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A new report by the Daily Mail newspaper in London, claims that British actor and model Calum Best, 33, plans to undergo his third hair transplant next month. Read the article here.
It's a bit unusual to see celebrities openly talking about their hair loss treatments, so kudos to Calum for opening up about his own struggle with hair loss and raising awareness for others. Calum began losing his hair in his twenties, which is actually more common than people think.
However, there were a few comments made in this article that I feel need to be addressed:
- "He believes he damaged his hair follicles by pulling it back in a tight ponytail." While it's true that some people can experience a type of hair loss called 'traction alopecia' from wearing tight ponytails, braids or weaves, that's not going to cause a sudden onset of male pattern hair loss. It will cause recession in those follicles directly impacted by the excess weight, pulling, etc., but not elsewhere throughout the scalp. In Calum's case, it's more likely that he was genetically predisposed to male pattern hair loss.
- "He also thinks he hastened his hair loss by over-bleaching." Harsh chemical treatments like bleaching will only cause permanent hair loss if the follicles are damaged, such as by chemical burns. Damage to the hair strand itself but not the follicle will cause hair fallout, a temporary condition, not permanent hair loss.
- "He refused to take the clinically proven drug Propecia, which would have halted his hair loss, because it affects the sex drive of 2 percent of patients." I know some patients are concerned about the sexual side-effect risks of finasteride (brand name Propecia). However, the documented medical evidence shows this to occur in only a small percentage of cases and should not be viewed as a general risk. But for those who are concerned about taking it, there are options. Specially compounded minoxidil solutions like Formula 82M, low level laser therapy and platelet-rich plasma therapy should all be considered. It's important to understand how a hair transplant works. Once the hair is transplanted from the back of the head, that newly implanted hair will never fall out of your scalp. However, the other follicles in your scalp, the ones that weren't transplanted, will remain androgen sensitive and will be at risk of falling out. Unless you treat those androgen-sensitive follicles, you could continue losing hair around the transplanted hair, creating a weird 'patchy' look that is not at all desirable.