Female Times: Hair Transplants - the Bald Truth .

By Wilson, Cate | The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), March 22, 2000 | Go to article overview

Female Times: Hair Transplants - the Bald Truth .


Wilson, Cate, The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland)


Like millions of other men, football manager Dick Advocaat was fed up with jokes about his baldness.

So much so that the Glasgow Rangers manager had an pounds 8,000 laser hair transplant for his thinning scalp - a decision which he claims has made him more relaxed and has given him greater self-confidence.

The technique, known as Hairlase, offers a lifetime guarantee and is favoured by many follicly-challenged celebrities.

It differs from other hair transplants in that doctors transplant hair from the back of the head into tiny channels, less than 0.4mm wide, which are made in the scalp by a laser.

The transplanted hair, which takes about a year to grow fully, is less likely to be rejected by the body than with other transplant methods because it has been supplied by the patients themselves. And lasers can also be used to stimulate the circulation of blood to the scalp to promote re-growth.

Hair transplants have been around for years, but the rather gruesome process put many men off.

Before lasers, doctors had to take skin from the scalp, graft synthetic hair on to it and then implant it back on the head. It was painful, carried a risk of rejection and cost a minimum of pounds 2,000.

Huub Jasse, of the Europa Hair Loss Clinic based in Amsterdam, believes laser treatments are the future of trichology treatment.

''Lasers can target specific areas of the scalp with a precision unrivalled by other hair treatment methods,'' says Jasse.

''Because lasers are so precise they can increase hair count and density in an aesthetically pleasing way. This makes the resulting hair growth look natural and non-patchy, which is a common complaint by patients who have tried other methods.''

In Britain alone there are 7.5 million balding men and up to a million women who suffer from hair loss. The loss can be due to hormonal imbalances, illnesses such as alopecia and a genetic predisposition towards hair loss.

For men, hair loss usually occurs between the ages of 35 and 50, when the male sex hormone testosterone converts into dihydrotestosterone, a much more powerful chemical which arrests hair growth.

Research suggests a third of all bald men in Britain suffer depression as a result of their hair loss and many develop problems such as agoraphobia and anxiety.

But not everybody is convinced laser transplants are the answer. Trichologist John Furmage, who runs a private clinic in Battersea, South London, claims laser treatments are no more effective than high frequency treatments, which promote regrowth through scalp stimulation.

He says: ''Lasers are not new in the treatment of hair loss and cannot cure genetic baldness caused by a hereditary predisposition to losing your hair. …

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