When I joined the profession about ten years back, transplants and other hair procedures were limited to clinics and hospitals. Most patients came due to a medical condition, like an illness or a hormonal ailment, that led to hair loss. Many would travel to the US or the UK for specialised treatment, but it was always kept under wraps since there was a taboo of sorts associated with hair treatment.
Hair transplants have now become common cosmetic solutions like getting your hair coloured or straightened. Many of our clients are older women, who come in for cosmetic enhancement of hair that has thinned with age. Women mainly go in for laser treatment to increase hair growth, or get permanent hair extensions in case the hair cannot be saved.
While laser therapy can cost between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 3 lakh, hair extensions can cost Rs 50,000. There has been huge growth in the number of male clients over the last couple of years. Many cricket personalities like Shane Warne, Virender Sehwag and Harsha Bhogle have paved the way for unapologetic baldness treatment.
The age group of male clients is 25-40 years. Young men come in for treatment before their weddings. We have a few cases where the boy’s personality has undergone a huge change in terms of confidence after a hair transplant. This involves using hair follicles from a dense area (mainly the back of the head) and transplanting them to the bald crown. Transplantation depends on the strength and resistance of transplanted hair follicles to baldness. It could stay a lifetime or not, depending on hereditary factors.
Hair loss is related to general health and hereditary factors. Many clients do not understand this and want permanent solutions without treating the real problem. Cosmetic treatment provides a cover, but the problem can be treated only clinically by consulting a doctor.
(This transplant specialist works with an international hair clinic brand that recently established itself in India)
As told to Aanchal Bansal