Losing your hair should be a win. Guys don't have to mess with their hair on a windy day, or worry about it turning gray. Bald guys save money on hair products (average savings of $853 per year.)
Men with a full head of hair are said to secure a better job, secure more dates, have higher self-esteem, and have more friends than men who show more scalp. Since youth-obsessed Madison Avenue advertising firms play-up beauty more than building self images; society will follow the trend at the bald man's expense. In 2003, men spent $2.1 billion (US) attempting to spare their hair.
Actor Ben Affleck, it is rumored, wears a hair piece. In this "what if" scene, Affleck's photograph enhanced to view our studly guy without hair. Still looking good!
While hair loss is normal for men and women; there is no topical ointment that will regrow your hair. Nor will any current pharmaceutical drug regrow your hair. Your genes (DNA) determine whether or not your hair can stay. Until DNA can be corrected, save yourself time, money, and daily applications of cream or gel -- it will not grow back. Start collecting hats.
Hair cloning will undoubtedly revolutionize hair replacement someday. Not only will the amount of donor hair be limitless; but the DNA is your own and therefore limit side effects. Cloning is experimental however -- expect more information on hair cloning technology in 2008.
If you can't wait for cloning, and you are the type of guy who thinks a head of hair will solve your problems, then research the best options. Television infomercials for restoring hair "looks" prove great entertainment, and make the process appear easy, inexpensive and worth the effort.
Options for restoring hair remain expensive and a serious matter. Men searching for wigs, toupees, hair pieces, plugs, or transplant options have their work cut-out for them. Deciding upon which trick is best for you depends upon your character, finances, and emotional maturity. If you do not live in Los Angeles, New York City, or Chicago, the chance is great you will have to travel for a good transplant.
Think & Ask sought three types of hair restoration methods.
Hair pieces -- now available through most hair salons -- are the least expensive initially; but have ongoing maintenance costs. The cost runs between $3,000-$10,000 with monthly adjustments (refitting) that can cost $150 each visit. There are two ways to attach a hair piece to your head, glue and tubes. Glue is problematic altogether; it is messy, it prevents your scalp from breathing, it can host odor, and should you chose the "bald look" afterall -- removing glued-on-hair will cause additional hair loss when detached.
A good hair piece is fixed to your own hair using small metal tubes on the underside of a nylon mesh that hosts new strands of hair. The mesh is knitted with human hair (horse hair is also used, but you should choose an agency based upon their exclusive use of human hair.) Depending upon the artist, manufacturer, and hair stylist; a hair piece can be made to look natural. No matter what a hair agency tells you, wearing a hair piece does require careful planning. While you may even convince yourself the piece looks natural in the bathroom mirror; when exposed to the elements -- Santa Ana Winds, Manahattan island building gusts, or any water sport -- your hair piece will stress and show.
While the media hopped on Ben Affleck's new hairdo tear in late 2003; from photo observations it would appear this type of hair piece works best for Affleck, but wouldn't survive a rough and tumble wrestling match on the back yard lawn. A hair piece is fully detectable if your girlfriend wishes to run her hands across your head. If the girl or wife isn't supportive of this semi-permanent trait; either forget the idea or drop the companion.
Hair plugs or grafts are quickly going out of style. This method uses a donor piece of your scalp, cuts the strip of hair into segments and inserts each segment into your bald scalp. The process injures or kills more follicles than it saves, thus when the operation is complete the new hair fills-in like a well planted orchard. Men who opted for this type of surgery are worse-off than they were with simply being bald.
Hair transplant costs will run $15,000-$33,000. This price range you won't hear until after an initial consultation. Additional costs are minimal for transplants since you style and care for your hair as you would normally. Transplants use your own hair. Dr. Robert Bernstein in New York City practices hair transplantation with success and a large client base. He is also the only doctor of three who told this reporter that "your" hair is too fine to transplant and the donor hair available is not enough to cover the areas desired; therefore transplantation was not recommended. Bernstein says he is not a good candidate for transplantation either. You must pay close attention to the "sales job." Follow your intuition; if a discount is offered as a reward to act fast, then question the motive.
Men with darker hair and thick donor hair stand the best chance of a transplant. Surgeons use your own hair follicles to relocate to areas of the scalp. Some follicles will die in the process, but most appear to regrow hair within four-to-six months. Men who've had a transplant using Bernstein's method were pleased with the results, and indeed the appearance of their scalp did not indicate prior surgery.
The Internet proves your greatest resource for first steps. Message boards, websites, and the Better Business Bureau list complaints and praise for doctors helping you to reappear hair. If you are the type of guy who loves being bald, vanity sounds like an expensive habit to keep, because self-pride is free.
"When I was in my early twenties I was losing my hair at a rapid rate, it was thining all over and the hair line was receeding. I was talked out of a large chunk of money from a salesman to buy a hair weave, where they shave what is left and glue [the weave] to your scalp. And it looked exactly like Ben Affleck's hair not to mention killing off many hair follicles in the process."
"I decided I wasn't going to wear a rug and looked into other options. For the most part alot of the herbal products I tried were snake oil. However I went to a doctor and was prescribed Finasteride and a Minoxidil treatment, it was my last hope. I also continued to use some of the anti-DHT shampoos and products. I had a great and remarkable turn around. Not only is my hair growing back in front of my eyes, when I stop using the products it starts to die and fall out. However, I narrowed my choices and don't spend too much and now I have more hair at age 33 than I did when I was age 23; natural, normal, blow-in-the-wind hair and my hairline is creeping down my forhead to the point that it looks like I haven't lost any hair."
"So, telling all the young men out there the grandfather line, 'it is going and there is nothing you can do about it,' isn't true for everyone. I am not a salesman or pitching anything, just a average guy growing [back] hair everyday."