JOE visits the hair loss clinic
Men across Ireland fret by the thousand about hair loss, but that first step towards getting the problem sorted can be a difficult one. So, JOE decided to pop along to a hair clinic to see how the process works.
By Robert Carry
The Ailesbury Clinic, a cosmetic treatment centre with premises in Dublin, Belfast and Cork, has been dealing with everything from men looking to get liposuction to women after an eye-lift for years now. It is also fast becoming one of the first ports of call for many a balding Irishman so we decided to book ourselves an appointment in its dedicated hair loss clinic in Dublin.
I made my way to the clinic, which sits in one of the city's most exclusive areas and has the likes of the Chinese Embassy for neighbours, and sat down with a hair specialist.
The examination, carried out by the Aileburyâ€™s resident hair expert Lorraine Lambert, began with a quick chat about the concerns I had. While I probably don't quite have the head of hair I once grew into a variety of ridiculous styles as a teen, my crowning glory is doing reasonably well as the 30-mark closes in. That said, the male members of my family have tended to struggle on the hair front in their later years, so it may well be something I'm forced to confront in the years to come.
Lorraine had a poke around for herself. She set up a mirror and delicately combed around the areas which tend to be first impacted by male pattern baldness â€“ the temporal regions at the corners of the forehead and the crown.
Happily, she pointed out that while there were signs of minor loss, it was very much early days and there was no cause for alarm.
This meant I was ruled out of contention for hair transplant surgery â€“ a process that has proved immensely popular with Irish sufferers. Nonetheless, Lorraine talked me through the process involved.
Hair around the back of the head is not affected by the hormones that cause male pattern baldness which means active, healthy hair follicles can be removed and implanted into an area where things are getting sparse.
There are several methods of follicular unit transplantation, some of which appear to have better results than others. Some systems involve cutting a sliver of scalp from the back of the head before slicing out the individual hair follicles and implanting them. However, this can lead to some rather nasty scarring where the strip of scalp has been removed. Instead, staff at the Ailesbury Clinic carry out the procedure using a patented pen-like device, which takes the follicles from the back of the head individually, without the need to cut away a strip.
The hair follicles are harvested in a way that makes their removal completely undetectable at the back and there is no scarring. Once re-implanted into the scalp, they then continue to grow as normal. Another big plus with this procedure is that at the Ailesbury Clinic, it comes with a one year guarantee.
Prices vary greatly depending on how many hairs need to be transplanted and the procedure can be completed in one or two sittings, depending on the extent of the problem. Also, it doesnâ€™t require a general anesthetic.
The Ailesburyâ€™s Dr Patrick Treacy explains the process:
The clinic also presents another option to the balding masses â€“ treatment through medication. While many work on the assumption that a magical pill that successfully treats hair loss is a pipe dream, such a drug does exist and has been given FDA approval after a battery of independent tests proved that it works in most cases.
Most people who take the Finasteride will recover around 10 per cent of what they have lost and hang onto it for about 10 years before it starts to decline again. That's against the further loss that would take place if the treatment wasn't used. Another bonus is the price â€“ this treatment option comes in at less than one Euro per day. If that is all thatâ€™s needed, staff at the Ailesbury can write you up a prescription.
With so many options on the table and clinics close at hand, it's a real shame that so many men opt to grin and bear it. Although the thought of walking into a hair loss clinic would make some mensâ€™ blood run cold, there is little to be worried about â€“ their job is to treat men struggling to deal with hair loss and they have seen a million of them. Worrying about the dreaded expanding forehead problem doesn't help â€“ getting treatment does.
While you're here, why not check out our JOE Show Daddy's Home 2 Special with Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell!
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