsatisfactory cosmetic results, in most cases, being referred to as "doll's-head" or "pluggy", clearly evident when considering the entire hairline was composed of connecting circles. Additionally, scarring on the back of the scalp could become very noticeable.
Procedures have improved to a new standard where great care and planning by the surgeon ensures a natural-looking hairline, as well as a full head of hair. These two goals are achieved through two different methods of grafting: mini-grafting and micro-grafting.
In order to create a natural looking hairline, the hair placement by the surgeon must be both precise and slightly irregular. No person has a hairline of rigid angles or a conformed strip of hair, and Dr. Bonillas is well aware of this. This is why when preparing the donor grafts from the hair at the back of your scalp, Dr. Bonillas cuts very fine micro-grafts which consist of just one to two hairs each. These small grafts can be implanted at the desired hairline in a natural-looking fashion due to their small size.
Although the fine nature of micro-grafts is quite natural-looking, they are also less voluminous. With less than two hairs per graft, it would take many hours to transplant a full head of hair, risking safety of the excised donor tissue and recently transplanted tissue. For this, Dr. Bonillas cuts mini-grafts of about three to four hairs each that can be used for the bulk of the balding skin, but behind the micro-grafts. This way, the fullness of the scalp is attained without sacrificing the meticulous work done with the hairline.