Though other causes of hair loss must be ruled out, like other medical problems, stress etc. the commonest cause of balding is pattern baldness. This is also called Androgenetic alopecia. This means that the hair loss is due to 2 main factors- Androgens (male hormones) and Genetics (inherited from family, either mothers or fathers side) . It is seen as thinning and gradual loss of hair. The affected hair tends to become smaller and smaller gradually till they are not seen at all, a process called miniaturisation. This sets in at adolescence and progresses steadily.
These are common misconceptions related to hair loss. Loss of up to 100 strands per day is normal. The loss of hair on top of the head is not directly related to hair oils or the pressure of the helmet.
Medicines can help to retain the existing hair. These will help prevent the miniaturisation process from continuing and hence help in reducing hair loss, but they do not help in reversing the hair that is already lost or thinned out.
Hair that is already lost due to genetic baldness cannot be regained by medicines or lotions. These have to be replaced by transplanting hair from the back of the head. Depending on the stage and kind of hair loss, the doctor can decide if you are a good candidate for hair transplant.
The hair that is transplanted is from the back of the head and is not affected by the miniaturisation process. Hence this hair is chosen for the transplant. So, all the transplanted hair will remain for life and is permanent.
The persons own hair is used for transplantation. This hair will grow, need to be washed and trimmed just like the normal care followed for hair maintenance.
The hair transplantation procedure is time consuming involving scientific as well as artistic skill, with an aim to create a natural look with good hair density. Ensure that the centre where the transplant is done is adequately equipped, comfortable and the doctor performing the procedure has good surgical skill, is patient and meticulous.
The entire procedure is virtually painless itself with minimal side-effects as it is done under local anesthesia. Most patients are very comfortable during the procedure and listen to music, watch TV or take a nap. The time taken will depend on the number of hair follicles being transplanted. Just after the procedure, you can go home on the same day and back to your normal activities.