There is an old saying that goes “greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction”. Well this saying accurately sums up hair greed.
Hair greed is a real feeling that almost every hair transplant patient will experience at one point during their hair restoration journey. In fact, even hair transplant patients who have had three to four surgeries with thousands upon thousands of grafts transplanted to their thinning/balding areas desire more hair. In this article, we will be discussing what "hair greed" is and how it can influence a patient to go through unnecessary and unsafe hair restoration procedures.
Hair Greed and Hair Transplants
Hair greed is a strong feeling that almost every hair transplant patient will experience at some point. It is the inclination and eagerness to go through several hair transplant surgeries even after the "illusion of density" has been fully restored. Unfortunately, there is a point of diminishing returns with hair restoration. This is because the donor supply of a patient is finite and must be used strategically to not only treat the patients current hair loss, but save enough donor hair for any future hair loss that a patient may experience.
Socrates once said “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have”. There are two things there can never be enough of, that is money and hair. Someone suffering from hair loss will always want just a little more hair. However, the progression of hair loss is lost in the pursuit of more hair.
Unfortunately, every person with androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss) can expect their hair loss to progress over time and with age, including many patients on Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride) albeit at a much slower rate. Therefore, it is imperative that a patient not only focus on the present hair loss, but also on the future hair loss. Thus, the donor supply must be utilized with careful planning and adherence to a long-term strategy and plan.
When Hair Greed Goes Wrong
There are so many issues that can occur from hair greed, but one of the most common issues that can happen to a patient is the depletion of their donor supply. Unfortunately, hair cloning is not available for hair loss sufferers and prospective hair restoration patients. Until scientists can figure out how to clone hair, we must rely on a finite donor supply. The point of diminishing returns for hair restoration is when a patient risks depleting their donor supply for a small touch-up or ultra-aggressive procedure. In some cases, patients will request to have their hairlines lowered to mimic their adolescent or juvenile hairlines. Unfortunately, this presents several issues, the main issue is the progression of hair loss. Not only will the patient be limiting themselves for treating other areas of their scalp in the future by overloading their hairline with a large number of grafts, but the result will look un-natural as the patient ages and continues to lose more hair. In some cases, the patient may lose the rest of their hair behind the hairline and only have a tuft of hair left on their scalp resembling an island.
Conversely, some patients may follow their surgeons long-term strategy and plan to a T, but the desire for more density pushes them to go through another procedure. After going through several hair transplant procedures their scalp may be severely compromised due to scalp laxity or donor density. One small touch-up procedure could potentially damage their scalp to the point of suffering permanent nerve damage or depleting their donor site thus, exchanging one thinning area for another. Needless to say, one minor touch-up could end up causing the patient pain, distress and ruin the overall cosmetic result.
Hair transplant surgery requires a balanced approach, because surgical hair restoration does not create new hair. Therefore, prospective hair transplant patients must be cognizant of the limitations that exist with hair transplantation. While wanting more density and more hair is understandable, it may not always be in the patients best interest. Finding a skilled, talented, experienced and ethical hair transplant surgeon is essential for building and executing a long-term strategy for a patients current and future hair loss needs.
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