In United States, More Money Spent On Hair Loss Than Cancer Research

SPOKANE — A staggering amount of money is spent annually to curb hair loss. In fact, more money is spent on hair research in North America than cancer research.

Dr. Duncan Brown, a plastic surgeon specializing in hair replacement, hears similar stories from most of the men who come through his doors looking to reverse the hair’s aging process.

“Most of them will simply say, â??here’s my picture from when I was 19 and I want to look that way again,'” he says. “Receding hair is the big thing for men because they associate a lot of hair with their youth and their virility and they feel if they lose their hair then they’re old.”

The basic idea for the procedure is to take hair from the back of the patient’s head and place it on top. However, not everyone is a candidate for the procedure.

“They come in, we access their loss and, of course, their donor site is the most important thing,” Dr. Brown says. “They’ve got to have enough hair here to move because the hair back here is genetically different than the hair on top.”

In the end, the procedure amounts to minor surgery.

“We section them off into the follicular units and then we make a map of where we’re going to put them in the loss,” Brown explains. “We make little incisions in the direction and at the angle we want the hair to grow so that it looks normal.”

He adds that “typically we’ll get anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 hair units out of a good strip of skin.”

Recipients of the procedure are cautioned to be careful for four days and, after that, as Brown puts it, “It’s their own hair and they can do whatever they want with it.”

The hair starts growing within three months and costs five dollars a graph up to a maximum of $5,000 per procedure.

The result – in Brown’s words: “Patients report back that friends and family will notice a younger look … but they can’t quite figure out what it is that’s changed.”