Rudy Perrin’s reason for getting a hair transplant is short and sweet: “I’m nearly 60 years old and when I was 19 I lost all my hair, and I said before I die I want to have my hair back!” In February of 2009, prompted by the reputation of the Seager Hair Transplant Centre, he visited for a consultation and it was determined that he was a good candidate for the procedure. One year and two procedures later, Perrin has come from being “pretty well completely bal except for the lower part of my head” to turning back the clock several decades thanks to a fuller, natural-looking head of hair.
Perrin’s story is just one of thousands the centre has been part of since it began performing hair transplantation in 1995. Much of the advancement of the industry as a whole was based upon research and techniques first pioneered by Dr David Seager himself. “Hair Transplantation techniques have advanced significantly in the last 10 -15 years so it is gaining in popularity,” says Dr Mark McKenzie, who oversees all transplants at the clinic as Medical Director. “Getting away from what we call the old ‘plug transplant,’ we now do the procedure completely differently.” These advancements now allow Dr. Simmons and Dr McKenzie to consistently achieve excellent results.
Hair Transplants are based on the premise that hair from the back and sides of the scalp is genetically different from the hair that falls out from other areas of the head. In Follicular Unit Hair Transplantation, donor hair is removed from the back and/or sides of the scalp and is dissected meticulously under operating microscopes. Because hair naturally grows in clusters of one, two or three, the donor hair is dissected into “slivers” that are one follicular unit wide, which are further dissected into individual grafts of one to three hairs, leaving natures building blocks intact.
The hair is them precisely transplanted back into a bald area of the scalp, one follicular unit at a time. The hair is transplanted as it once grew, with the same angles and directions as the original hair would have had. “We’re able to create results that look so natural that when somebody meets a friend or somebody they haven’t seen for awhile, they don’t even realize it’s a hair transplant they have,” says Dr McKenzie.
There are a variety of reasons why someone may lose their hair, but the most common by far is androgenic alopecia – in simple terms, genetics. Most of the patients at the Seager Centre are between the ages of 30 -50, though Dr. Simmons and Dr McKenzie has performed the procedure on patients in their late 20s and others in their 70s. About 80% of his patients are male, as hair loss affects men commonly.
Still, hair transplantation is often not a one-time procedure. “We transplant the hair and that hair will grow and it’ll keep growing, but the ongoing balding of other areas continue because balding is a genetic problem,” says Dr McKenzie. Therefore, the Seager Centre will often use medication in conjunction with the hair transplants to maximize the results. “If we’re able to get those patients onto medication to prevent further hair loss then often they may not need a further procedure, or they may need less in the way of further procedures.”
Taking this long-term view, says Dr McKenzie, is an important part of the Seager approach, he says “We spend a great deal of time during the consultation talking to patients about their hair loss, finding out how they feel about it, assessing their expectations, educating them about the reason their losing their hair, and also getting them to think long-term about their hair loss situation and creating a long-term plan. It’s important they keep in mind that we want their hair to look good not just for the next few years, but life-long.”
When it comes to getting the best experience, the Seager Centre believes that technical skills, artistry and experience go hand-in-hand. “Clinics like ourselves that exclusively practice hair transplantation are rare, and because we do so much of it as our only concern, we consistently achieve excellent results” says Dr McKenzie, “We always strive to achieve for our patients results so natural that even they will forget what’s been done, and just enjoy their hair”. The centre’s mantra seems to be, if it looks like a transplant, even a great transplant, then it’s been a failure. Everything is based around the principle that the results must look natural and undetectable.
A hair transplant can do more than change a person’s physical appearance. Dr McKenzie recalls his secretary telling him about a patient in his 30s who visited the clinic several times before the procedure. “Anytime she talked to him, his head was always down; he wouldn’t smile or even look her in the eye when he was talking to her.” When the patient returned for a follow up nine months later, it was a completely different story. “She said it wasn’t just the fact that his hair looked great but the fact that he smiled when he came in, he looked you in the eye when he spoke – his whole persona had changed… It’s amazing how much hair can mean to someone and it’s often that psychological aspect that really makes the biggest difference to the patients. It makes a huge difference to the way someone feels about themselves.”
Rudy Perrin counts himself among the happy clients, he loves his new look – and he’s not the only one that’s noticed. “My friends are looking at me and they’re saying, ‘you look good, Rudy,’ but they can’t pinpoint why it is I look so good – but it’s obviously the hair,” he says, “I feel really great about it”.No comments »