Mediprobe Research Inc. | Seager Hair Transplant Centre Toronto

Hotels to stay in during your hair restoration surgery

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Hotels to stay in during your hair restoration surgery

When planning for your hair restoration surgery, you may find yourself traveling a long distance to get to Seager Hair. Many of our patients find that working with a surgeon who truly understands them and their goal is worth a trip. We are honored by our out-of-town patients and are pleased to recommend local accommodations for them and any loved ones that may accompany them on their trip. There are several lodging options available near Seager Hair, here is a list. Please don’t hesitate to contact our office for suggestions and help on where to stay.


  1. Holiday Inn Express Toronto East (3.4 km)
    50 Estate Dr, Scarborough, ON M1H 2Z1 (1-416-439-9666)
    -$136-205 (based on average rates for a standard room)
    -4.3km from Aquatics Centre & Field House and 25km to downtown Toronto.
    -25km from Airport Pearson International Airport.
    -near the Centennial College the University of Toronto-Scarborough Campus, Seneca College, Scarborough Grace Hospital, the Centenary Hospital, the Scarborough General Hospital and the North York General Hospital.
    -4 km from the Scarborough Golf Club.
    -7 km from the Canlan Ice Scarborough.
    -Complimentary breakfast, fitness centre, free Wi-Fi, disability-Friendly, ATM on-site, business centre, concierge service, currency exchange on-site, laundry facilities, laundry service, meeting/banquet facilities, restaurant, express check out, air-conditioned 24 hour front desk, safe free internet, pets not allowed, free parking, storage available and non-smoking rooms available.
  2. Travelodge Toronto East (3.8 km)
    20 Milner Business Ct, Scarborough, ON M1B 3C6 (1-416-299-9500)
    -$125-157 (based on average rates for a standard room
    -15 km from the Ontario Science Centre.
    -24-hour reception desk, ATM, bar, bus/truck parking, certified eco-friendly, coffee/tea maker, cribs available, daily housekeeping, dry cleaning services, early check-in available, elevators, fitness center, free breakfast, free WiFi, hairdryer, late check-out available, meeting room, onsite parking, pool-indoor, restaurant, rollaway beds available, room service.
  3. Best Western Plus Executive Inn (3.8 km)
    38 Estate Dr, Scarborough, ON M1H 2Z1 (1-416-430-0444)
    -$131-234 (based on average rates for a standard room)
    -free WiFi, fitness centre with gym/workout room, pool, free parking, spa, breakfast included, business centre with internet access, free parking, breakfast included, meeting rooms, laundry service, conference facilities, multilingual staff, self-serve laundry, microwave, hot tub, heated pool, indoor pool.
  4. Knights Inn Toronto Scarborough (4.0 km)
    4694 Kingston Rd, Scarborough, ON M1E 2P9 (1-800-222-2822)
    -$63-78 (based on average rates for a standard room)
    -Located on Highway 2 minutes from the University of Toronto Scarborough, our Scarborough setting offers budget-friendly essentials that make it easy to explore the area.
    -24-hour reception desk, bus/truck parking, business center, coffee/tea maker, cribs available, daily housekeeping, flat screen televisions, free WiFi, meeting room, non-smoking hotel, onsite parking, pet friendly, RV parking, rollaway beds available.
  5. Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto East (8.6 km)
    2035 Kennedy Rd, Scarborough, ON M1T 3G2 (1-416-299-1500)
    $139-224 (based on average rates for a standard room)
    -24 km from downtown.
    -3 blocks from a metro station and less than 3 km from shops and a golf course.
    -an indoor pool with waterslides, a spa tub, a racquetball court, and a health club with women’s and men’s saunas.
    -guestrooms provide TVs with pay movies and video games, cordless phones, and high-speed Internet access.
    -all rooms have pillowtop mattresses.
    -pool, room service, restaurant, fitness centre with gym/workout room, bar/lounge, free WiFi, spa, business centre with internet access, children activities (kid/family friendly), dry cleaning, meeting rooms, laundry service, concierge, banquet room, multilingual staff, conference facilities, hot tub, heated pool, indoor pool.AIRPORTS

1. Toronto Pearson International Airport – YYZ
6301 Silver Dart Dr
Mississauga, ON L5P 1B2
(416) 247-7678

2. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport – YTZ
2 Eireann Quay
Toronto, ON M5V 1A1
(416) 203-6942


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Pioneers of hair transplantation in Toronto

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The first record of a successful hair transplant was in 1822, when a German medical student named Diffenbach performed an experimental surgery on himself and his mentor Dr. Dom Unger, they used hair from one area of a patient’s scalp and transported it to another area1.

The first modern surgical technique was described in 1939 by a Japanese dermatologist named Dr. Shoji Okuda. Dr. Okuda published what became known as “The Okuda Papers” in the Japanese Journal of Dermatology and Urology, describing his technique, full-thickness grafts of hair-bearing skin from hair-bearing areas to hairless areas to correct hair loss on the scalp, eyebrows and upper lip. These papers did not gain notoriety until 2003 when Dr Yoshihiro Imagawa was able to translate them for English speaking audiences post World War II2. In 1952 an American Dermatologist named Dr Norman Orentirech performed the first modern-day hair transplant in New York3. Dr. Orentreich was able to publish his work in 1959 in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science and it is this work that underlies all modern hair restoration endeavours. The paper presented the concept of “donor dominance” and “recipient dominance” for the first time. This was significant as the donor dominance concept explained the contradictory results of many previous hair transplantation studies.

Nonetheless, it wasn’t until mid-1990 that surgical hair restoration came out of the dark ages to yield actual ‘natural hair’ resembling results. This is due to the introduction of follicular unit micrografting or follicular unit transplantation (FUT). This has made follicular unit extraction hair transplantation a virtually undetectable, practical option for many hair loss sufferers.


Toronto, Ontario, in particular, has seen its fair share of pioneering hair transplant surgeons. One of the first is Dr Walter P. Unger. Dr Unger is a clinical professor of Dermatology and Director of the Dermatologic Surgery Fellowship Program at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, as well as a Director of the Fellowship Program for the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. He is an associate professor (Dermatology) at the University of Toronto. He was the adjunct professor (Dermatology) at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland from 2003 to 2007. He has private practices in Toronto and New York City4.

Dr Unger advanced Dr Orentreich’s principle of “donor dominance” in 1994 by helping shape surgeons’ understanding of the limitations of the donor area from which hair follicles are harvested. He was the first surgeon to define the parameters of what he defined as the “Donor Zone”, the zone from which the most permanent hair follicles can be extracted for transplantation. We know that transplanted hair will only last in its new site for as long as it would have lasted in the original one. These findings from Dr Unger continue to serve as the groundwork for hair follicle harvesting on which both FUT and follicular unit extraction (FUE) are based.


In 1995, Dr Unger was presented a Golden Follicle award for clinical expertise from the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS)5. In October 2003, Dr Unger also won the Pioneer in Education Award-Hair Restoration from the ISHRS5. In 2007 and 2001 he won the Teacher-of-the-Year, Department of Dermatology, Mt. Sinai Medical School, New York and is considered one of Castle Connolly’s “Top Doctors” in New York Metro Area starting from 2007 to the present.

Dr Mark Unger is another independent practitioner of hair restoration surgery. He was a co-editor for Hair Transplantation, 5th Ed., the reference textbook in the field of hair transplantation. He is also a fellow of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons. Additionally, he authored chapters on Hair Transplantation in major cosmetic surgery and dermatology textbooks. He also practices hair transplants in Toronto, Canada.

Dr. David J. Seager, is one of the true pioneers of Toronto hair transplants, his reputation as a truly innovative hair transplant pioneer is well known within the hair restoration world. He was the first to perform high density “one pass” sessions in the mid to late 1990s. The high-density sessions means an excess of 3,000 grafts at a time. Dr. Seager and his staff also pioneered what would become known within the hair transplant community as “Ultra Refined Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation”. So the Dr. Seager signature hair transplant was 3,000 graft densely packed “One area – One session”, then the Follicular Unit Micrograft Hair Transplant procedure was turned into a team effort, so the grafts were immediately placed into the incision after the tiny needle incision was made6. This technique is referred to as “stick and place” technique. This technique is ideal as it enables the staff to use smaller and less invasive needles for the incisions. It is easier to place a small graft into a small incision if it is a fresh incision. In October of 2001, Dr. Seager was honoured with the Golden Follicle Award by the ISHRS in recognition for his many clinical contributions to the field of hair transplantation5. Additionally, other well-known hair transplant surgeons from around the world have chosen to travel to Toronto to have Dr. Seager perform their own personal hair transplant procedures. Dr. Seager passed away in December 2006.

The City of Toronto for a Hair Transplant

Toronto, Ontario is a good city to choose to undergo a hair transplant. There clearly is a strong history of pioneers in the hair transplant industry and hair transplant doctors are well experienced. If you are planning on coming into the city from out of town, hotels and amenities are close and affordable. Additionally, welcoming over 40 million visitors annually, Toronto is the leading tourism destination in Canada7. Toronto is a bold, dynamic city that offers excellent attractions, music and events backed by the best convention and sports facilities in Canada.

Visit The Seager Hair Transplant Centre in Toronto


  1. Historical Overview: 181 Years of Hair Restoration Surgery [Internet]. [cited 2018 Jan 29]. Available from:
  2. Jimenez F, Shiell RC. The Okuda Papers: an extraordinary – but unfortunately unrecognized – piece of work that could have changed the history of hair transplantation. Exp Dermatol. 2015;24:185–6.
  3. The father of Hair Restoration. Dr. Norman Orentreich, 1953.| New Orleans, LA [Internet]. Hair Transplant & Hair Restoration Ctr | New Orleans, LA. 2016 [cited 2018 Jan 30]. Available from:
  4. Toronto 5 Burton Rd, Maps OCP-9393 S map: G. Walter P. Unger, MD | Hair Loss Doctor Toronto | ISHRS [Internet]. [cited 2018 Jan 29]. Available from:
  5. ISHRS Past Award Winners | International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery [Internet]. [cited 2018 Jan 30]. Available from:
  6. Dr. David Seager has passed away but his legacy remains. | Regrow Hair Q&A [Internet]. [cited 2018 Jan 30]. Available from:
  7. Tourism [Internet]. City of Toronto. 2017 [cited 2018 Jan 30]. Available from:


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The Evolution of Hair Transplants

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Hair transplants have been used to treat hair loss for nearly 200 years. One of the first hair transplants recorded took place in Germany in 18221. Diffenbach, a medical student, along with his professor, Dr. Unger, successfully transplanted hair from one area of the scalp to another1. They were able to effectively perform hair transplants on both animals and humans. Despite their success, hair transplants were only used sporadically in the following years1. In the late 19th century, hair transplant techniques improved to include hair-containing skin flaps and grafts to treat traumatic injuries and burns1.

In the 1930s, Dr. Okuda, a Japanese physician, became the first to use hair baring skin to correct hair loss found on the scalp, eyebrow region and upper lip2. It wasn’t until many decades later, when his work was translated into English by Yoshihiro Imagawa, that his methods became available to English speaking hair transplant surgeons2.

In 1959, Dr. Orentreich, who is nicknamed the father of modern-day hair transplantation, made a number of important contributions to the hair transplantation field3. Dr. Orentreich discovered and defined “donor dominance” and “recipient dominance”, key concepts used today3. Grafts with recipient dominance have the ability to take on the characteristics of their surroundings3. Donor dominance, on the other hand, are grafts that remain the same and don’t conform to their surroundings3. Using these concepts, Dr. Orentreich determined that for successful hair transplantation, grafts with donor dominance should be used.

Dr. Walter Unger, who was mentored by Dr. Orentreich, took this idea even further by defining the safe donor zone. The safe donor zone contains “permanent hair”, usually located in the lower part of the scalp. The term “permanent” did not necessary mean that these hairs would remain after being transplanted4,5. Instead, these hairs were considered to have the best chance of survival, making them great candidates for transplant.

Years following these new hair transplant concepts and pioneered procedures, additional techniques started to emerge such as mini-grafting and mini-micro grafting. Mini-grafting involved removing small grafts from a strip of hair bearing skin from the back of the scalp6. Mini-micro grafting was a similar method and was used to achieve a more natural look by surrounding a larger graft with smaller grafts6. With these two techniques, less donor tissue was used as compared to grafts made in previous years. Having less donor tissue in the grafts enabled surgeons to either create light coverage over large balding areas or increase hair density in specific balding regions6.

Building upon the mini-graft technique, follicular unit transplantation (FUT, also known as the strip method) was developed. During FUT, a large number of clustered scalp hair (known as follicular units) are removed at the same time through the removal of a hair bearing skin section7. This removed skin strip is then cut into grafts and implanted into balding or thinning areas. The strip method is a popular harvesting technique used today, creating a large amount of high quality, viable grafts8,9.

In the early 2000s, follicular unit extraction (FUE) was developed. Instead of removing a strip of hair bearing skin, this harvesting method removes individual follicular units9. These follicular units are then implanted into desired areas. Through FUE, a linear scar can be avoided10.

Due to the amount of time and skill needed to perform FUE, movement away from manual procedures and towards robotic techniques has occurred. Powered devices, such as those developed by Dr. True and Dr. Cole, help decrease the amount of time required to harvest13–16. Additionally, the ARTAS robotic system, developed by Restoration Robotics Inc., can overcome limitations like physician fatigue as well as decrease the amount of harvesting time required17.

The use of the ‘stick and place ‘ technique applies to both strip and FUE harvesting and this was popularized by Dr. David Seager of the Seager Medical Centre. In this technique the holes for the graft   in the recipient area are made and the graft is placed in position as the hole is made. Conversely, in the recipient area, the holes for the grafts would be created and then the grafts would be placed into the pre-made holes. There are several advantages of the ‘stick and place’ technique: only the required number of holes are created in the recipient area; secondly, the amount of bleeding in the recipient area is better controlled since each time the hole is made it is filled immediately with a graft; thirdly, with pre-made holes sometimes it is difficult to find that pre-made hole because it has a tendency to close with time. In the ‘stick and place’ technique this is not an issue. At the Seager-Sure Hair centre we use the ‘stick and place’ technique. Although it takes longer to plant the recipient area with this technique we prefer it for the above-mentioned reasons.

With the use of technology, there have been wide strides made in the field of hair transplantations over the last 200 years. Through continual study of hair loss conditions and contributions made by hair surgeons and researchers, the techniques used in hair transplants will continue to evolve into more successful and effective treatments.

Article by: Sarah Versteeg MSc, Mediprobe Research Inc. 


  1. Historical Overview: 181 Years of Hair Restoration Surgery [Internet]. ISHRS International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. [cited 2016 Dec 6]. Available from:
  2. Jimenez F, Shiell RC. The Okuda papers: an extraordinary–but unfortunately unrecognized–piece of work that could have changed the history of hair transplantation. Exp Dermatol. 2015 Mar;24(3):185–6.
  3. Orentreich N. Autografts in alopecias and other selected dermatological conditions. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1959 Nov 20;83:463–79.
  4. Cole J, Devroye J, Lorenzo J, True R. Standardization of the terminology used in FUE: Part II. Hair Transpl Forum Int. 2013;23(6):210–2.
  5. Lam S, Williams JK. Hair Transplant 360: Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD; 2016. 15-36 p.
  6. Unger RH, Unger WP. What’s new in hair transplants? Skin Ther Lett. 2003 Jan;8(1):5–7.
  7. Headington JT. Transverse microscopic anatomy of the human scalp. A basis for a morphometric approach to disorders of the hair follicle. Arch Dermatol. 1984 Apr 1;120(4):449–56.
  8. ISHRS Best Practices Survey Project Module: Who Does What Summary Analysis. Hair Transpl Forum Int. 2015 Aug;25(4):162–4.
  9. Avram M, Rogers N. Contemporary hair transplantation. Dermatol Surg Off Publ Am Soc Dermatol Surg Al. 2009 Nov;35(11):1705–19.
  10. Rashid RM, Bicknell LTM. Follicular unit extraction hair transplant automation: Options in overcoming challenges of the latest technology in hair restoration with the goal of avoiding the line scar. Dermatol Online J [Internet]. 2012 Sep 1 [cited 2016 Dec 6];18(9). Available from:
  11. Rassman WR, Bernstein RM, McClellan R, Jones R, Worton E, Uyttendaele H. Follicular Unit Extraction: Minimally Invasive Surgery for Hair Transplantation. Dermatol Surg. 2002;28(8):720–8.
  12. Harris JA. New methodology and instrumentation for follicular unit extraction: lower follicle transection rates and expanded patient candidacy. Dermatol Surg Off Publ Am Soc Dermatol Surg Al. 2006 Jan;32(1):56–61; discussion 61–2.
  13. Devroye J. Powered FU Extraction with the Short-Arc-Oscillation Flat Punch FUE System (SFFS). Hair Transpl Forum Int. 2016;26(4):129, 134–6.
  14. Harris J. Powered blunt dissection with SAFE System for FUE Part II: the extraction process. Hair Transpl Forum Int. 2011;22(1):16–7.
  15. Ng B. Powered blunt dissection with the SAFE system for FUE (Part 1). Hair Transpl Forum Int. 2010;20(6):188–9.
  16. Bicknell L, Kash N, Kavouspour C, Rashid R. Follicular unit extraction hair transplant harvest: a review of current recommendations and future considerations. Dermatol Online J. 2014;20(3).
  17. Gupta AK, Lyons DCA, Daigle D, Harris JA. Surgical hair restoration and the advent of a robotic-assisted extraction device. Skinmed. 2014 Aug;12(4):213–6.


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“You want to ‘laser’ my head?!” Laser light therapy for hair loss

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Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is a non-invasive, non-pharmacological treatment for androgenetic alopecia (AGA) in both men and women. The ‘laser’ in LLLT is actually red light, which is emitted from diodes in a LLLT device. Devices can be helmets or caps that patients place on their head or, there are combs that emit red light that patients can manually use through their hair. LLLT devices are available for home-use without a prescription, either from physicians’ offices or from direct sales websites. However, men and women do not have to commit to purchasing a portable home device. There are larger, non-portable devices that can be used multiple times a week while visiting a clinic.

Red light is the ideal wavelength to stimulate growth and it is thought that light acts on a number of different processes in hair cells, including increasing the release of growth factors.[1,2] It is important to point out that hair follicles need to be present in order for light to stimulate them. If hair loss has progressed to the point where there are no follicles in an area of the scalp, then there will be nothing to stimulate. LLLT stimulates the hair that is present to help prevent further hair loss and potentially increase hair density and thickness. This means that the earlier a person with thinning hair is able to try LLLT, the greater the chance that favorable results will occur. If a person has been bald in an area of the scalp for quite some time, then LLLT may not be an appropriate treatment.

Successful treatment with LLLT has been demonstrated in 3 recent studies.[3–5] Two recent clinical trials investigated the use of a bicycle helmet-like device available for personal use at home (iGrow® helmet, Apira Science).[3,4] Treatment occurred for 25 minutes, every other day for 16 weeks, totaling 60 treatments. While the helmet device served as the treatment group, those assigned to the control group used an identical helmet, but with incandescent red lights. Therefore, no treatment was applied to the scalp. Both the patients and the doctor evaluating treatments did not know which device (LLLT or control red light) a person had used (double-blind trial).

Forty one men completed the first clinical trial,[3] while 42 women completed the second clinical trial.[4] Pictures of the scalp were taken before treatment and after treatment, with the area of interest being the vertex area of the head where hair loss was occurring. At the end of treatment (16 weeks), LLLT resulted in increases in hair counts in both men and women. LLLT produced an increase in hair counts of 35% and 37% as compared to the control treatment, for men and women respectively. The density of hair in the area of interest also increased. In men and women, LLLT resulted in an average increase of 30.4 hairs/cm2 and 35.2 hairs/cm2, while men in the control group saw an average decrease of -0.11 hairs/cm2 and women in the control group an average increase of 8.39 hairs/cm2. There were no adverse side effects reported with use of this helmet device. Treatment success was measured after 4 months of device use; most studies measure effectiveness after 6 months.

The second device investigated in clinical studies is the HairMax Lasercomb® (Lexington International).[5,6] A large-scale, double-blind study tested the performance of multiple models of the comb device in 122 women and 103 men.[5] The comb device was used at home, three times per week, for 8-15 min, depending on the model of comb. Combs differed in how many beams of lights they contained. While the LLLT comb emitted red light, the control device emitted white light. Devices were used for 26 weeks (6 months). Pictures of the scalp were taken before treatment, and after 16 and 26 weeks of treatment.

After 26 weeks of treatment, women who used a 9-beam or a 12-beam comb showed a significant increase in hair density in the area of interest as compared to women who used a sham (control) comb. Hair density was 20.2 hairs/cm2 for the 9-beam comb vs. 2.8 hairs/cm2 for the control comb, and 20.6 hairs/cm2 for the 12-beam comb vs. 3.0 hairs/cm2 for the 12-beam comb. The same pattern was observed in men, with hair density using the 7-beam (18.4 hairs/cm2), 9-beam (20.9 hairs/cm2), or 12-beam comb (25.7 hairs/cm2) significantly greater than the control combs. Furthermore, patient satisfaction was reported. Women using the 9-beam comb reported overall improvement significantly greater than women using a control comb did. Men using a Lasercomb of any model and women using the 9-beam comb also reported noticeable improvements in the thickness/fullness of their hair.[5]

It should be noted that LLLT is also used in a variety of other situations. For example, red light may help heal skin ulcers and reduce inflammation.[7] It is used by physiotherapists and chiropractors to assist with soft tissue injuries and decrease inflammation.

In order to see hair growth with a LLLT device, regular use is required. Published studies and clinics suggest using a LLLT device for 20-30 minutes, 3 times a week.[3–6,8] Depending on the individual, it may take up to 6 months before one can determine whether LLLT is effective in improving hair appearance. Options include visiting a hair restoration clinic to use in-office LLLT devices, or purchasing a device for at-home use. People with androgenetic alopecia pursuing LLLT should choose whichever option would ensure consistent, long-term use.  This non-invasive method is gaining widespread adoption and we use it regularly not only to help maintain but also induce hair growth. Additionally, use after a hair transplant may help reduce shock loss and induce growth of transplanted hair earlier than would have occurred otherwise.


  1. Keene SA. The science of light biostimulation and low level laser therapy (LLLT). Hair Transpl Forum Int 2014;24(6):201,208-9.
  2. Sutherland JC. Biological effects of polychromatic light. Photochem Photobiol 2002;76(2):164–70.
  3. Lanzafame RJ, Blanche RR, Bodian AB, Chiacchierini RP, Fernandez-Obregon A, Kazmirek ER. The growth of human scalp hair mediated by visible red light laser and LED sources in males. Lasers Surg Med 2013;45(8):487–95.
  4. Lanzafame RJ, Blanche RR, Chiacchierini RP, Kazmirek ER, Sklar JA. The growth of human scalp hair in females using visible red light laser and LED sources. Lasers Surg Med 2014;46(8):601–7.
  5. Jimenez JJ, Wikramanayake TC, Bergfeld W, Hordinsky M, Hickman JG, Hamblin MR, et al. Efficacy and Safety of a Low-level Laser Device in the Treatment of Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss: A Multicenter, Randomized, Sham Device-controlled, Double-blind Study. Am J Clin Dermatol 2014;15:115–27.
  6. Leavitt M, Charles G, Heyman E, Michaels D. HairMax LaserComb® Laser Phototherapy Device in the Treatment of Male Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Sham Device-Controlled, Multicentre Trial. Clin Drug Investig 2009;29(5):283–92.
  7. Chaves ME de A, Araújo AR de, Piancastelli ACC, Pinotti M. Effects of low-power light therapy on wound healing: LASER x LED. An Bras Dermatol 2014;89(4):616–23.
  8. Gupta AK, Daigle D. The use of low-level light therapy in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia and female pattern hair loss. J Dermatol Treat 2014;25(2):162–3.
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Treatments for Hair Loss – Medication, Transplantation & Concealers

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As a diverse condition hair loss affects diverse people including both men and women with various treatments available. Medication, surgery and concealers are three top options on the market today.


                There are two main hair growth stimulating medications on the market today; minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil is a topical solution approved to treat male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia)1,2.

Minoxidil is primarily used to maintain current growth but can also promote hair growth3. There is significant scientific research to support the idea that minoxidil use leads to more hair and higher hair growth rates3. Some reported adverse or undesired effects of minoxidil include itching (pruritus), inflamed skin (contact dermatitis), increased hair shedding and “peach fuzz”-like regrowth3–6. However, the new foam formulation may help reduce the incidence of pruritus and contact dermatitis. Topical minoxidil should be applied for a minimum of three months, and preferably six months, to see results.

Another drug that promotes hair growth is finasteride. This oral therapy is approved by Health Canada and the FDA for male-pattern hair loss7,8. Finasteride can help stabilize hair loss9. In a systematic review of 16 studies conducted with finasteride and dutasteride, finasteride (1 mg and 5 mg) treated patients displayed superior hair growth as determined by photographic assessments as compared to untreated patients10. The adverse effects of these medications can include sexual dysfunction 11–13 (REF) Another oral agent called dutasteride has not been approved for hair regrowth although it is used for this purpose. It may be more effective than finasteride; however, it has a longer half-life and this may be a disadvantage if a patient develops side-effects such as sexual dysfunction.

Hair Transplant

A hair transplant can also help achieve natural-looking hair growth. During a hair transplant, hair from the back of the scalp are removed and implanted into balding areas14. There are two main hair harvesting techniques that are available today; the ‘strip’ method and the follicle unit extraction (FUE) method.

The strip method is considered the standard harvesting method used frequently in hair transplant surgeries15. During the strip method, a section of skin containing viable hair follicles is removed from the back of the scalp. This strip is then cut into grafts and implanted into desired balding area16. This procedure will result in a linear scar in the donor area that can be easily covered with long hair16. Strip harvesting is perfect for those with large balding areas as this method can yield lots of viable, high quality  grafts in just one sitting16.

As an alternative to strip, the FUE harvesting method does not create a linear scar. During FUE individual follicular units are harvested and then implanted into balding areas16.  FUE is recommended for small balding areas and is a great option for those that prefer shorter hair styles17. Not all patients are candidates for this technique as there are specific criteria (e.g., adequate donor supply) that need to be addressed before harvesting is performed17.

Some reported adverse or undesired effects with hair transplant surgeries include transient postoperative swelling (edema) especially if the front of the scalp is transplanted, numbness, and scarring18. Most adverse effects are temporary however, as with other surgeries, scarring is unavoidable. These scars, as stated previously, can be concealed with longer hairstyles. With transplant of the crown of the scalp frontal facial edema is minimal or non-existent.


                Hair transplantations can be ill-advised in rare complicated hair loss conditions such as epidermolysis bullosa (a connective tissue disease)19. Concealers or camouflaging agents can be alternative options to hair transplants. The goal of concealers is to help make the scalp less visible by reducing the color contrast between the scalp and the remaining hair follicles20. Scalp tattooing and hair thickening fibers are among the many camouflaging agents currently available. Microscopic hair fibers can be sprinkled to target areas to help conceal hair thinning and/or hair loss. Additionally, hair-thickening fibers, colored to match your specific hair color, can also help camouflage hair loss21. Scalp micropigmentation (SMP), a tattoo applied to the scalp, is a more permanent option22. The stippling effect performed with this type of tattoo can mimic shaven hair follicles22.

If you’re unsure about what option best suites you ask your doctor or our hair transplant physician or specialist for more information.

     Article by: Sarah Versteeg MSc, Mediprobe Research Inc. 

  1. Product Monograph. Hair Regrowth Forumula. Minoxidil Topical Solution USP 20 mg/mL (2% w/v) [Internet]. Health Canada. Drug Product Database. 2016 [cited 2016 Oct 6]. Available from: file:///C:/Users/sversteeg/Downloads/PM00033538.PDF
  2. Drugs@FDA: FDA Approved Drug Products. Women’s Rogaine 5% Minoxidil Topical Aerosol, Approval History and Label [Internet]. [cited 2014 Jul 29]. Available from:
  3. Gupta AK, Charrette A. Topical Minoxidil: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Its Efficacy in Androgenetic Alopecia. Skinmed. 2015 Jun;13(3):185–9.
  4. Pazoki-Toroudi H, Babakoohi S, Nilforoushzadeh MA, Nassiri-Kashani M, Shizarpour M, Ajami M, et al. Therapeutic effects of minoxidil high extra combination therapy in patients with androgenetic alopecia. Skinmed. 2012 Oct;10(5):276–82.
  5. Civatte J, Laux B, Simpson NB, Vickers CF. 2% topical minoxidil solution in male-pattern baldness: preliminary European results. Dermatologica. 1987;175 Suppl 2:42–9.
  6. Katz HI, Hien NT, Prawer SE, Goldman SJ. Long-term efficacy of topical minoxidil in male pattern baldness. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1987 Mar;16(3 Pt 2):711–8.
  7. PrAURO-FINASTERIDE 1 mg Finasteride tablets BP 1 mg Type II 5α-reductase inhibitor [Internet]. Health Canada. Drug Product Database. 2014 [cited 2016 Nov 8]. Available from:
  8. PROPECIA® (finasteride) tablets for oral use [Internet]. FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 2014 [cited 2016 Nov 8]. Available from:
  9. Knudsen R. What would hair restoration surgery by like if we didn’t have finasteride? Hair Transpl Forum Int. 2015 Oct;25(5):200.
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