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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Treatment

Minoxidil and finasteride may prevent hair loss and promote new hair growth. This effect, however, is quite unpredictable from one person to the next.

Hair weaves, wigs and toupees can be used. In addition, a variety of surgical techniques also can be used, including:

  • Scalp reduction Strips of bald skin are removed surgically to decrease the size of a bald spot.

  • Hair flaps A strip of skin with good hair growth can be moved from a less cosmetically important area to a more important one.

  • Hair transplants Tiny plugs of skin containing from one to 15 hairs are moved from the back or side of the scalp to a bald area. The newer "micrografts," which contain very few hairs, yield the best results, but are more expensive and time consuming than older types of transplants. Up to 700 individual grafts may be necessary to complete a treatment. It may take up to two years to see the full benefit of hair replacement surgery.

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