La greffe de cheveux pour lutter contre la calvitie

Homme souffrant d'une alopécie androgénétique
Last November, Dr. Pierre Bouhanna, co-founder of CMCC Paris and hair expert, , was interviewed as by journalist Sophie Raffin. She just published an article entitled “10 stars who had a hair transplant”, in which she quotes Dr. Bouhanna again.
In this article, the journalist reminds us that self-consciousness related to baldness can affect everyone, including famous people, but also that there are permanent solutions to correct baldness.
Let’s take a look at hair transplant techniques!

Normal hair loss and pathological hair loss

As Sophie Raffin reminds us, hair loss is a completely normal phenomenon.

The hair’s life cycle

We we have between 100,000 and 150,000 on average. During its life cycle, hair goes through three phases:
  • The anagen phase: this is the phase when hair grows. It  can last up to six years. A healthy head of hair contains 80% to 90% of anagen hair.
  • The catagen phase: the hair follicles gradually cease all activity. The root gradually moves up into the middle layer of the hair’s dermis. This takes about three weeks.
  • The telogen phase: the hair is considered dead and gradually pushed out of the scalp by a new anagen hair. An individual with no hair problems may have up to 20% telogen hair, but this does not create bald patches in the hair. In fact, the dead hair is immediately replaced by the anagen hair that expelled it.

Temporary hair loss

Some phenomena can lead to increased hair loss. This is called “temporary hair loss” or telogen effluvium.

Personne tenant une poignée de cheveux dans ses mains

This is particularly true when external conditions change. For example:
  • a seasonal change (this occurs mostly in the spring and fall);
  • a sudden change in temperature;
  • a significant exposure to the sun;
  • or swimming in the sea or the pool.
Temporary hair loss can also happen as a reaction to a change in the body. This can happen when the patient is going through a period of stress, intense fatigue or an infectious disease (such as the flu or Covid-19, for example). It can also happen when the patient experiences hormonal changes (during pregnancy or menopause) or when taking certain medications.

When should you be concerned?

In general, a more significant hair loss than usual should not be a cause for concern, unless the patient is already suffering from other hair disorders.
However, a specialist should be consulted when :
  • the hair loss is massive ;
  • or if the hair loss lasts more than six months.
In these two cases, the dermatologist will do a thorough examination of the scalp, do a blood test and possibly perform a trichoscopy (Trichoscale®) to identify the precise origin of the hair disorder. The challenge is to determine whether it is a temporary phenomenon or androgenetic alopecia, which can lead to permanent hair loss on the front part of the scalp in both men and women.

Hair transplants, a permanent solution to alopecia

Although 60% of French people say they are not concerned about their alopecia, it is a major problem for nearly 40% of them and can have serious repercussions on their emotional, social and even careers, in the case of celebrities.

Permanent correction of baldness

Le Dr Pierre Bouhanna en train de réaliser une greffe capillaire sur un patient

Fortunately, there are effective surgical solutions to correct baldness in a permanent and natural way, even when hair loss is permanent. These solutions include hair transplants.
Since the 1980’s, hair transplant techniques have progressed considerably and now allow a bald area of the scalp to be redensified in a way that is imperceptible to the naked eye. The surgeon takes hair follicles from the occiput or the temples and implants them where they are needed. The results are significant.
There is a major advantage to transplanting these hair follicles: unlike those located on the vertex, the hairline or the gulfs, they are not subject to androgenetic alopecia. In practice, this means that the transplanted hair is permanent and will continue to renew throughout the patient’s life, even if the patient becomes 100 years old.

What happens during a hair transplant?

It depends on the extraction technique that is used.
There are two main hair transplant techniques available today:
the strip extraction technique (or long hair FUT transplant) ;
and the extraction technique by follicular extraction (or FUE transplant).
With the FUT long hair transplant, the surgeon takes a strip of scalp from the patient’s occiput. He then carefully cuts it into follicular units that he then transplants to the area requiring grafting. The advantage of this technique is that it does not require any shaving and allows the correction of large areas in a single session. The disadvantage is that it leaves a very fine scar on the back of the head, so it is not recommended for patients who would like to shave their head regularly.

Résultat avant-après d'une greffe de cheveux FUT sur une patienteAppearance after a long hair FUT grafting session

During an FUE transplant, the surgeon removes hair follicles differently. He uses a motorized micro-punch that allows him to remove the grafts one by one before re-implanting them on the receiving areas. Unlike the FUT method, this technique can be recommended to patients who want to keep their hair short or shaved. The extraction leaves tiny circular scars that are almost invisible. In most cases, however, it requires shaving the scalp, which can be problematic for women. In addition, this method requires a high level of technical skill from the surgeon. The risk of transection is greater than with the FUT graft. The grafts are more vulnerable because the extraction procedure removes almost all the fat that protects them.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a thorough clinical diagnosis of the scalp and a trichoscopic assessment are required in order to choose the most suitable hair transplant technique for each patient.
If you would like to learn more about FUE or FUT hair transplants for long hair, you can contact the CMCC at 01 84 83 14 00 or make an appointment by clicking here.