Bringing your crowning glory back!

Updated: May 11, 2011, 12:26 PM IST

New Delhi: "Hair today, gone tomorrow!" If that line has been uttered more than once in your presence, then perhaps it is time to check the mirror for a receding hairline. And also perhaps time to embrace a new technique to bring your crowning glory back.

Micro-surgical techniques, direct implantation and advanced instruments have made hair transplants simpler. Sports personalities like Virender Sehwag, Shane Warne, Jacques Kallis, Ravi Shastri, Arun Lal, Harsha Bhogle and Nikhil Chopra have set an example for others.

"Hair transplantation is an age-old process but with time we have had changes and improvement in technique, leading to more aesthetic and pleasing results," Apratim Goel, managing director of Cutisklinic in Mumbai, told reporters.

Be it for image building, self-confidence or marriage, men with a receding hairline are ready to shell out money for hair transplantation. Remember the legend of Samson, whose strength lay in his hair?

Men usually suffer more from hairfall and baldness compared to women, which in turn affects their psyche and morale. Ajay Sharma, 28, is one of those who started losing his locks at an early age.

"Hair has a lot to do with confidence. My hair started falling two years back, and they had become so thin that I looked 10 years older. Hence, whenever I used to meet old friends, the first thing they used to ask me was `What has happened to your hair`," recollects Sharma who went for a hair-transplant which helped him regain his confidence.

In the last few years there has been a 40 to 50 percent rise in men in the early 20s to late 40s going for hair treatment, say experts who feel poor diet, stress levels and depression lead to hair fall.

"Heredity or age doesn`t always play a prominent role in hair fall. It has a lot to do with what you eat, sleep, how much stress you take and what kind of water you drink. Hard and salty water too plays havoc with your hair," said nutrition consultant Geetu Amarnani.

But this is where new methods have stepped in. Hair transplantation is a surgical technique that involves moving skin containing hair follicles from one part of the body (the donor site) to the bald or balding parts (the recipient site).

"In earlier days, the entire hair flap was transplanted, then came the punch technique which was relatively easy but the results were unnatural. Then came the follicular single hair-transplant which gave natural results but was more time-consuming," said Goel.

The latest procedure to hit the market is the direct implantation technique where mini pouches are used to implant hair. Also, better instruments are available, which have simplified the process.

"Hair transplantation is an artistic, surgical redistribution of the permanent/long-life hair follicles taken from the donor dominant areas - the back and sides of the head - to the balding patches of the scalp. With current micro-surgical technologies, this results in a very natural appearing hair re-growth," said Delhi-based hair transplant surgeon Arvind Poswal.

"Hair has always been equated to beauty and youth. The trend of hair transplantation and its acceptance is definitely on a high. History reveals that man had always been fascinated with dense hair on the scalp. With celebrities coming forward and talking about the process, the popularity as well as awareness is increasing," said Goel.

Mumbai-based cosmetic surgeon Meenakshi Agarwal says people go for hair transplant for an image makeover. It easily costs between Rs.60,000 and Rs.200,000.

Post-surgery, hair needs to be handled with care.

"The transplanted hair follicular units are very delicate, especially in the first week. Therefore, a bandage has to be applied over the transplanted area. It can be safely removed the next morning (after 18 to 24 hrs). There could be mild swelling on the head, which normally subsides in three-four days," said Poswal.

Goel said: "The hair should be gently washed with a baby shampoo. It takes about three months for the hair to start growing out. Initially, all transplanted hair fall off and then they grow back. Scalp should be cleansed daily to avoid bacterial infection. An anti-bacterial hair wash is to be done daily."

Talking about women, Agarwal said: "Hair loss in women needs a different approach in treatment as the cause of hair loss in women can often be varied. Detailed investigation, follow-up and in some cases hair transplant is performed."