hair restoration patient

For men and women alike, hair loss is often an unwelcome and embarrassing sign of age. And while we hope it won’t be in the cards for us until middle age or later, hair loss can occur as early as our twenties. Thinning hair, bald patches or a receding hairline leaves many of us feeling self-conscious, as our outward appearance no longer matches our inner vitality.

In St. Louis, hair restoration at Ridenour Plastic Surgery is a blend of science and art. Our founder and board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brock Ridenour will work with you to determine the cause of your hair loss, then tailor a treatment plan accordingly. Dr. Ridenour welcomes questions and seeks to make each patient feel comfortable, heard and confident in making the life-changing decision to undergo a hair restoration procedure. 

For more information about our surgical and nonsurgical hair restoration options, please call Ridenour Plastic Surgery at 314-878-8600 or request a consultation online.

Hair Loss in Men

The most common type of hair loss in men is male pattern baldness. As the name suggests, this condition usually follows a predictable pattern, with hair loss starting at the hairline around the temples and gradually receding. Without intervention, the hair loss can progress until hair is left only on the sides and back of the head. Male pattern baldness accounts for over 95% of all hair loss cases in men.

Most cases of hair loss in men can be attributed to one or more of the following causes:

  • Male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia)
  • Alopecia areata (an autoimmune disease)
  • Heredity (family history of hair loss)
  • Changes in hormones
  • Medical conditions and medications
  • Hairstyles that cause excessive hair pulling
  • Scarring from accidents, surgery or burns

Identifying the type of male hair loss you’re experiencing is the first step in determining your ideal treatment plan. The sooner you address your hair loss, the greater the chance of a successful outcome.

Hair Loss in Women

Hair loss in women is more common than many people realize, making it a problem that is fairly prevalent but not often discussed. Many women with hair loss feel isolated in their experience and embarrassed to seek treatment. As today’s beauty standards associate attractiveness and desirability with a full head of hair, hair loss can have a particularly negative effect on a woman’s sense of self and emotional well-being.

Women’s hair loss progresses differently than men’s. Rather than starting with a receding hairline or a bald patch on the crown, it usually begins with diffuse thinning radiating out from the part. Causes of hair loss in women include:

  • Female pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia)
  • Traction alopecia from tight hairstyles
  • Hormonal changes, especially around pregnancy and menopause
  • Heredity (family history of hair loss)
  • Medical conditions and medications
  • Scarring from accidents, surgery or burns
  • Significant fluctuations in weight and diet
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Emotional stress

Regenerative Medicine

Our bodies naturally heal themselves in many ways. Imagine the possibilities if we could capture this natural ability to heal and apply it to a range of medical and cosmetic conditions. With regenerative medicine, that is precisely what we can do.

Regenerative medicine focuses on methods to repair, replace or regrow damaged or diseased organs, cells or tissues. Regenerative techniques prompt the body to enact a self-healing response and enhance or accelerate it. This is a relatively new field that may help us discover solutions to some of the most challenging medical problems we face.

For hair restoration, regenerative medicine therapies work by repairing damaged hair follicles and encouraging natural hair growth. These treatments are performed in our St. Louis office under local anesthesia and have no significant downtime for most patients.


Nanofat Hair Restoration

Fat grafting is used in plastic and reconstructive surgery to counteract volume loss and redefine the facial features. As our fat grafting techniques grow increasingly sophisticated, we have observed that small amounts of fat can stimulate hair growth when injected into the hair follicle.

A nanofat procedure begins by obtaining fat cells for reinjection. This is done using liposuction where adequate fat is present, typically on the abdomen, thighs, hips or buttocks. Liposuction requires anesthesia and tiny incisions where a cannula will be inserted to remove the fat cells. The harvested fat cells are then processed, purified and placed into a syringe for injection into the scalp.

After nanofat hair restoration, you can expect some discomfort, swelling and bruising in the liposuction treatment area and redness and swelling around the scalp injection sites. You may be asked to wear a compression garment to support and contour the area treated with liposuction. Plan for about a week off work to rest and recover. 

Over the next several weeks, new hair growth will become noticeable in the placement areas. Regrowth will continue to improve over the next several months.

To be a suitable candidate for nanofat hair restoration, you must be prepared to undergo liposuction to obtain fat cells and have enough excess fat to be used for the treatment. Many of our patients are excited by the idea of addressing their hair loss concerns and receiving the slimming benefit of liposuction in the same procedure.

Topical Exosome Therapy

Exosome therapy is one of the newest hair loss solutions. Exosomes are vesicles (tiny particles released from nearly all types of cells) involved in intercellular communication and the spread of proteins, lipids, mRNA, miRNA and DNA. Even though they are significantly smaller than the average cell, exosomes are a rich source of biologically active growth factors that can promote tissue healing and regeneration.

Unlike nanofat, exosome therapy does not require drawing a patient’s blood or harvesting fat. The exosomes are derived from a donor source and purified in an FDA-inspected and audited facility. The treatment is an outpatient procedure with no recovery or downtime, done alone or in combination with hair transplantation or other hair loss treatments.

Exosome therapy is believed to reset the hair cycle, bringing the follicles into the active phase and restarting growth. Exosomes may also help by prolonging the growth stage. Results become apparent in three to six months. The duration of results depends on many variables, including genetics, age, hair quality, degree of hair loss and the use of additional hair loss therapies.

Follicular Unit Grafting

Hair transplantation has not always had a positive reputation. Not long ago, the go-to procedure for hair transplant patients was “hair plugs.” The grafts were large, which created distinct tufts made up of a dozen or more hairs. The resulting look was unnatural and often likened to a doll’s hair.

The next evolution of hair transplantation was the follicular unit transplant (FUT) technique. In this procedure, the physician removes a strip of scalp from an area of the head where hair is abundant. The strip is then separated into follicular units with one to four hairs each, and the units are strategically placed into bare scalp to mimic natural growth. FUT is effective, but it creates a linear scar that can be difficult to conceal in short hair.

Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is now the gold standard for surgical hair restoration. Instead of removing a strip of hair-bearing skin, healthy individual follicles are removed manually or with a device. Each excision leaves a tiny circular puncture mark. Since FUE involves no incisions or stitches, there is minimal discomfort, and healing time is shorter compared to FUT.

In the weeks after a follicular unit grafting treatment, some transplanted hairs will fall out. Your hair may temporarily look thinner than before you had the procedure. This is normal. Your newly transplanted follicles are gathering strength to generate new hair. Significant regrowth is usually noticeable around six months, at which point your native and transplanted hair will continue to grow naturally.

Eyebrow & Eyelash Transplants

Eyebrows and eyelashes don’t just occupy a central position on the face; they frame our eyes, help us make facial expressions and have a tremendous impact on the way we look. Unlike the loss of scalp hair, the loss of eyebrows or eyelashes is not viewed as a natural process and therefore is not considered cosmetically acceptable.

Eyebrows may be lost for a variety of reasons, including overplucking, alopecia areata, the natural tendency for eyebrows to thin over time and the congenital inability to grow eyebrows. Eyebrow restoration is similar to hair transplantation on the scalp, but special attention must be paid to the angle and direction of hair growth and the aesthetics of the face. We work with you to create a custom brow shape that complements your features.

Eyelash transplantation is a safe and effective way to restore living lashes to the upper eyelid. To enhance thin, sparse, short or otherwise “weak” lashes, hair can be harvested with the FUT or FUE extraction methods and inserted into the lash line. Great care is taken to optimize the position, direction and curl of the implanted lash follicles.

Eyebrows and eyelashes have very short hair growth cycles. This means that the hairs do not grow very long before they fall out. In contrast, scalp hair has a growth phase that can last years, allowing the hairs to grow significantly longer. The hair used in eyebrow and eyelash transplants comes from another part of the body and will grow long, requiring periodic trimming to maintain a natural appearance.

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Choose Ridenour Plastic Surgery for Hair Restoration in St. Louis

The dedicated team at Ridenour Plastic Surgery is here to help you maintain the hair you have and restore what has been lost. As a leading facial plastic surgeon in St. Louis, Dr. Ridenour is a physician patients turn to as a trusted authority in hair restoration techniques. He is committed to listening to your needs and concerns, educating you about your treatment options and meeting or exceeding your expectations.

Our beautifully designed and well-appointed office offers a range of surgical and nonsurgical services. Should you wish to complement your new hair with other age-defying treatments, Dr. Ridenour can recommend procedures and products that can keep you looking as young as you feel. We pride ourselves on maintaining an unwavering commitment to our clients throughout every step of their aesthetic journey.

If you are ready to get started with hair restoration in the St. Louis area, please contact Ridenour Plastic Surgery to make an appointment. We can be reached here or at 314-501-7946.

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